Why We Love Velvet


Stacey Lapuk, ASID

Velvet has long been synonymous with luxury and opulence in interior design. It feels wonderful to the touch, has a timeless elegance, and elevates the shapes of furniture. Velvet upholstery and accents, such as pillows and drapery fabric, bring warmth, depth, and visual interest to both traditional and contemporary designs.

One of the most popular velvets is found in high-quality performance fabrics. The weave lends itself beautifully to synthetic fibers, making it a workhorse in disguise. When done well, the “hand,” or feel, of the fabric is that of a luxurious cotton velvet.

Soft and comfortable, velvet upholstery invites you to relax, making it ideal for cozy seating areas or bedroom furnishings.

Contrary to popular belief, the dense pile of velvet can be remarkably durable, even when woven from cotton, linen, or wool. High-quality velvet can withstand regular use and maintain its plush appearance for years with proper care.

Deep, rich, and saturated colors are possible with the tight weave of velvet. It can be woven with a variety of textures and patterns as well, offering a myriad of design possibilities. From modern, clean-lined, tight-seated sofas to classic dining chairs and traditional cushy lounge chairs, there is a velvet to suit every design style.

Velvet’s unique pile interacts with light in fascinating ways, creating subtle variations to the color and sheen. While dispersing light creates warmth and coziness, it can also be quite reflective – especially silk velvet. This play of light adds dimension and sophistication to the space.

The dense pile of velvet not only feels great, but it absorbs sound. This helps to reduce echoes and enhance a feeling of calm in rooms with hard surfaces or tall ceilings.

Velvet is available in a number of different fibers. Cotton velvet is soft and versatile. It is offered in a wide range of colors, and it is easy to clean (when treated), making it suitable for high-traffic areas.

Silk velvet is renowned for its lustrous sheen and smooth texture, exuding elegance and sophistication. The light-play with silk velvet is unmatched. However, it is more delicate than other fibers and is best suited for low-traffic areas or as accents, such as pillows or drapery.

Mohair velvet is made from the fibers of the Angora goat, and it is known for its exceptional softness and resilience. It has a distinctive sheen and depth of color, making it an exceptional choice for upholstery. Mohair velvet’s durability is especially noteworthy. It often lasts for many lifetimes.

Performance velvet is extremely popular, too. It usually has a lower pile that is more akin to cotton velvet. This weave is commonly used in family rooms and sun rooms, as it can withstand spills and sun. The fibers are typically solution dyed acrylic, providing fade resistance. There are also many more synthetics and blends entering the market with similar attributes.

As you can see, velvet offers a wonderful blend of luxury and comfort. Whether you’re drawn to the timeless elegance of silk velvet, the depth of mohair velvet, the versatility of cotton velvet, or the performance of synthetic velvet, this type of fabric will feel soft and inviting. Its characteristics bridge many styles and have the potential to be an enduring addition to your home’s design.

If you need some assistance selecting the perfect velvet for your home, schedule a Design Discovery Call with us today.

Stacey Lapuk, ASID

Stacey Lapuk, ASID is celebrating her 30th year with her firm. Named “One of America’s Ten Designers To Watch” by Design Times Magazine, one of the “Top 100 Interior Designer in North America” by Blink Art Resources, and the winner of multiple national design awards.  Her goal is simple: To co-create with her clients the home of their dreams with responsive and comprehensive solutions, and timeless, beautiful results. 

Her full service firm attracts clients desiring the finest workmanship, materials and custom design. Facets of work include partnering with architects on new construction, remodels, kitchen design and bath design, color consultation, custom furniture, flooring, area carpets, wall and window treatments, lighting design, art procurement and antique acquisition.  Service areas include but are not limited to Marin County, San Francisco, Napa, Sonoma, Ross, Kentfield, Belvedere, Tiburon, San Rafael, and Pacific Heights.