Classic or Craze: Velvet

Is it a classic or is it a craze?

By Melissa Mauzy


For our October design issue, we asked local design professionals their opinion on velvet furniture. Are homeowners pining for the glam look of velvet in furnishings and soft goods?

“In my opinion, velvet furniture is a classic because it is always a statement piece in a room. Velvet can be used on a very contemporary sofa, clean lined and simple, or on a very traditional chair with trimming. It is the balance of textures in a space that make it most interesting.” Tom Manche, Tom Manche Interiors.

“Velvet is a classic, not a craze. Velvet is the fabric of choice by Royalty in most kingdoms for centuries! Velvet is also a workhorse when thinking of durability. It wears like iron.” Joyce Cockrell, Joyce Cockrell Designs LLC.

“Although there has recently been a resurgence of velvet furniture, the fabric has been fashionable for home decor since Victorian times. It is a classic. Velvet is versatile; you can change its impact on a room by switching up accessories and rugs, yet its depth and richness remain constant despite other design changes. Applying it to a modern piece of furniture as opposed to a traditional sofa can dramatically change the image of velvet.  I think it's one of the most adaptable fabrics ever made.” Joni Spear, Joni Spear Interior Design.

“There is no reason velvet furniture has to look opulent and dated. Consider cotton velvet in a muted shade on an updated clean-lined sofa or sectional. Perennials, a trade fabric line, has a wonderful 100 percent solution-dyed acrylic that looks like crushed cotton velvet in a rainbow of colors. It is so soft and comfortable to sit on and will hold up to kids and pets!” Lynn Eastin, Lynn Eastin Interiors.

“What could be more luxurious than a beautiful velvet sofa? Velvet upholstery has been a staple in European and American design for over 200 years establishing itself as a timeless covering. Used on a modern sofa in a trendy saturated color or on a classic tufted Chesterfield sofa, velvet has made its place as a timeless classic.” Krista Howard, KH Interiors, LLC.

“Velvet is definitely a classic, its history dating back thousands of years throughout many cultures. This rich material is often seen as a symbol of wealth, power or royalty. In today’s design world, this elegant fabric has had a major comeback moment and can be seen dressing furniture, windows and even walls. Solid, neutral velvets are magnificent and timeless, while brightly colored and patterned velvets can add show-stopping style to any space. Absolutely a classic!” Lindsey Jungk, Savvy Surrounding Style.

“Classic for sure! Developed centuries ago for aristocrats, velvet does indeed have a luxurious hand! In addition to use in glamorous rooms, you will find this fabric completely comfortable in vintage and contemporary settings on upholstery, wallcoverings and window treatments too. ‘Velvet’ refers to the structure of the textile, in which both natural and/or synthetic fibers are used. It's amazing how adaptable velvet can be - in child-friendly areas as well as elegant spaces!” Joyce Mathis, MJM Design Company.

“Classic! I remember my grandmother's mustard-hued tufted velvet sofa from the seventies and it was beautiful! While the popularity of velvet will undoubtedly rise and fall, I believe it is a material that will always have a presence. The versatility of velvet is just one selling point: One can use a silk velvet for a more formal and delicate application, or select a highly durable (i.e.: kid-, dog-, and eat-dinner-on-the-sofa proof!) version for a high-use item such as a headboard or living room sofa. The only problem with velvet today stems from the hundreds of color options available: It's hard to chose just one!” Emily Koch, JCR Design Group.