Velvet: Now a popular decor that never went away

It was all over the runways. Women’s daily wear Armani dresses made of this material went crazy. Harper’s Bazaar called it one of the The biggest trends of 2022. Celebrities rocked Louis Vuitton, Ralph Lauren and Gucci versions at the British Film Awards.

It has even found its way into everyday wear, in jeans, t-shirts and rolled-up shirts.

Once a luxurious material of nobility, velvet is now a fashion favorite at both the private label and mass market levels. And as is often the case, what’s high in fashion ends up being the same home decoration. “As an interior designer, I love incorporating fashion trends into my designs,” says Amy Youngblood of Cincinnati.

“Many of my clients have realized that both interior design and fashion give you the freedom to explore creatively and develop a better understanding of yourself and others around you. Fashion is the driving force that interior design follows and finds inspiration in.”

But should we say that velvet is a “trend”?

Here’s Jessica Dodell-Feder, executive editor at the company HGTV Magazine: “I’ve talked to our in-house and style directors about it, and honestly, we all feel like velvet never went away. It’s one of those classic fabrics that adds texture and depth to a space without introducing pattern. And that’s great,” he says.

For John McClain, an interior designer in Orlando, Fla., and author of the new “The Designer Within” (Gibbs Smith), plush fabric is on speed dial in his little black book of upholstery. “Velvet is the foundation of my designs,” she says. He made a home theater velvet wall for a client and says it has excellent sound dampening properties. He called the fabric “our cover of choice.” Velvet, he says, can offer deep colors and a rich feel that “glows at a party.”

This image by John McClain Design shows a home theater with red velvet on the wall panels. AP Photo)

At the same time, it can be much more durable than people assume – especially if you get commercial grade synthetic velvet.

“Nobody knows the difference because the ‘hand’ or feel is so soft. It feels just as sophisticated—and just as nice—as its natural cotton counterpart,” says Dodell-Feder, who agrees. “For most families, performance velvet will probably be enough. It’s not as luxurious as real velvet, but it’s easier to care for and has a similar plushness. Because I have a dog, when I bought the sofa for the living room, I went for performance velvet,” she says.

And Jillian Hayward Schaible, a designer in Milton, Mass., also cautions clients to choose the right kind of plush velvet for their furniture. “It can add beautiful depth to both texture and shine to any piece, from furniture to accents. If you’re looking for a pet-friendly and family-friendly fabric, we recommend choosing functional velvet,” he says.

Velvet is made from natural fibers such as silk, cotton, linen, wool; cheaper versions may have a synthetic compound. Performance velvet is made of polyester.

The editors of Domino magazine recently coined the name “Plazacore” for the style, a nod to the Manhattan hotel that was home to the children’s book character Eloise. It is evoked by accessories such as crystal, polished metallics and soft velvet bedspreads. When it comes to color, McClain says she usually goes for light neutrals—“yes, even in a family with kids”—but that sometimes “we also love a touch of colored velvet. It’s a statement maker.” New York designer Gideon Mendelson says he puts velvet on sofas, chairs, headboards and, when the budget allows, walls. He likes soft grays and camels, as well as “deeper tones of teal, chocolate brown and burgundy.”

HGTV Assistant Home Director Lora Yoon Huh sees a trend toward warm hues. “Lately I’ve seen velvet in sunset colors like ocher and orange. But the magazine recently shot a bed with a pale pink velvet pillow. Huh says, “There’s something about the way velvet catches light that gives every color a beautiful dimension.”

And designer Nicole Fisher placed the champagne crushed velvet bed in the home in New York’s West Village, for a sophisticated yet soothing venue. Then, in the TV room, she placed a pair of ottomans in a soft but vibrantly patterned velvet to accent the space’s sapphire blue walls.

“There are so many ways to incorporate that cozy vibe into velvet,” she says. Check out what some retailers are offering: For big pieces, check out Anthropologie’s Juneau sideboard, a statement piece with a sleek, light vibe. It could be an entertaining space with ample storage, Carrara marble countertops and brass accents.

Available in blush, deep turquoise or moss green velvet channel. The seller’s other offerings include the Lena Elowen chair. The velvet upholstery was inspired by antique French and Italian botanical tapestries.

More comfortable and stylish seating can be found at Arhaus, Article and Lulu and Georgia. And in Thuma there is a beautiful cushion washable velvet headboard in charcoal, fog and linen.

Aerin has elegant moss or navy blue velvet trays and brass-trimmed picture frames that would make elegant accessories. Parachute cotton velvet sheets come in a beautiful navy green or bronze shade. And for an unusual spin on the material, consider the stunning Artaic mosaic tile designed to mimic the look of crushed velvet. It comes in two colors: emerald and cabernet.

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