Now if you’re considering a new sofa in time for Christmas, you may be a little late! But for those of you who are going to spend your time off over this festive period considering furniture options to jazz up your home, which is just what I’m planning, my guide could suit you perfectly. Even more so, if you’ve got your eye on velvet sofas and you love them as much as I do!
If you’re looking for the ultimate seating for your home, which just oozes sumptuous style, I think velvet sofas should be top of your wish-list. Not only does this fabric look extremely chic, but it can transform a space in an instant. And, if it’s used to upholster furniture, I think it takes elegance and cosiness to another whole level.
Take the living area in my kitchen for example… here, I wanted to add an element of warmth and bags of elegant style. We’d already got our gorgeous Shaker-style cabinets in place, and I really needed to create a cosy living area. After all, we’d be spending most of our time in our open-plan kitchen so comfort and style would be key. That’s why I decided to buy a velvet sofa for this room and I love the results – I think I’ve created an inviting feel with an element of panache!
The popularity of velvet sofas
If you’ve decided you need velvet sofas in your life, too, you’re certainly not alone. Apart from the fact that I’m a super fan(!), it seems so many of us are embracing this trend. Patricia Gibson in the design team at sofa.com says: “In the past couple of years, velvet sofas and beds sales have doubled. Our smart velvets have become more robust, thanks to high-tech finishes that allow customers to have the luxe look without the maintenance. We’ve also seen a similar trend in colour choices as customers move away from greys and “safer” fabrics. Instead, they are opting for the bold, beautiful and sumptuous. Our customers’ favourites fall in the deep and brighter variety. Colours such as Deep Turquoise, Butterscotch and Olive are best sellers.
Patricia adds: “The nation’s love for velvet is certainly not subsiding. The beauty about velvet is its ability to bring a sense of opulence into your home, immediately transforming an everyday living space into one of richness and luxury.”
Are velvet sofas practical?
Now, I must admit, when I first pondered the thought of a new sofa upholstered in velvet, I initially dismissed this idea. The husband and I have always had cats you see, and my thoughts were that this fabric does not mix well with these pets. But, after some digging, I found just the opposite, so don’t let this put you off! Cats tend to steer clear from velvet sofas as scratching posts, because they lack that woven texture. So, when they try to trim and sharpen their nails, they’ll be disappointed as this fabric just won’t work for them!
A velvet sofa is also a lot easier to clean than you may imagine. I asked Kelly Collins at Swyft to tell me what you can do if you spill something on a velvet sofa and here’s what she had to say:
For stains like mud, ketchup, lipstick or silly putty, you’ll need to get a teaspoon. First, remove any stain residue with the edge of the teaspoon or a flat utensil. For other stains like pen or coffee, you won’t need to do this. Just dampen the fabric and blot.
Water & blot
Apply water to the stain and blot using a white paper towel. Ensure you blot and don’t rub in circular motions because it’ll just rip your paper towel and drive the fibres from it into your fabric. Repeat the process until you can’t see the stain on the paper towel anymore.
Water & circles
Apply more water to the area and rub with gentle movements with a white microfibre cloth. Use soap for stubborn stains: any white bar of soap will do, whatever you have in the house. Now you can do the circular motion rub trick with a cloth or towel. Repeat the process until the stain is completely removed.
This is really important. Don’t use a hairdryer or apply heat to the stain in any way as it could set the stain. Just leave it to air dry.
Choosing the type
This really comes down to personal choice. But I do know chaises are becoming more popular right now, if you’ve got the space. Now you’ll probably find you’ll be fighting for ‘pole position’ in your family, if you incorporate one into your living area. But this is because they provide THE ultimate space for stretching out fully and relaxing. And, goodness knows, we could all do with some proper rest and relaxation with everything that’s going on in the world.
I asked Charlie Marshall, Loaf’s founder, for his thoughts on the rise of the chaise and he explained: “Here, we’re seeing customers leaning towards larger, more relaxed sofa styles like chaises. The deeper and squishier, the better! Our chaise sofas are all designed with laid-back living in mind, proving a popular choice for those who want to embark on some proper horizontal loafing.”
Picking pattern for velvet sofas
If you’ve always thought this was a no-no when it comes to velvet sofas, I ask you to think again. In fact, some of the most luxurious designs out there feature big, bold patterns. This will instantly add depth to a design and you can choose between contemporary or classic prints.
Lou Graham, co-owner at Graham and Green adds: “People are getting more daring with their choice of sofa upholstery. There’s a huge trend for contemporary prints and patterns on classic velvet. Patterned velvet is an amazing way to create a fresh look, whilst still enjoying all the timeless benefits of this luxurious, sumptuous fabric. Modern, inspiring prints transform heritage velvet into artwork. This way, it’s able to lift and lighten darker colour schemes. And it can add a warm feel of luxe to more neutral ones. Boldly patterned velvet is a chameleon textile that gloriously takes centre stage in both modern and traditional homes alike.”
It’s all in the detail
I do think fluting and button detailing can add real character to the look of a velvet sofa. This can create a classic look on a contemporary design, which will simply add to its versatility.
Suzy McMahon, Sofology’s buying director tells me: “When planning, opulent yet affordable statement pieces that you love, should be at the centre of your scheme. Opting for designs with intricate details such as fluting and button detailing can elevate simple styles and materials whilst curved edges are less imposing than defined lines and can help create a more welcoming space.”
Thinking of injecting colour into a kitchen makeover? Then take a look at my blog post on Colourful kitchens featuring the latest trends.