Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Velvet Upholstery

I wasn't kidding yesterday when I told you that I was in love with Sally Wheat's new living room, in particular the pairing of white and gray, and that gorgeous gray velvet slipcover on her sofa. It had me thinking about velvet, and how well the fabric would hold up as upholstery or slip fabric. 

Designer Credit: Jeffrey Bilhuber

Designers have certainly used velvet for all sorts of projects for years and years - most notably luminaries like Jeffrey Bilhuber and Michael S. Smith, both known for their traditional, high-end interiors. 

Designer Credit: Michael S. Smith

But as we all know, interior design meant for photography and interior design meant for living are often times not one-in-the-same. In fact, more often than not, what you see in the magazine is nothing more than an advertisement for stores owned by the featured designer. And while we see pieces wrapped in burlap or deconstructed to the point of being useless, I think velvet has a much longer shelf life and is a lot more "livable". Don't you?

Designer Credit: Suzanne Kasler

I've always thought velvet was synonymous with traditional interiors, visualize old school Architectural Digest meets your wealthy Aunt Agnes. But it's becoming a very trendy fabric, sourced and used by some of the design communities most popular designers in homes both traditional and eclectic.

Designer Credit: Todd Romano

Velvet is a pile fabric, unlike linen or twill which is woven and blended. Which has me wondering how long will a velvet slipcover last, and when it starts to wear will it be as lovely as I hear? I've already ordered the slipcover for the sofa, from my favorite source: Comfort Works. It should be here mid-May, just in time for a little living room redo for a television interview I've been asked to do ... more on that later. So soon, very soon, CDLV will get yet another makeover ... somewhere in the corner of a dark office Scott is rolling his eyes.

Found: Southern Living

I'm keeping my long bolster pillow that we currently have on the sofa, but having it covered in the same ash gray velvet. 

Designer Credit: Andrew Brown

I think French pieces are so beautiful when upholstered in velvet, especially when they're gilded. I've already gilded my dining room chairs, so I'm happy to take on another project ... and it just so happens I have two French arm chairs in my basement that I think I might gild and upholster in stark white twill. With that gray velvet ... I think it'll be sharp, don't you?

Alright - I'm off to the races ... quite literally! See you soon.


  1. Morning! As always, you offer us the most beautiful images to start our day! What a gorgeous post. Thank you so much for sharing this. Have a marvelous day. Jalon

  2. funny.
    most people think the same way about velvet as you did.
    i use antique linen velvet when ever a client will let me.
    most times i win.
    and the antique linen velvet i use is from fs schumacher.
    it is to DIE FOR.
    {kaslers room is my fave}

  3. just when I thought I loved leather

  4. I love velvet. I use it here in Florida, although some might consider that unorthodox. Last year, I reupholstered a wing-back chair in platinum velvet and a needlepoint footstool in the same fabric. They make a happy marriage. My mother purchased the chair in 1940 and I have had it for about thirty years. I love it in velvet. I had it slipped in a shabby chic floral linen in the 1980s. I like this much better. True, it doesn't get a great deal of use, so I am not worried about brushing the pile in one direction too often.

    I also have a pair of bergere chairs made in Paris in the late 1800s that I had reupholstered in a moss velvet. They were velvet originally and they lasted for many, many decades with no problem.

    I'll have to look into the slipcover company you use.
    I love the idea of ash gray for the sofa and I think it will be fabulous with your gilded chairs.

  5. loving this series!!! i had no idea about that leopard. wow. wow.

    and i love the gray room with the blush pink curtains. gorgeous.

  6. So funny, I just ordered several velvet swatches yesterday. I want to get one of my sofas upholstered. I love the look of velvet.

  7. Love what you're doing! The velvet sofa will look beautiful with the gilt/white chairs. I can't wait to see it.
    A more modern coffee table would be extra nice in there too...not that you asked me! :))

  8. That blue room must be stunning in the evening - very sexy and mysterious with the shiny walls. David Hicks often used velvet on walls, particularly very dark bottle green for dining rooms - as it has this pile, velvet (if hung in the right way) doesn't reflect any light at all - so as a result, at night with only candle light, the walls go totally black, they kind of disappear - so all attention goes to the table and the people - a beautiful effect !
    LOVE your blog btw