When it comes to interior design, velvet is taking over

From cushions to wallpapers, velvet has dimpled its way into our homes– and it's here to stay, says Anya Cooklin-Lofting

Thursday 04 April 2019 14:22
Deep ochre velvet cushion
Deep ochre velvet cushion

elvet is fast becoming something of a trans-seasonal fabric choice in interior schemes all over the world. From hotels and bars to the most Pin-able of living rooms and bedrooms, velvet has scalloped, pleated and dimpled its way onto our feeds and into our homes. From upholstery to curtains and carpets; the trend is here to stay.

One of the most prominent ways we are introducing velvet into our interior schemes is via upholstery on armchairs and sofas. Sofa Workshop, a leading sofa retailer, has reported a 58 per cent increase in searches for velvet sofas year on year, while online furniture retailer, Wayfair.co.uk, has quoted a staggering 500 per cent year on year increase.

However, velvet sofas may not have the monopoly on the market, as the site has also seen a spike in searches for “velvet wallpaper”, which is up over 1000 per cent year on year. Heritage carpet manufacturer, Brintons, has also revealed that velvet-style carpets are enjoying an increase in sales. Nadia McGowan Hill, Wayfair.co.uk’s resident style advisor, believes this is indicative of a growing confidence in the material, “proving that this trend is being creatively adapted into home improvements and decor, as well as furniture.”

Alba chair in house velvet tumeric, £539 (sofaworkshop.com)

But it’s not just a creative confidence in the fabric that's fuelling its popularity, as Kelling Design/KDLoves’s founder and creative director Emma Deterding tells me. “There are so many bombproof varieties of velvets available today. You can be as daring as you like, without the fear of spills, stains, wear and tear. Velvets are now just as life-proof as any other fabric on the market.”

Shelby Pearson-Hendry, visual merchandise and photography manager at Sofology, agrees and believes the variety available in top retailers today is also driving the market. “The popularity of velvet continues, not only because of the luxury and richness that it offers, but also because of the wealth of choice in terms of finishes. From crushed and matte velvet all the way through to deep pile, with interwoven pattern, this sumptuous fabric is both liveable and indulgent.”

Helen Bygraves, co-founder of London and Surrey-based design studio, Hill House Interiors, points out that due to the variety available, velvet “lends itself well to both minimalist and maximalist designs", meaning its popularity reaches across two of the key schools of aesthetics in interiors. For example, Ikea, known for its classically Swedish and minimalist designs, has launched a series of velvet pieces including the Fasalt Swivel armchair in a glorious mustard that works just as well in maximalist schemes. Ella James has also created beautiful new season photography that demonstrates the use of decadent velvet cushions in pared-back, Scandi settings.

So, whether you’re ready to go full throttle with a carpet or sofa, or if a scatter cushion or two is your limit, embrace velvet this spring and beyond.

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