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Exploring the allure of velvet sofas: a stylish guide

We celebrate the timeless appeal of these tantalisingly soft, luxurious designs
Exploring the allure of velvet sofas: a stylish guide

There is nothing quite like a velvet sofa for bringing a touch of glamour and luxury to a scheme. From velvet sofas in whimsical prints – witness the naïve quality of our gorgeous Songbird design pictured here – to arresting pieces in jewel-like plains or the laid-back elegance of crushed velvet sofas, these pieces not only elevate a room but also add all-important comfort and texture. Read on to discover their endless versatility, as well as some handy tips for keeping velvet sofas pristine…



Why choose velvet?


Linwood | Tango | Jungle Rumble | Leopard


Velvet is a popular choice for some of the most stylish sofas, and for good reason: ‘By choosing velvet customers can ensure that they are getting a durable, comfortable and luxurious sofa that will elevate their interiors,’ comments Jane Susan Upholstery. ‘Linwood’s velvets are, in our experience as makers of upholstered items and drapery, the best in terms of ‘ease of use’ which inevitably leads to the most exquisite, finished products.’ Due to its extreme softness, velvet is an incredibly inviting option for a classic sofa or even a corner sofa bed. It holds colour and pattern like no other fabric, with the texture of the pile interplaying with light to enhance the design and colours: witness the beauty of our Jungle Rumble printed velvet, whose jewel-like hues are intensified by the fabric’s luxurious pile. And as well as its tactile and visual qualities, velvet is also a highly practical choice for a sofa. Most of Linwood’s velvet fabrics are stain resistant and all have a high Martindale rub count (a measure of how much abrasion a fabric can take before it shows distress), making them well suited to busy households that don’t want to compromise on style.



How to style distressed velvet for a lived-in feel


Linwood | Odyssey | Hali | Ruby


The trend for distressed velvet sofas goes hand in hand with our desire for homes that exude a sense of comfort and informality. Tactile and cosy, they bring a timeworn quality to a space, giving the impression of a décor that has evolved over the years. Our Hali printed velvet is a perfect example: inspired by a vintage kilim rug, it combines pleasing textural qualities with an innovative printing technique that captures the feel of a gently faded textile. It marries beautifully with the classic style of the sofa, which in turn teams well with an eclectic mix of pieces that include an antique side table and a mid-century style oil painting. Effortless luxury at its best.



Modern and classic shapes


Linwood | Odyssey | Chora | Carbon

The beauty of velvet is that it complements any number of sofa styles, from sleek, minimal shapes to traditional designs. Velvet can be shown off to stunning effect on a curvy 1950s-style piece yet will look equally glorious on a classic tufted sofa, where buttoning allows the pile to catch the light in different ways. And whilst it is of course important to consider how your choice of velvet sofa will look in the scheme, it is just as crucial to think about how it will be used: an elegant, streamlined design might be perfect for a room that is primarily intended for formal gatherings, but it will probably not be ideal if it is destined for the household to pile onto for a movie night. With its turned legs and soft scrolled arms, the sofa pictured here is a classic piece that lends itself well to traditional settings whilst offering a good level of comfort. The style of the piece is perfectly complemented by our Chora printed velvet; a timeless design inspired by a traditional Turkish kilim. The monochromatic colour palette makes this print particularly versatile – perfect for bringing a touch of pattern to a neutral scheme.



Pairing velvet sofas with the décor


Linwood | Odyssey | Kichana | Paprika


It may well be that you already have a scheme in place when choosing your new velvet sofa, in which case there will be several factors to consider, from the colour palette of the existing décor to the style of the pieces you already own. The striking, angular shape of this sofa fits well with the room’s bold joinery, while the arresting abstract print – Kichana, which is based on a Peruvian document – picks up on the warm terracotta colours of the walls, lampshade and side table, as well as the aqua accents of the accessories and the ottoman’s velvet stripe (Cosmic, our versatile ombré design). Conversely, you can use the design of a velvet sofa to inform an entirely new décor: let the colour options and style of the print – or simply the colour, if you are choosing a plain velvet – guide your choice of pieces, from accessories to cushions, throws and rugs. And when it comes to selecting more fabrics for the scheme, don’t be afraid to introduce different textures: velvet sofas team beautifully with a variety of designs, from linens to wools, silks to leather.



Velvet sofas in different room settings


Linwood | Velvet Wonderland | Kimono Dreams | Moss
Velvet sofas fit into a huge array of rooms, bringing a touch of luxury to living spaces, from sitting rooms and snugs to bedrooms and the more unexpected areas of the home such as a study or even a hallway. Velvet sofas can bring a bohemian air to a space – crushed velvet sofas are particularly good for creating a sense of laid-back luxury – or a resolutely modern feel: think a clean-lined contemporary sofa in plain velvet in a rich, jewel-like hue. Velvet sofas can be used to blend in or stand out, this conversation sofa being a good example of the latter. The arresting abstract velvet, Kimono Dreams, complements the circular design of the sofa, which serves as a centre piece for the unusual marble floor. A luxurious design that befits the grandeur of the space.



Maintaining velvet sofas


Linwood | Omega III | Sea Mist


Velvet sofas have come a long way since the days when they were the preserve of formal rooms forbidden to children and pets. All of Linwood’s velvets are contract grade, making them an ideal choice for any number of room settings. When it comes to maintaining the velvet, Linwood has two very different velvet “families”. Our Omega, Alpha, Tango and Cosmos velvets are woven with durable polyester velvet piles and can be washed if you have loose covers or wiped with a wet wipe to remove spills and stains on fixed upholstery (pictured here is our Omega III velvet, which has the added advantage of being made from 60 per cent recycled polyester). Velvets with 100 per cent cotton piles or a mix of cotton and viscose, such as our Velvet Wonderland collection, are dry clean only and we recommend finding a dry cleaner that is familiar with velvet to get it returned in pristine shape. Whichever type of velvet you choose, we suggest regular maintenance to keep the fabric looking good. Once a week, give it a light vacuum with an upholstery attachment or use a soft hand brush, making sure to hoover or brush in the direction of the pile. This will get rid of any dust or fluff that has settled on the fabric’s surface.


If you have been hesitant about taking the plunge with a velvet sofa, we hope you are now ready to embrace this supremely elegant option. Choose the sofa shape and the velvet carefully and you will have a sophisticated, versatile piece that you will enjoy for years to come. Here’s to luxuriating in the comfort of your perfect velvet sofa…