How to bring velvet into your home - for under £50

It feels plush and looks spenny, but choose wisely and you can do this luxe fabric on a budget

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By Sally Newall on

Velvet done well can make the most bog-standard part of the house feel more opulent. Any regular readers of The Pool’s home section will know that I have a bit of a thing for cushions – and rich, soft but luxuriously heavy velvet numbers are my favourite. I am currently sleeping on my sofa (don’t feel sorry for me, I’m getting my bedroom re-decorated) and, every night, I have to stack up the cushions so that I have room to actually sleep. I get a weird satisfaction from rearranging them every morning, mixing up the colour combinations and plumping them up, ready to sink into when I get home from work. As we come into winter, velvet comes into its own. It adds our old friend into the mix: texture. I realise that sounds a bit like interiors-mag hot air, but bear with me on this one.

Crushed is to be coveted

Any child of the nineties will remember crushed velvet being a bit of a thing, particularly on the rails of Tammy Girl (RIP). Age 12, I remember I bought a brown(!?) velvet crop top, to wear with black hipsters, obviously. That top may be long gone, but I now have more crushed velvet in my life: yep, on the sofa cushions. It can look very different, depending on the light, and creates a nice contrast next to flatter-looking fabrics and paint colours. 

Go for jewel colours

Emerald, amethyst, ruby, sapphire, amber, gold: jewel tones are synonymous with glamour and luxury and those deep, rich colours feel just right for winter. I’d say avoid red and green together, to stop a room looking like Santa’s grotto, but any other combo will work. has some good options in gold, teal and burnt orange or try Anthropologie for berry-red cushions (see also, Oliver Bonas' lampshades below).

Velvet lamp shades =

A few months ago, I went to the Oliver Bonas press show, and the pieces that seemed to catch everyone’s eye were its collection of velvet lampshades with luxey fringing. I love the rich forest green and blush-pink version – there are pendants and table lamps and there was a gloriously camp floor lamp. Independent brand Pooky has some retro-looking table lamps, in those jewel tones again. If you want something plainer, try Habitat for well-priced shades in various colours and sizes.

Add metallics into the mix

I’m not talking sparkles, again that might tip your decor into all-out Christmas, but some metallic touches on the velvet can work well in the mix – look for gold, silver and bronze foil patterns, or embroidery in the same tones. My tip for this is Biba in House of Fraser, its designs feel like a glam take on art deco. I’ve got my eye on this cushion with an intricate fan design, which looks much more expensive than the £35 price tag.

The velevet edit




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