03 June 2010

In Love with Velvet

 

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For years and years my favorite pillows have been those made of old tapestry scraps – preferably backed with a dark brown velvet as shown above.   The pattern of the tapestry is especially beautiful when paired with linen upholstery or slipcovers.  

 

 

imageIs there anything prettier than this?  Two large plain pillows paired with a pillow made from an antique piece of tapestry on a slipped loveseat?  Shannon Bowers.  Lampshades, Watkins Culver, Houston.

 

 

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Here’s my own version – an antique tapestry scrap, gold braiding, and brown velvet.  No one makes prettier antique tapestry pillows than B Viz – almost anytime you see a pillow like this in a magazine, it is sourced from  B Viz. 

 

 image A client walked into my house the other day and saw my brown velvet pillows and ordered some for her own living room that I am currently helping her update.    It got me thinking about velvet pillows and velvet in particular - wondering what the instant appeal was?    Looking through old pictures from my portfolio, I was surprised how often I have used plain velvet.  

 

 

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I think this was the first time in recent history I used plain velvet pillows.  Today, I would make these pillows bigger.  These are probably 20” – but now, I prefer 24” or 26” pillows.   Also, I wouldn’t use welting either.  

 

 

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For this client, we used silk velvet – which is such a luxury. 

 

 

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For this client, I used a cotton velvet – I love the density of a cotton velvet.   There’s less sheen to it.  

 

 

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And here, again, I used a cotton velvet.    I like to pair the plain velvet pillows with one patterned one.  Nothing like using a formula!

 

 

 

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Here instead of velvet pillows, I did the sofa in velvet.     The client had picked the taupe and blue fabric on the chair as their main fabric – the plain cotton velvet was used to quiet the room down. 

 

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I used this very inexpensive loveseat covered in velvet from Urban Outfitters in a teenaged girl’s bedroom a few years ago.   Unfortunately, I didn’t take any pictures of the room!   This piece was such a steal – and it made a big impact in the teenager’s room.

 

 

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My sister in law’s sister (got that?!!) has this fabulous antique French sofa upholstered with a silk velvet.  The velvet is actually so old, it’s rubbed off in places where it has gotten the most wear over the years.   To me, this adds to the charm and beauty of silk velvet.

 

 

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Some favorite uses of velvet:     In this little girl’s room that Sally Wheat designed, the cotton raspberry velvet ottoman makes the room.  I can’t wait to copy this for a client!!!

 

 

 

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In Windsor Smith’s study – she used a raspberry silk velvet on one chair and a gold silk velvet on another.  Love, love, love this room!!!

 

 imageThis blue velvet ottoman seen in Elle Decor is gorgeous.   What a closet!!!

 

 

    image Pure Style Home’s Lauren Liess used this apple green velvet on a sofa in her living room.   So fresh!  Originally she was going to have a slipcover made for versatility, but I think she may have abandoned that idea. 

 

 

imageI love this aqua velvet ottoman Brooke Giannetti of Velvet and Linen used in this master bedroom!   Again – I love cotton velvet for it’s matte like finish.

 

 

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Velvet curtains?   The simplicity of Ina Garten’s apartment makes the silk velvet curtains a stand out.   Just don’t use red velvet for curtains!!!

 

 imageI’ve never used velvet for curtains before myself – but who can ever forget Scarlett O’Hara ripping up her green velvet curtains to make a dress to impress Rhett Butler?

I know how often I say that linen is my favorite fabric, but I surprised myself when I realized how much I actually like velvet!  I suppose the lesson is to think outside your box sometimes????   Next, I’ll be saying I don’t like seagrass.

 

NOTE:  New Skirted Roundtable is up with Diane Dorrans Saeks, noted author.  Listen HERE.

76 comments:

  1. 13 years ago, when I moved to Atlanta, the designer I used wanted to recover my hand me down sofa with Nancy Corzine silk velvet. I thought it was such a novel idea to cover a sofa with velvet! Alas, it was out of my budget, so I didn't do it, although I have thought several times through the years how pretty it would have been.

    I don't have any velvet in my current house. I wonder if I will have it in the next?

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  2. I love velvet and much of my earlier years, I took the fabric for granted. The velvet mills were an hour from our house so we could buy the the yardage for next to nothing.

    They sold something called unfinished velvet that I used to reupholster a couple of items and it was almost as nice as velvet. The fabric had a wonderful body with a slight sheen. Wish I could find it now!

    My favorite thing was a full-length velvet robe - so luxurious!

    Love the velvet reminder.

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  3. Lovely pics. I've always loved velvet. I'm currently trying to find curtains for my office and when I mentioned velvet to a group of ladies in a rep. house showroom they all snarled at the mention of it. I felt so uncool! :-) Do you think it's fallen that much out of favor lately?

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  4. Hi Joni,

    I am such a huge fan of velvet. I have used velvet sofas for my clients more than anything!. I especially like cotton velvet as it is inexpensive and most have great wear ratings. (Robert Allen Pembroke Velvets is my favourite sample book) It works for families too-it definitley is not precious. Here in Canada with long Winters it is a great choice.

    And then of course there is Mohair Velvet......the ultimate luxury.

    Love the depth of your posts Joni, You do a lot of work for a post.

    Chania

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  5. Why not red velvet? Do you hate red?
    I have been craving a grey velvet sofa with clean modern lines. Very unlike me but maybe I'll find a spot for one. Cotton is so nice.

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  6. I love velvet too! I have it on my chairs in the living room, mixed in with the antique linen chairs. They are all the same tones and looks so pretty together. I am working on a living room now and we just ordered two tufted love seats in this gorgeous green velvet. Its going to be stunning.
    xx-Gina

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  7. I also love velvet! I have a velvet slipper chair in my living room that is my favorite place to sit when we use the room. It's a cotton matte velvet and I have a silk beaded pillow on it (when I'm not sitting on it). I love the combination!

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  8. What a wonderful post! Velvet is such a beautiful material, the way it absorb light and becomes a focal point in itself (net non-reflective ones that is). And velvet drapes, could it get any more dramatic?

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  9. Blue velvet is my favorite and your sister in law's sister's (!) blue velvet French sofa is to die for!!

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  10. There is just something about a squashy pillow covered in velvet-- pure comfort and luxury. And just a tiny bit makes a big difference. We currently have a white cotton velvet rolled arm sofa (and two toddler boys and a black dog and an orange brindle dog.) It's actually amazingly easy to clean and still looks great after a couple of years!

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  11. Love velvet!!! I used to have many pieces covered in it and I too have abandoned this fabric in favor of others...a few times with regret!

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  12. I absolutely love machine embroidery on velvet -- out of all the things I use my machine for, this gives me the most satisfaction. Velvet works well in so many different ways, pillows, purses, dresses (my fav movie)! Happy Decorating! Pamie G.

    www.pamieg.com
    www.gardenwithme2.blogspot.com
    www.sewwithme2.blogspot.com

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  13. Joni, your portfolio is beautiful -don't think I have seen these before. I love velvet and tend to recommend it more to clients in the winter rather than the summer. I guess up here in Canada (cold winters/hot summers) it seems more of a winter fabric than a summer one.

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  14. Do you remember the name of the paisley fabric on the chair in the 5th picture? I would love to redo a few chairs and have been looking for a great paisley with an organge, coral, or reddish pattern.

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  15. OHHHHHH, I LOVE VELVET!!!!! There are many cotton velvets that make up great for slipcovers, and, as you know, Bella Notte uses washable velvets in their bedding line.Life can be hard...nothing like velvet to soften things up!

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  16. Dear Joni,I'm writing from Arezzo Italy.
    I discoveredyour site some days ago and thank' for to have open my eyes !!!!!!!!!!!
    Lucia

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  17. Love this post, I used to have velvet curtains (not red) in my house and loved them, they added a chic richness and were worth the splurge. Now I am down to a few pillows. Thanks for sharing your work.

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  18. Joni, I adore velvet! Right now my cotton velvet loveseat has a cream slipcover. I have velvet pillows mixed in with toile, paisley etc. I love to mix it up. Fine examples!

    Karena
    Art by Karena

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  19. Love this post! Velvet is a touchy, feely fabric and adds a bit of elegance. It is so inviting, comforting and you just have to run your hand over it. An old red velvet robe is my fav in the winter, as well.

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  20. Love your pics ! I just made velvet panels for a theater room and pillows in silk velvet.....unbelievably soft !

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  21. We had a velvet sofa and I loved it! Gave it to hubby's friend to make way for our obnoxious leather sofa....such is life I guess. :)

    I love seeing stuff from your portfolio that I haven't seen before, you are a talented woman my friend!
    Hugs~
    T

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  22. I love this post! I didn't even realize...but on my linen slipcovered couch...I have 2 accent pillows with velvet backing...! They are tapestry on the front..I never even thought about it when I bought them.. As they say..velvet and linen are usually a decor's match made in heaven! ( well... I say that anyway! lol)!

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  23. My sofa is "green" velvet and I love it. When it arrived back from my re-upholsterer, at first it took me awhile to love it, but velvet over time ages so well, a nice patina, and also always feels soft. My dog Bentley loves it too, even though he know's "off" is a 3 letter word. Now I want a velvet for my chairs....and large velvet pillows....
    I sewed a velvet ribbon border on a lovely family plaid for a client's wedding shawls to give to her attendants, they matched her husband's kilt, and the wedding was in Scotland. Velvet add's a soft touch and a posh elegance!
    pve

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  24. * Super examples of the soft luxury of velvets, Joni!

    I had several pillows made that turned out sooo fab~ the lavendar velvet was trimmed in soft, printed fabric, the orange velvets w/yummy, soft-braided, leather piping, & then THE most sumptuous wool w/ it's own fabric in thick piping ~~~ I take these covers off, & use white n' creme-colored linens & cottons, w/ a few patterned pillows too, over the down stuffing in the hotter, summer months ... Costly, yes, but worth every penny ~ love it ALL!!! Love the change!!!

    Great posting~ I think lots of folks will REMEMBER they have some beautiful, fave velvets tucked away somewhere, just waaaaaiting to be appreciated again!

    Thanks n' hugs,
    Linda in AZ *
    bellesmom1234@comcast.net

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  25. I agree with you...I looove velvet! The purple velvet settee from Urban Outfitters is divine!!

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  26. You made me laugh with your comment at the end..."Next, I'll be saying I don't like seagrass." I think it would have to snow in Fiji before you would ever not like seagrass. :-)

    Shannon Bowers loveseat with the single tapestry pillow is, to me, perfection. I have loved that image for several years.

    For me, velvet is timeless.

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  27. As I sit atop my velvet sofa typing this.......

    I LOVE velvet. Linen, cotton, silk, old, new...... love it all. Oh, wait....not crushed velvet ;) Don't like that one. The upholsterer thought I meant crushed velvet when I re-upholstered this sofa.....she called me back three days later asking about if I had found the crushed velvet I was looking for b/c she had some. I said: OH NOOOOO...omg no. No NO No!

    And yes, red velvet drapes are a little too 'Wuthering Heights meets Neverland meets Graceland'

    Andrea

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  28. I usually put away my deep caramel velvet pillows as part of the summer makeover / lighten up.
    This year I found myself putting them back on the white slipcovered pieces because I really missed the textural contrast !

    Lovely post, Joni -

    Judith

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  29. I have a large, star-shaped ottoman in my bedroom that is covered in a deep dark scarlet velvet. Cotton. I love it! Velvet is the perfect thing for those little touches to spice up a room. Wonderful post!

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  30. Great post Joni, Loved seeing more of your work. Love your style. Somehow I doubt that seagrass will ever be out of your life!! How is the hunt for the wicker going?! Kathysue

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  31. Oh - my Mother had 2 beautiful red velvet chairs in their formal living room. Must have been stuffed with down becasue when I sat upon them..they just enveloped me as a child! Loved them..

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  32. Hi Joni,
    I have always loved velvet too, but started to feel that maybe it was "out." I have a green velvet sofa and keep thinking I should either slipcover it in linen, or just recover it. Maybe not so much now that I've read your post. My one regret though is that I should have upholstered my sofa in apple green mohair velvet, but cheaped out and did a majolica green cotton velvet. I would be curious to see what you think of it. I always felt like I made a mistake.... -Delores

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  33. love the diferent kind of velvet : silk velvet , linen velvet, cotton velvet , my favorite is the linen velvet . Merci for your inspiring post

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  34. We are a family who loves comfy sofas in neutral colors, however slipcovers are scary to my husband for some reason. Our solution was a greige-y linen velvet upholstery that is wonderful, and I was suprised at the affordability.

    I remember my mother being resistant to velvet, always commenting that it was too hot for the South, but I have to say she was wrong. The proper nap is the key, I think, and such a great way to get a rich look that isn't heavy feeling.

    Sharing in your love of velvet....

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  35. Okay I have a confession to make. One of my baths has a sage green velvet drape! I know it is time to move on but I love the luscious feel. I will have velvet in another room soon!
    The Designer Insider

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  36. Beautiful uses for velvet....loved Ina Garten's drapes....although I'd never choose them for myself.

    Warm blessings,
    Spencer

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  37. As an antique textile dealer I use almost nothing but silk velvet with antique textiles, nothing makes the textiles pop quite like velvet…love the stuff! I have silk velvets from the 14th century to modern and nothing is so luxurious. Not all silk velvets have a deep sheen it really depends on whom you buy your velvet from. And I’m with you Joni love the contrast of velvet pillows with Belgium linen. Thank you for another wonderful post.

    Debra
    www.Oreillers.com

    P.S. Not sure why but I’m flipping for the purple chaise and I’m not really a purple person…fabulous!

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  38. It's the room with the least velvet, but that first photo is divine! I love all the natural textures!

    Happy (rainy) day...Linsey

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  39. I *love* that purple velvet loveseat! I bet it looked great in the room.

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  40. miss scahlet! oh my gosh how i actually do love that dress

    also love all of the rooms you did that you showed. gorgeousness.

    I totally agree about getting some velvet in rooms. I've been using a lot of it lately. The cotton velvet is such a family-friendly but gorgeous fabric. (baby wipes take anything right out! ;)

    I always think of Brooke: velvet & linen, prob my 2 favorite fabrics :) and so good juxtaposed..

    Thanks for adding my velvet into your post!
    xoxo,
    lauren

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  41. I would drape myself in velvet if it were socially acceptable -
    xo xo

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  42. Ever since I saw the velvet ottoman in the movie Holiday, I've been trying to think of how to copy the look in my own home. Oh how I loved that velvet ottoman!!

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  43. Your sister in law's sister's sofa is exquisite! The color of the velvet is beautiful and the wear-and-tear is so charming -- I'd love to steal the bottom cushion for my window seat. If only that aged, rumpled look could be replicated in a new piece...

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  44. I love all kinds of velvet: silk, cotton, mohair, wrinkled, faded, rubbed, cut, appliqued (sp?) Joni, have you ever checked out Melissa Levinson's tapestry pillows on 1stdibs? They, too are amazing. Great post. Thanks so much for highlighting this ancient fabric.

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  45. I am in love with that apple green sofa! Velver just FEELS good :)

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  46. I couldn't agree more, Joni! I love using velvet in more casual rooms. It adds just a bit of luxury. That's actually how I came up with the name of my blog!
    My favorite velvet is by Claremont. The colors and texture are gorgeous. It's a bit pricey, so I only use it for accent pillows. If it wasn't so darn expensive, I would definitely do a "Scarlett O'hara" and make a dress out of it!
    Thank you so much for including my client's ottoman in your post! I loved that Kravet cotton velvet. The color looked beautiful with the nickel nail heads.

    xo
    Brooke

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  47. Love your "velvet" segment!! Have you noticed a new book called "Paula Deen's Savannah Style"? (-not a cook book) Her writing style reminds me of yours: filled with charm!!

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  48. Joni
    Great post. I love that sofa of Lauren's from Pure Style...that apple green is proof velvet can be current and young! I love linen velvet....and mohair...the ultimate!

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  49. I adore velvet. I have brown velvet pillows in living room too....mine are piped in hot pink velvet. So fun!

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  50. There is just nothing better than velvet and linen. I couldn't live without either. Antique aubusson pillows just put it all over the top. It doesn't get any better than that.

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  51. Velvet Pillows do really well when you stencil them. Some fabrics don't accept acrylic paint but velvet really turns out well. I love to use monograms using venetian gold metallic paints. Looks beautiful on black or brown velvet pillow.

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  52. Great post, Joni...enjoyed this very much! I especially love velvet upholstery in bedrooms...feel so luxurious.
    Susan

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  53. Hi Joni,
    You've shown us that we don't have to love just linen or only velvet -- they can come together to create a marriage made in design heaven!
    Including Scarlett's dress at the end was brilliant, such fun!

    I very much enjoyed your TSR interview with Mary Douglas Drysdale. I've had her most recent Veranda cover "casually" displayed on the end table in the sitting area of my bedroom for months. It makes me feel calm and happy just to look at it! She sounded delightful, so warm and I loved the way she described her approach to working with clients (similar to you own I'd imagine!).

    Have a wonderful weekend!
    Bill

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  54. I was googling "velvet" and I found your blog.

    It is incredible the power of your blog.

    Plus founding this beautiful entry was definitely a treat.

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  55. Mmmmm velvet, tapestry pillows, and that french sofa of the sister of your sister in law's - heart stopping beauty to start the day - is there anything better?
    I laughed out loud when I got to Scarlett.
    Have a good weekend, Joni!
    xo Isa

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  56. Oh you made me laugh outloud with the red velvet comment! :) My daughter desperately wants velvet curtains.

    I adore the floral Rose Tarlow chair~ lovely.

    My tapestry pillows are backed with a sand colored velvet. Sigh.

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  57. I must admit although velvet is so elegant and grand, I can't stop thinking of the Seinfeld episode where George goes ga ga over the brown velvet furniture in his girlfriend's apartment.

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  58. Velvet even when new seems to have the affect of aging the decor. I loved all of the illustrations and the versatility of velvet, but thread bare not so much.

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  59. Joni:

    Although I'm late getting here, I too love velvet...especially on drapes in great colors like the type in Ina's apartment,lovely. BTW,beautiful structure on the worn sofa... You always show us great pics of classic pieces....inspiring & educational Joni...keep it up...Fay

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  60. These all look so scrumptious!
    No velvet in our house due to cats and dogs, so I'll have to dream about one day sinking into a plush velvet couch.
    Especially love that green one!

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  61. Love velvet. I use it in every project I work on. Hope you are well. Have a great week.

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  62. Thank you Joni for the mention! I did see a few of my pillows in this fabulous post:) I really LOVED the Scarlett O'Hara bit......I have always thought the curtain scene would have made a much better story for the start of my business. Funny thing is, it's not too far from the truth...living in the Delta on a plantation, you do have to be resourceful. I can totally identify with Scarlett!

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  63. Now don't be saying you don't like seagrass. I love velvet and now feel inspired to incorporate more in my home.

    P.S. - I SURE do love listening to the skirted round table.

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  64. Wow, Joni! Great ideas about velvet! I never thought such a luxurious fabric could also be so practical.

    Genevieve

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  65. I am a sucker for anything soft, but soft and rich and classy can't be beat....what a beautiful, thoughtful post, thank you.

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  66. Love velvet, especially the cotton and silk, linen. A wonderful post, and a wonderful skirted roundtable with DDS, love her little augury comment, she is so generous and
    gracious-she practices what she preaches. pgt

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  67. Perfection, Joni! Absolute perfection as always. Thanks for sharing with us.

    XO,

    Sheila

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  68. thank you so much Joni! Great eye candy as usual!

    You've given me some great ideas for a future LR with the IKEA slips. Thank you so much, again.

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  69. I enjoy your sense of humor re. your first apt. I think any of us old enough to have decorated our first apt. pre-pottery barn, ikea, west elm can look back and laugh.
    I have always loved and used velvet in my design scheme. It adds a touch of understated glamour and seems to "go" with every style. Case in point: Sally Wheat's girls room: mod hable construction and judy ross? pillows, cottage-y wicker dresser and regency like tufted ottoman? All works together in beautiful unison. Thx for the great post!

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  70. Could you please tell me more about the oriental figures in the 6th photo? Love your blog!

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  71. My small church is in great need of a remodel. Ofcourse there are not funds to support this. There are heavy red velvet drapes that serve as the backdrop behind the pulpit on the back wall. A wooden cross is on it and is totally lost against the red color. I would like to paint the drapes in a gold color to lighten up the place and to match the gold colored church windows. Is this possible? What kind of paint do I use? Any help will be greatly appreciated. thanks.

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  72. I would like to exchange links with your site cotedetexas.blogspot.com
    Is this possible?

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  73. i love that blue ottoman :) I want the same for my drawing room :)

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  74. Wow, I love all the designs. Who could think that velvet could change an ordinary room into the room of your dreams! Good job!

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  75. Amazing work! Well done and thanks for sharing these awesome ideas.

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