Today, I’m talking a little bit about predicting trends. Interior trends, like the trends we see in fashion, come and go. They are cyclical in nature but they are not always easy to predict. Now I think I’m pretty good at predicting upcoming trends. Some trends, known as macro trends, really explode onto the scene in a big way and create large-scale, sustained shifts in consumer interest.
Other trends, known as micro trends, remain quite small and tend to change the behaviour in the short-term. Then, of course, there are fads which come fast but tend to fade away quickly too. When you are immersed in an industry as much as I am, it tends to be quite easy to spot patterns arising.
Suddenly you see lots of plants featuring in interior shoots, then you see lots of botanical artwork popping up, then fabric, then wallcoverings, then you spot ceramics that are covered in cactus prints or shaped like cacti, then candles appear that look like succulents and then before you know it you’re in the middle of a full-blown botanical trend that is absolutely everywhere and hard to avoid. Trends take quite a while to go mainstream though. They often start at a really high-end level and then slowly filter down to the high street and this can take months or even years. So if you’re in the know, trends are easy to spot. But sometimes, they can appear out of nowhere and totally take you by surprise. And that is exactly what happened to me with velvet!
It’s weird because I was having a conversation with my brother back in 2013 all about interior trends and he was pretending to know what the next big thing was. He told me to watch out for the big come back of velvet. We both started laughing and I remember thinking at the time how very unlikely that was. I mean velvet? Of all the materials to see a surge in popularity, I was pretty sure it would not be velvet. Fast forward to 2017 and velvet is huge!
Velvet, along with linen, is one of the must-have materials of 2017. This sophisticated, luxurious fabric has made its way onto the ‘hot list’ and the interior design community has embraced it with open arms. Top bloggers have been singing the praises of velvet sofas and investing in their own statement pieces. Kimberly of Swoonworthy explained why she believes we should be buying velvet sofas in 2017 here whilst Jen of Love Chic Living identified velvet as being one of the biggest sofa trends of 2017 here. Just Google “velvet sofa trend” if you don’t believe me!!
So why has velvet, and more to the point velvet sofas, become such a hit with the design conscious? Well firstly, velvet is a sumptuous and sophisticated fabric that can transform an everyday piece of furniture into something much more luxurious. Secondly, consumers have stopped being so safe with their choices and are instead seeking to make a statement at home. Neutral sofas that go unnoticed and disappear into the background are no longer what homeowners are looking for. Instead, they want stand-out pieces that allow them to really inject a bit of personality into the room. These bright and bold velvet sofas allow them to do just that.
We’ve also seen a trend (yes another one!!) lately for combining traditional styles with contemporary, bold colour palettes. Do you see that Chesterfield sofa at the top there in that vibrant green tone? That’s what I’m talking about. So using a traditional fabric like velvet in a bright colour allows you to create an eclectic, contemporary look.
Velvet, as I’ve come to learn, is a timeless material and it will never really go out of fashion. It can be glamorous and decadent, but as is the case with leather, as it ages it takes on an even more homely and lived-in look. You really can’t go wrong. And the tactile nature of velvet is just an added bonus in my book.
There are some fantastic velvet sofas on the market right now so you really are spoilt for choice. Here you can see a number of options from Darlings of Chelsea. To make a statement I suggest going for velvet sofas in deep jewel tones such as midnight blue, olive green or ochre (that earthy yellow you see below).
But if you want something a little less bold, why not opt for a pastel colour? Millenial pink (yes, yes another trend, I know!!!) is a lot more understated and neutral and isn’t quite so much of a statement. If you’re not feeling quite as brave this might work well for you.
If you’re still not convinced, you could try dipping your toe gently into the velvet sofa trend by instead investing in a velvet footstool or ottoman. Then if you like it you can go the whole hog!
If you need help deciding what type or style of velvet sofa to go for I suggest you check out this post by Geraldine Tan of Little Big Bell where she talks us through picking the right sofa. There’s plenty of advice here to get you started.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on predicting trends and particularly on the current trend for bright and bold velvet sofas. Do you have a velvet sofa yourself? Would you consider buying one? And if so what colour would you go for? Drop me a comment below to let me know.