Styling a Velvet Couch in Your Living Room

Learn more about velvet, how to care for it, and our eight tips on how to enhance your room with a velvet couch!

Velvet is a timeless favorite as an upholstery fabric due to its warm, soft texture. According to the MET, velvet has been around since at least the 13th century. It’s a time-consuming process that requires a lot of material, so velvet has long been regarded as a sign of sophistication. While faux velvets have become available over the years, genuine velvet is expensive. For many, it’s worth the price and with a variety of textures and patterns available, there are few design limitations.

Variations in Velvet

Before adding a velvet couch to your living room, it’s a good idea to know a few things about the material. For example, velvet isn’t just velvet—there are techniques and styles that make this fabric a versatile choice in upholstery.

Velvet with Pattern

While all velvet is typically known for a soft and luxurious texture, some manufacturing techniques create a notable pattern that is often as sought after as its soft, plush feel. One method is embossed velvet, where a metal roller is used to stamp the velvet. Another is devoré, which is when a pattern is actually burned into the fabric. Perhaps the most infamous, though, is crushed velvet. Crushed velvet is made one of two ways, either by pressing the weave in different directions, or twisting it while wet.

Textured Velvet

Linen velvet is a fine example of velvet with texture. It has a striped texture and is distinctly dry, making it great for warmer climates. Mohair velvet, on the other hand, is a thick and durable fabric that is popular during cold months.

Luxury Velvets

These velvets have a higher price point, but for good reason. Pile-on-pile velvet has a luxurious feel and distinct pattern due to the different heights woven together. And, silk velvet shines so well that it has a wet look and is incredibly soft.

Velvet Alternatives

While sometimes mistaken for velvet, velveteen isn’t velvet at all. It’s typically made from cotton and has a shorter height. One key way to tell if a fabric is velveteen is how well it drapes—velvet tends to drape well—and if it has less sheen.

Now that you know more about different types of velvet, discover our top 8 styling tips on how to style a velvet couch in your living room.

Complement A Bold Design

We’re partial to mid-century modern style, but a great way to add a velvet couch to your living room is with an eye toward this unique décor. Choosing a modern velvet couch with neutral colors can help complement bold, metallic accents (or furniture pieces with character) perfectly. The Darlington Sofa, which is pictured to the right and featured in linen velvet, is a great example of how a neutral-colored couch can have personality, but also enhance the focal point of a room.

A modern velvet couch goes great with both gold accents and an eclectic style.

Products from the image: Darlington Sofa, Marley Swivel Chair, Galaxy Chandelier, Barlowe Coffee Table, Bartoli Floor Lamp, and Odette Bedside.

Create a Mismatched Menagerié

While remaining loyal to a specific style is fine, it isn’t for everyone. Adding a blue velvet couch to your living room can simply be the next, newest piece in your eclectic design. Whether the common theme in your living room décor is color or simply a collection of things that you love, a velvet couch can add a soft, plush place to enjoy it all. Our blog article about styling with mismatched furniture offers more insight into ways to tie an eclectic living room together.

Blue and Gold, Together

Blue and yellow/orange complement one another on the color wheel, so it’s no surprise that a blue velvet couch complements gold accents so well and is seen as a sophisticated combination. One way to enhance your living space is by adding a blue velvet couch as well as one or two pieces of gold furniture. Gold occasional tables are a popular choice, as well as floor and table lamps.

Add character to a small space with a bold velvet loveseat.

Add Comfort to a Small Space

Choosing more petite furniture is the first and most practical choice for styling a smaller living space, followed closely by adding more light. A small velvet couch adds a comfortable seating area without taking up too much space. Consider an embossed or devoré velvet, or a bold color choice, if your couch is more of a focal point, choose a neutral-colored couch with textured velvet if you want your couch to be the focal point.

Products from the image: Cassis Bench

Be Bold With Dark Wood

Wood is a popular material in mid-century modern style, and for good reason. It’s sturdy, long-lasting, and it’s a practical material. It also pairs very well with velvet upholstery. Dark wood furniture, either as tables, cabinets, or another casegood, can flatter a plush velvet couch in the living room. Darker wood finishes work best with bold solid colors, creating a drastic look. Lighter woods, like beech, or an ash finish, pair well with patterned velvet.

Mix Industrial and Velvet

When people think of industrial décor, it’s typically minimalistic with hard, dark lines. The plush look and feel of velvet isn’t what comes to mind, but it can certainly work. Industrial themes are typically greyscaled with rare pops of color, or more rustic with the use of metallic finishes and accents, such as brass or silver. A modern velvet couch with a bold color can blend in well! Consider using mohair or silk velvet for a solid pattern and luxurious feel.

Use Your Couch as a Focal Point

Rather than using metallic accents as the focal point, why not make a modern velvet couch the star? Every room needs a focal point or two to pull it together, and that’s especially true when using very similar colors. By choosing a bold color for your living room velvet couch, you can draw the room together nicely.

Create Drama and Contrast

Similar to establishing a focal point with your couch, you can create a stunning contrast to the rest of the room with the right furniture. Choose 2 to3 colors and then decorate with them. By painting your walls and ceiling a daring, bold color and matching most of your décor to it, you can create a stunning contrast when you add complementary accents to the room. To finish it off, choose seating in another color that pairs well with your motif—it will serve as the third leg of your design. final complementary color and the third leg of your design.

For example, painting your walls black has long been a daring move, but it’s a growing trend and it’s beautiful. Choose a dark wood for your flooring, white accent items, and a dark, statement blue velvet couch for the living room.

Maintaining your Velvet Couch

Couches are designed to be lived on and inevitably, accidents happen. While other velvet items can be professionally cleaned, you can’t really bring your vintage velvet couch to the corner dry cleaners, so it’s important to know how to handle spills and stains. Download our care guide, or learn more about caring for your velvet couch below.

To clean up a spill:

First, take care of it as quickly as possible. To preserve the nap of the velvet, do not rub or pat the spill. Instead, press a white absorbent cloth or paper towel over the spill to try and soak it up.

When a spill is bigger or more damaging, it may be necessary to use a lemon juice and baking soda solution. Combine the two in a bowl and once a foam develops, use a cloth to press it into the velvet in long strokes along the nap. Repeat as necessary.

For stains:

For dried stains, you can mix a vinegar and water solution in a spray bottle and then mist the stain. Do not soak the fabric. Use an absorbent cloth or a paper towel to blot over the stain as you would if it were a fresh spill. If the stain still remains, you can try to sprinkle baking soda over it and let it sit for half an hour before vacuuming. Repeat if the stain still hasn’t come up.

To maintain the sheen:

To make velvet shine again, use a steamer to go over it (in the direction of the nap). After it has dried, use a soft bristle hairbrush to brush the velvet in the direction of the nap.

Adding a velvet couch to your living room is a great design choice regardless of whether you like a traditional look, or if something eye-catching and eclectic is more your style. We love the design choices and versatility that come with velvet and, when paired with our mid-century modern furniture, you will too.

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