Grey was the most popular sofa colour on Houzz in 2016, but now a more luxe choice is taking centre stage
Houzz UK editorial staff. I’m an interiors journalist and editor, previously for… More
It seems a blue velvet sofa is on many of your wish lists for 2017. And why not? This fashionable furniture staple adds a touch of luxury with its soft, strokable fabric, the colour is forgivingly dark yet also room-liftingly vibrant – and we’re seeing these beauties in some of the most stylish homes on Houzz. Tempted? Check out these smart ways to make a blue velvet sofa work for you.
Highlight straight lines
Black might not seem an obvious partner for deep blue, but here its reliable unfussiness really helps to set the tone for the scheme.
Crisp angles and slim lines are an easy way to give a room a smart feel (whereas chunky and curved lines create a more casual mood). Here, the starting point is the elegant sofa with its slimline arms and back, smart buttoning and upright shape. A monochrome striped rug, that Crittall-style mirror and a tall, linear drinks trolley add further lines and angles.
The look is softened by the addition of a leafy plant and some curves (albeit formal ones) in the shape of the coffee table, domed flowers and ornament, cushions and lamp.
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This luxuriously oversized wraparound sofa is a model of modern style. Its bright-dark shade of royal blue has the right mix of classic and fashionable. Look out, too, for contemporary details, such as hidden legs and a low back, as well as soft, squishy cushions.
The styling and décor choices cement the room’s contemporary style, with the bright white walls and zings of vibrant colour in the artwork, lamp and accessories adding a modern feel, which cleverly prevents the combination of blue and white from feeling nautical.
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Here, you can see how quickly a blue velvet sofa can become a centrepiece for a room with a contemporary coastal theme.
Mixing your couch with a white wooden floor and stripes, while also adding a second, paler blue and cotton-canvas fabric in the upholstery and cushions, helps to create a nautical feel. The touches of wood in the armchairs and driftwood-style console add to the effect.
A blue velvet sofa doesn’t have to feel on trend just because it’s fashionable right now – it’s a flexible and enduring piece of furniture, too.
Be inspired by your jeans
The blue of this luscious velvet sofa is invitingly faded, like a well-loved pair of your favourite jeans. Opting for a less formal shade of blue takes the velvet down a peg or two and, despite the smart buttoned arms, this sofa makes an informal lounging spot for all the family.
Look closely at this velvet and you might spot a hint of purple. The homeowner cleverly chose deep red – think of the colour combination that creates purple – as her accent colour, which ties in neatly. The other shade in the sofa is straight-up blue, which is emphasised by the denim-hued wall behind it. The colour saturation of this corner transforms it into a cosy nook.
Study your sofa fabric in different lights to figure out its underlying hues before picking the colour of your cushions, accessories and paint.
Turn to the dark side
Inky navy blue is a great choice if you shy away from bright colours, but don’t want to go totally monochrome. This largely black and white space gains depth but still has a formal elegance, thanks to the addition of a pair of deepest blue velvet four-seaters.
A room as structured as this could easily feel cold, but the velvet of the sofas makes the space feel inviting.
Consider contrasting materials when building a scheme around a velvet sofa. A mix of textures will prevent the room from feeling flat and one-dimensional. Here, the combination of materials found in the polished dark wood table, white leather and chrome chair, and the deep pile rug builds on the luxe theme started by the velvet.
Consider how differently you could style such a space using hessian, felt, driftwood or distressed paintwork and you’ll start to appreciate the power of texture.
Pair with grey
If you’re not ready to go for a ‘blue out’ in your space, but still want the depth and cosiness of darker walls, grey could be the perfect alternative. The darker the grey you choose, the brighter your blue will appear.
Although there are a number of strong colours here – the deep red in the rug, the egg-yolk yellow of the lamps and the minty green in the cushions – the arrangement doesn’t feel chaotic. This is thanks to the clever use of symmetry and because the gallery wall is broadly monochrome, so it doesn’t introduce more shades, which could compete in the space.
The angled wooden legs on this sofa are a classic 1950s touch, while its L-shape is distinctly modern.
The updated feel continues throughout the space: the white-painted wooden floor feels fresh, but that gilded glass trolley and the lampshade, which is lightly reminiscent of Isamu Noguchi’s 1951 Akari Light Sculptures, nod back to the middle of the last century.
Give your own leggy sofa a contemporary edge by opting for cushions that don’t feature midcentury-esque geometrics or colours (mustards, greys, sludgy oranges and greens). Instead, opt for fresh, rather than vintage, colourful florals. Or stick to blues and choose a summery, Mediterranean motif, as seen in the wallpaper used here.
The colour of this velvet, button-back sofa is ambiguous, making it a good starting point for shaping the palette of the room. It’s teal, it’s turquoise, it’s a little bit faded, and there’s also an undercurrent of grey. All these elements have been incorporated into the surrounding décor to great effect, from the grey-blue armchair and painted feet to the washed-out blue wall. The rich rusty reds and orange accent colours provide warmth.
This clever use of colour gives this fairly minimalist room, with its bare boards and crisp styling, a lush richness and depth. Consider how a similar approach could transform your space. To get it just right, take a fabric swatch from your sofa into one of the smaller specialist paint shops and discuss suitable shades with an in-store expert.
Pick it up in a painting…
Tying a bold cobalt velvet number like this into a room can often be as simple as switching your artworks around. Here, the layers of blue in the background of the painting work hard to make the sofa feel at home, but it’s the depiction of that little blue glass bottle that really anchors the furniture to its new home.
Don’t forget to find partners for your cushions, too. Here, the floral design also works with the painting, while the gold of the cushions is picked up in the gilt frame.
Look around your space to see what your eye picks out. If these homeowners had used the apples in the painting as a theme for their accent colour, the scheme would be transformed.
…or go one step further
There are more ways to complement a blue velvet beauty than in artworks and cushions. Here, the homeowners have balanced out the furniture arrangement by placing a matching footstool on the opposite side of the room to the sofa. They’ve also anchored the sofa to the floor using two velvety rugs featuring a similar blue (even the red one underneath has blue details in it).
You could also consider painting architectural details in a similar shade to pull everything together. These window frames are indigo, but you could also paint a door, your skirting boards or picture frames.
What kind of sofa do you have and would you swap it for a blue velvet number? If not, what would you choose instead? Tell us in the Comments below and share your photos.