At Home: Velvet makes any space feel luxurious

Surprisingly, the fabric is also durable

Velvet. Be still my heart. This deliciously luxurious fabric has romanced me for decades.

 

Today, velvet love is spreading like wildfire in the world of interior design. Big-name designers are putting this fabric of emperors into everyday designs, with brilliant results.

First, let’s get a big technical. What is velvet, anyway? Wikipedia says: “Velvet is woven on a special loom that weaves two thicknesses of the material at the same time.

The two pieces are then cut apart to create the pile effect, and the two lengths of fabric are wound on separate take-up rolls.”

It can be made from several different kinds of fibers, the most costly of which is silk. Everyday velvets are more likely made from cotton, linen, mohair, wool, polyester, nylon, viscose and acetate.

Historians say the art of velvet weaving began in the Far East. Merchants introduced it in Venice, and soon people all over Europe were clamoring for the splendidly soft cloth that made a heck of a royal robe or wall hanging.

There are so many reasons to introduce a bit of velvet into your décor, including:

n Velvet makes colors richer.

Saturated colors are huge right now, with hues ranging from daring emerald green, sapphire blue and magenta to subtle gray, navy and brown. Velvet is a sensational way to bring a color story to life because it gives every tone a depth and richness second to none.

n Just a little touch adds luxury.

All it takes is a touch of velvet to make a space feel luxurious. In my own home, I often finish my accent pillows with velvet trim. The pillows on my bed are outlined with black velvet — one with a welt and another with a flange. In the winter, I like to add a bit more weight to my pillow mix, so I switch out the linen pillows with a few made of navy velvet.

n Velvet is surprisingly durable.

Velvet is one of those rare gems — a luxury fabric that is also durable. When we were decorating our downstairs family room, every piece of furniture had to be husband- and dog-proof. Hello, velvet. I covered our sofa in a cognac-colored velvet and trimmed it with a dark brown leather. I chose dense velvet that looks like mohair and it’s done a great job of holding its own, no matter what husband or dog dish out.

n You can’t help but touch it.

I think the best interior spaces delight all your senses. So when we work with customers, we like to weave in a variety of textures. When it comes to bedding and furnishings, nothing is more touchable than velvet. You can’t help but run your hands over it, relishing in its silky smoothness.

This column was adapted from the blog of Mary Carol Garrity. She can be reached at marycarol@nellhills.com.

Heroes
 

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