Interiors: Velvet is back
Velvet is back, writes Jo Linehan, and the vintage luxurious fabric adds an extra layer of plush appeal to interiors
You may have noticed that a certain retro fabric is slipping back into interiors favour. Last year, for instance, it appeared in irresistibly plush forest-green and maroon booths at the new Alex Hotel, just off Pearse Street, in Dublin's city centre, lighting up the Instagram feeds of decor fans. Now it's everywhere. Something about velvet's luxurious appeal has struck a chord.
The velvet renaissance has a lot to do with the return of maximalism, something which interior design studio and online interiors' store owners Lisa Marconi and Sarah Drumm, of Dust, are excited about. "We're seeing a move away from muted and pared-back interiors this season. Instead, clients are looking to rich, jewel tones and sumptuous fabrics. Velvet allows you to get those gorgeous, vibrant pops of colour into your home in a wonderfully luxurious way. Plus, putting velvet in a room immediately elevates its luxury factor."
Perhaps our craving for a little luxury and opulence is what has velvet on the up and up. Perhaps the boom really is back and we're echoing that in our interiors. In any case, sofa company DFS has been quick to jump on the trend, offering dozens of their furniture pieces in velvet this season.
"It's one of our favourite fabrics to work with because it's beautiful yet practical," says design director Philip Watkin. "Velvet reflects the light, which helps spread natural light across a room, and it has a heavy and durable quality which makes it a great material for hard-working homes."
So, where to begin with the velvet invasion? It's incredibly easy to introduce just a hint of the fabric into your home by way of velvet cushions or a pouffe. Ready-made curtains, too, are an inexpensive, non-committal way to play with the trend without making a long-term investment, and there are dozens of kitsch-cool lampshades on the high street that'll give your living room a quick hit of the luxe trend.
The real magic of velvet is, of course, in the depth it gives to colour, and every possible hue is on offer this season.
"Go for darker colours, like a navy or grey, so that you get that lovely luxurious feel without it being too 'in your face'," suggests the pair at Dust. At West Elm, the Brooklyn-born brand now available in Arnotts in Dublin, shades of cardamon and rust orange are appearing on their mid-century furniture.
As for investing in more permanent pieces like sofas and armchairs, it's best to consider wear and tear. A three-seater in forest green will age beautifully, while lighter colours are best saved for armchairs and feature chairs.
In terms of after-care, velvet is as low-maintenance and hard-wearing a fabric as you could wish for. DFS suggests hoovering upholstery gently with a brush fitting to remove dust or using a steamer and velvet brush to bring the pile back so your velvet stays like new.
However you interpret the trend this autumn, it's all about the soft touch.
Eden two-seater sofa, €1,819
Add the season's shade of mustard in smooth velvet; dfs.ie
Fonda fringes velvet cushion, €54
Incorporate the trend for fringes with your velvet in this soft pink cushion; outthereinteriors.com
Harmon velvet headboard, €389
This soft headboard is what design dreams are made of; littlewoodsireland.ie
Velvet cushion, €60
Scatter a sofa pick-me-up; lambdesign.ie
Content throw, €90
Softest fabric thow for luxury bedtime; contentby terenceconran.com
Faye pouffe, €159
Irish website Willow And Grey have an array of velvet accessories; willowandgrey interiors.com
Navone sofa, €949
This two-seater grass sofa is the last word in living room luxe; michaelmurphy.ie
Malibu chair, €598
This blush pink chair lends an Art Deco vibe; meadowsand byrne.com