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Turns Out, Velvet Is a Family-&-Pet Friendly Design Secret Weapon (+ 60 Shoppable Picks)

photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: arlyn’s light and bright living room reveal

Hey look, it’s my living room! Any story angle I can cook up to push this space onto your eyeballs, I will gladly take because I gave up so many weekends to put this thing together (only sort of kidding here). In a recent brainstorm, we were talking about very exciting topics such as “function,” and I dropped some knowledge on my EHD ladies about velvet and why it’s actually a VERY durable fabric. It might look fancy and shiny, but guys, this stuff can take a beating and more people need to know about it. 9/10 of my EHD audience was pretty shocked and anytime something like that happens, we do what any good blogger does: turn it into a post so everyone can benefit.

I’ve had my velvet sofa (the Maxwell sectional from Interior Define) for just over a year at this point, and it still looks brand new. Granted, I live in a household of just two adults with no children and no pets so…what could possibly go wrong? But hear me out before you dismiss me for not having put this thing through the wringer…I know several people with kids AND pets and a velvet sofa and they’re out here singing its praises. They all agree that the lack of “loops” in the weave prevents snagging from paws and nails and that, because velvet has a dense top layer, spills don’t instantly sink down into it like, say…linen. Instead, it kind of hovers on top of it (for a few seconds), giving you time to run and grab something before it permanently moves into your sofa (without rudely paying any rent). OH and because of the natural varying visual pile, stains are pretty easy to hide…just a swipe of the hand in the opposite direction and all of a sudden, you can’t really tell if it’s just velvet being velvet or last night’s fettuccine alfredo. Yes, there is the matter of dust and fur, but a regular vacuum or lint roller goes a long way (I’ve also heard from pet owners that an old-school squeegee works wonders, especially on a fabric like velvet, so…just sayin’ in case that’s helpful to someone).

Brady Tolbert Design Emily Henderson Living Room Eclectic Pavillion Grey Farrow And Ball Brass Coffee Table English Roll Arm Albini Masculine Traditional West Elm Souk Flokati Leather 5
photos by zeke ruelas | from: brady’s living room reveal

As I started writing this article, I realized I didn’t have all the answers to those original questions the team bombarded me with, so I reached out to our friends at Article for their actual expert take who put me in touch with Zoe Garred, Director of Product Development. (And no, this isn’t sponsored in any way…I reached out to a few furniture companies we work with regularly and they happened to get back to me on time!) Here are some highlights I found interesting:

  • Consider the type of velvet before deciding if it’s good for your kids and pets. “In this case, whether it’s cotton or synthetic velvet. While both are equally beautiful, we tend to recommend synthetic velvet for customers with kids or pets since it’s much easier to care for. We’ve found that stains don’t soak in as deep and the color doesn’t fade as much in direct sunlight, compared to cotton velvet.”
  • Velvet is sensitive to color fade due to direct sunlight, but particularly cotton velvet (another win for synthetic in this case). “To avoid it, I suggest protecting your furniture by selecting a space that isn’t in direct sunlight. If that’s not possible, drape a throw blanket over the sun-exposed areas to protect it from the sun.” 
  • If you are able to find the rub count of a sofa’s velvet, look for something higher rather than lower (for instance, Article’s velvet has a rub count of 40,000, which Zoe says is ideal for a family home with high traffic areas).
  • “Remember to soak up spills immediately with a clean, absorbent cloth or paper towel, but be careful not to dab or rub as this will push the liquid deeper into the fibers. Leave the cloth on the spill until all the liquid has been absorbed and let it air dry.”
  • Companies can sometimes interchange “velvet” and “microfiber” but there are differences, mostly in the materials used to make the fabric and how it’s actually manufactured.  “Microfiber is a synthetic fabric typically made of micro strands of polyester that are woven and split into smaller stands to have the appearance and feel of velvet. Natural velvets, like cotton velvet, is a bit heavier and thicker and has a matte look. It’s created on a special loom that weaves two thicknesses of the material at the same time, which are then cut apart to create the pile effect giving velvet its soft feel.”

Fascinating stuff…no? Just me? I mostly think it’s interesting in that so many people assume velvet, because of its sheen and “glam” leanings, is super high maintenance or not suitable for a “real” home but guys, THIS IS NOT CORRECT. Are there people reading this who might be scrolling immediately to the comments to tell me how wrong I am…maybe, but the point is this: velvet is no more high maintenance than a standard cloth; if anything, it’s less so for all the reasons mentioned above.

Emily Henderson Waverly Living Room 2018 Fall Update 1 1670x2088
photo by sara ligorria-tramp | from: experimenting in my living room, trying to find “the” rug

Besides, aesthetically, it just packs such a visual punch and goes a long way to making a room feel really special. I’m sure this next little fact won’t be shocking to you, but the colored velvet sofa has long been an EHD favorite and that’s for the texture and character it adds to a space. Even when more on the neutral side, it’s hard to overlook the style power of velvet. It’s a great tool to use in say, a smaller room that needs more design bang for its buck or to really shake things up in a main living space. Don’t save this for the “sitting” room that no one ever sits in. Velvet can take the heat, let’s stop leaving it just warming the bench, hm?

Now, in terms of shopping, luckily, thanks to the rampant spread of these babies on social media, the price point has been brought down and you can find really great velvet options at budget-minded retailers and mainstream stores in ALL kinds of colors. Below, I rounded up all my favorites under $1,300 (some as low as $300!) and then under $2,000. And while no, I haven’t tested out all of these, I will note the ones I HAVE tested out IRL during my own sofa search, but also during a big “sofa squad” test series I did back when I was at Apartment Therapy (check that out here).

Emily Henderson Roundup Velvet Sofa Under 1300

1. US Pride Furniture 70″ Sofa | 2. Farlov 86″ Sofa | 3. Chamberlin Velvet 85.5″ Sofa | 4. Ceni 83″ Sofa | 5. Sven 88″ Sofa | 6. Rivet Emerly Mid-Century Modern 83.5″ Sofa | 7. Fairfax Denim Velvet 89.4″ Sofa | 8. Shelia Velvet 80″ Sofa | 9. Albany Park Mid-Century Modern 87″ Sofa | 10. Todd 78.7″ Sofa | 11. Calais Channel Tufted 71″ Sofa | 12. Rivet Aiden Tufted Mid-Century Modern 86.6″ Sofa | 13. Cirrus 82″ Sofa | 14. Rivet Frederick Mid-Century Modern Tufted 77.5″ Sofa | 15. Marta 70″ Sofa | 16. Milly Velvet 87″ Sofa | 17. Eddy 84″ Sofa | 18. Milly Velvet 87″ Sofa | 19. Mirage 75″ Sofa | 20. Chamberlin Velvet 60″ Love Seat | 21. Matrix 78″ Sofa | 22. Drew Barrymore Flower Home Velvet 86″ Sofa | 23. Olsen 90.5″ Sofa | 24. Cloud 90″ Fabric

#2: I didn’t test the velvet version of this because the Farlov had JUST been released and was only available in a linen-like fabric, but it was just deep enough to feel cozy but not so deep that you need 5 pillows behind you for lumbar support.

#4: This sofa sits pretty low, so if you’re looking for something low-profile for good sightlines in an open room, it’s a good consideration. A bit firm, but I know some people like that for support.

#5: Sara has this sofa (in leather) and loved it so much she sourced it for her parents’ living room makeover and is considering reordering it for her TV room in velvet.

#19: The arms slope down pretty low on this baby which might feel weird if you’re used to leaning up against an arm (but a good height for resting your head on during a short nap). Also, it’s just so dang pretty (especially in that golden yellow velvet).

Emily Henderson Roundup Velvet Sofa 1300 To 2000

1. Forte Channeled Charcoal Velvet 80″ Sofa | 2. Brooklyn Down-Filled 81″ Sofa | 3. Lounge II 93″ Sofa | 4. Romano 93″ Sofa | 5. Jason Wu Two-Seat 77″ Sofa | 6. Calhoun 76″ Sofa | 7. Vail Curved Arm 87″ Sofa | 8. Andes 76.5″ Sofa | 9. Carlo Mid-Century 77.5″ Sofa | 10. Maxwell 82″ Sofa | 11. Kaye 95.75″ Sofa | 12. Sutton 78.5″ Sofa | 13. Harmony Down-Filled 82″ Sofa | 14. Anderson 88″ Sofa | 15. Todd Extended 108″ Sofa | 16. Goodwin 90″ Sofa | 17. Shelter 84″ Sofa | 18. Briar 90″ Sofa | 19. Bannister 87″ Sofa | 20. Loren 79″ Sofa | 21. Denver 80″ Sofa | 22. Channel Tufted Two-Cushion 76″ Sofa | 23. Delia 83.3″ Sofa | 24. Dylan 89.75″ Sofa | 25. Ainsley 77″ Sofa | 26. Graham Velvet 90″ Sofa | 27. Jasper 60″ Sofa | 28. Modern 87″ Sofa | 29. Monroe Drive 80″ Sofa | 30. Lewis 83″ Sofa | 31. Alto 83.5″ Sofa | 32. Puff Puff 87″ Velvet Sofa | 33. Willhoughby Two-Cushion 79″ Sofa | 34. Cassidy Bolster Back Orchid Velvet 98″ Sofa | 35. Savile Storm Velvet 92.5″ Sofa | 36. Olivia 85″ Sofa

#2: Besides the unique leg on this one, it’s a good “sitting” sofa in that it’s a bit upright, a little on the firmer side (though not firm) and not super deep. A good “conversation” sofa, but not so much a “binge-watching Superstore” sofa.

#3: I owned this sofa for four years and I still mourn the loss of it in terms of comfort. It’s my favorite sofa of all time for sheer coziness. This is a serious curl-up-and-watch-movies-for-centuries sofa. I’ve also had several house guests sleep incredibly comfortably on this because it’s SO deep, it’s basically like a twin mattress, but it definitely forces you to lay back and, well, lounge.

#8: This is much deeper than I gave it credit for when I first saw it in-store. The back on it is a bit upright but overall it was a nice level of smooshy firmness.

#10: I own this bad boy (see it in the lead image of this post, or in full action here in my living room makeover) and I love it. It needs fluffing about once or twice a week to keep it from looking a bit sloppy, but I don’t mind…it’s a good work out. The blue I got doesn’t seem to be available anymore, but the new blue seems a little moodier and darker, which is actually what I initially envisioned. It’s a great refresh on the classic English roll arm sofa with lots of fun leg options.

#17: I wish West Elm had reviews on their website, so I’m always a bit dubious of anyone who DOESN’T, but I did sit on this in-store and found it to be relatively deep (which I LOVE, but I know that’s not for everyone) with a nice combo of soft yet firm. The one cushion looks sleek and modern.

#18: VERY comfortable. I would have bought this sofa if I hadn’t bought the Lounge II (I tested it about a year after I bought the Lounge and was like…WAIT I love this sofa). It’s kind of the perfect depth if you’re looking for something to curl up in but without sacrificing support.

#25: This is definitely a “living room” sofa in that it’s very livable and not the flashiest in terms of style. It’s a pretty basic shape and profile, but the velvet really jazzes it up which is a nice “best of both worlds” thing.

#27: The Jasper is a nice tailored sofa for the modern/minimal enthusiast. It’s nice that you can create the shape you need since it’s a bit modular. It’s a very relaxed sofa in terms of how it sits but still firm and supportive.

#35: I tested out the leather version of this sofa a few years back. It’s only 35 inches deep but it sits deeper than you’d think since it’s a tight back without additional or pillows. A bit firm and tight, but not necessarily in a bad way.

Alright, so…did I win you over? Are you #teamvelvet, yet? Tell me everything, and if there are any sofas up there that you own or have tested, I’d love to hear your own feedback (good or bad), too! We can’t test EVERYTHING, but with your own experiences and input, we can get closer to knowing more about which sofas are worth our time, and which are an easy “pass.”


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73 thoughts on “Turns Out, Velvet Is a Family-&-Pet Friendly Design Secret Weapon (+ 60 Shoppable Picks)

  1. There is definitely a navy velvet sofa in my future. I’ve had the fabric swatch draped over the arm of my existing sofa for about a month now and it looks great despite my dog shedding like mad at the moment. The Martindale count is also surprisingly high, 90 000!

  2. Absolutely love velvet, you didn’t have to do any convincing here. I appreciated the detailed options you showed. A different velvet for every need……..
    My all time favorite silk velvet for a luxury of look and feel. If $ is a concern use for smaller pieces, great if sculptural shape, as it really shows the form of a piece.
    Heavenly, thanks for going detailed!

  3. I bought a wine colored velvet sofa in 2002 for my first adult apartment (bold move at the time) and can vouch for velvet’s long term durability. Besides a few scratches on the arms from many moves over the years, the fabric looks as luxe and amazing as it did almost 20 years ago! I still love this couch, which is sitting front and center in my living room and as comfy and cozy as ever. Arlyn’s gorgeous blue sofa has been the only piece that’s made me consider swapping it out for a new model (but I just can’t say good-bye anytime soon!).

    1. Ohhhh wine colored velvet sounds SO gorgeous! I considered going that route but went back to the blue I had dreamed about for years because I didn’t want to betray myself.

  4. I totally agree that velvet is so kid friendly. I have two pieces of furniture in the “performance velvet” from West Elm that have tolerated two babies who are now toddlers….think- spit up, throw up, spilled milk, …you name it and it all just wipes off. It is so forgiving. Who needs Sunbrella when you can have soft velvet?!?!

    1. I’m so happy to hear this as I have 3 kids and I’m about to order a performance velvet couch from WE in navy! We do have a Sunbrella couch in another room ?

  5. We have two kids (1 & 4) and a dog and did decide to get an Article Blue Velvet sofa and it is now so faded that it really looks terrible. At this point we are not as concerned with the milk stains and muffin crumbs but I’m wondering if you have and window treatment recommendations that lets in light but will not ruin our furniture? For the record it was a gorgeous piece before our family and the sun destroyed it!

    1. Yes! I also have an Article Sven sofa in velvet that is really faded and stained after three years despite occasional upholstery cleaning. 1 non-shedding dog, no kids. I would not consider the fabric used by Article to be durable for high traffic rooms or pets/kids. I wanted to love this couch but it has let me down in terms of durability.

    2. My Article Sven velvet sofa faded quite a bit as well. Maybe the velvet Article uses is particularly prone to fading?

  6. We moved into a house over Labor Day weekend with six people (four kids, two parents) and no furniture. We needed seating stat so ordered two sofas from Amazon — one of which was #12 in the first round-up in Otter Gray. I’d been wanting to try a velvet sofa option and knew this wouldn’t be a “forever” sofa so this was my chance. It has held up extremely well with daily (ab)use. It’s not the most cushy sofa, it’s definitely on the firmer side, so not one to sink into and binge-watch movies. But, it’s a good depth and comfortable enough that plenty of naps have been taken and even overnight sleepers. I didn’t realize the bench seat is permanently attached — not an issue, just was a surprise. It arrived next-day delivery, screwed in the legs (which are shipped embedded in a secret compartment underneath the sofa) and it was good to go.

    1. Oh thanks for all that info!! Good to always hear first-hand accounts of anyone who owns something.

  7. Gorgeous! I have the ID Maxwell in the same configuration (different fabric), and I have the same issues with the cushions needing “fluffing” often. Any tips on the best way to do it? It seems like no matter how much I try to punch them out of place, I can’t get rid of the chronic sags.

    1. I typically lift up the cushion with one hand and smack the ish out of it with the other. Give it some serious punches, shake it down like it owes you money. Then I just smooth it out when I put it back in place. I mean, the second someone sits on it, it’s all over, but that’s is the curse of the down-filled cushion sadly. But keep up regular fluffing and the cushion should hold up over time more so than foam (because once that’s smooshed down, it’s misshapen forever).

  8. Yes!!! I’ve had the Macalester from Room and Board in emerald velvet for four years and it is my dream sofa! I have a four year old and two cats and this sofa is a powerhouse. It’s the only thing in the house the cats don’t scratch, and it’s been resistant to everything we throw at it. My velvet is 90% cotton 10% polyester, and I haven’t had an issue with fading either… fingers crossed it just won’t, as it is in a pretty sunny room.

    I have wanted to get a love seat or settee in velvet for the same room but I wonder if it would be too much velvet? At this point I feel like it’s the only fabric that will work for us but worry that it would be velvet overkill. Thoughts?

    1. Thanks for sharing your experience with cats. Our cats have scratched twill and leather pieces, despite having plenty of designated scratchers. I’m thinking velvet is the way to go for my next piece of furniture.

    2. Hmmm…I do think there is a thing as too much velvet in a room before it goes too “glam” or Vegas. I think if the rest of your space is pretty neutral or “humble” in terms of finishes (not all brass, I mean), you should be able to get away with one other piece of velvet, just make sure you have enough other organic materials to ground it (linen, seagrass, cotton, matte-finished wood, etc.).

    3. I adore velvet, so do my kitties, they have so far destroyed 2 sofas and 3 armchairs but can’t give up on velvet.

  9. I’ve been looking at purchasing a velvet sofa since July. However, I need it to be a sectional so my large family snuggle and chill. Preferably with down seat cushions. Ideas?

    1. A lot of the ones listed above from the D2C brands come in larger configurations, so if there is a style up there you like, chances are you’ll find the sectional version of it on the site!

  10. We once had a shrimp-colored nylon velvet sofa; the velvet lasted and looked GOOD until the springs completely gave out and were sagging. It laughed at stains and spills, never got a run or tear from our two cats, vacuumed easily, and it felt comfy all the time. We got almost 20 years out of that sofa — pretty good for something we bought in the “bruised and broken room” at the furniture store.

    1. YES!! My parents ignored my soapbox moment about using velvet and instead got a fabric with a woven fabric on it and it’s DESTROYED thanks to their two cats just two years in.

  11. My favorite part of this velvet sofa round-up is that you discuss actually sitting in some of the sofas or seeing their shape in person. I find those comments so much more helpful than just a collection of images that I could pull up myself.
    Given the amount of space given to the fabric itself, I would have appreciated a bit more about how it tends to wear. The part about needing to protect it from sun was helpful, but what about piping, sharp corners or other areas that might show early wear, fraying or pilling? Problems with lower priced velvets? You know, for the one or two of us who keep sofas for more than 2 years 😉
    Finally, velvet sofas always seem glam to me – from boho glam to Mad Men glam to faded shabby chic glam. Can they really work if you’re not into a glam vibe? Would a velvet sofa fit in at the mountain house?

  12. Yeah… gonna have to disagree for any dog parents out there. We had a “performance velvet” sectional from West Elm and our dog got sick on it once and it was never the same. Plus, we never felt great about lounging on it…ever again.

    And no, we don’t allow pets on our furniture, this was an exorcism-like vomit spree that took no prisoners. Except our vintage rug that recovered surprisingly well.

    Anywho – we’ve had a (craigslist) leather sofa for 3 years now and it ages SO much better and cleans up better for us, too.

    Love velvet as an accent, just not a main furniture piece!

  13. Folex Carpet Cleaner works wonders for cleaning stains on velvet. Seriously, it’s a miracle product.

      1. Folex is the bomb. So easy and works so well. I haven’t used it on upholstery, but it has saved me from many a carpet stain.

      2. Folex is a lifesaver. It gets out stains on carpets and upholstery, ball point pen ink off fleece jackets, and lots more. It’s a staple on my cleaning shelf.

  14. Jumping in the comments because I have a VERY FURRY cat and VELVET FURNITURE IS MY LIFESAVER. I have a squeegee and a latex glove — I run the squeegee over the piece and collect the excess with my gloves. IT’S SO MUCH EASIER TO MAINTAIN THAN LITERALLY EVERY OTHER FABRIC. Seriously have so much less anxiety about my cat leaving a trail of hair on every seat in my house because clean up is A BREEZE!!

    1. I TOTALLY agree. It’s SUPER easy to deal with pets and velvet!! I had a vintage rust velvet couch and the cats could NOT do any damage to it, and the pet hair was a breeze to clean up!

  15. I have a question for those who have velvet: are there handprints and butt marks on it all the time? Like do you have to wipe it all in one direction to make it look nice? Or is that a characteristic of microfibre?

    1. HAAAA well…yeah kind of. If I put my phone down, there are little rectangles everywhere. But I think with the amount that you move around on a piece of furniture, it all kind of erases itself naturally. I rarely feel like I have to swipe the fabric in one direction for presentation.

  16. I’ve been singing the praises of velvet (synthetic) for years, but no one listened. Glad you’re bringing it to the masses. I miss our so so soft and cozy velvet sofa that we had for 8 years. Kids, pets, fur, drool…it all wiped off easily. Yes, the sun discolored the back over time, but with the intense sun here in Florida, anything I put in that space will get sun damaged eventually. And IMO Sunbrella fabric is just not as cozy as a fabric, especially for indoor furniture.

  17. I honestly wish I would have known this before purchasing our Lounge II sectional. We went with the woven fabric that is “Family friendly”, but it hasn’t held up as well as I’d like. My dog has torn the weave fabric on the cushion where she “nests” and the other cushions have a worn in look after only about a month. We did get a fabric replacement for that cushion and it was surprisingly very low cost (only $115).

    1. Yeah I looked into replacing the fabric on my Lounge II cushions, too because man does their tweed pill and get all matted. I was selling it and wanted it to look really good. CB customer service is at least really good so there are some options, at least!

  18. I recently bought our family cabin and it came with a bright orange synthetic velvet sofa that my grandpa bought when he built the cabin in the 70’s. That thing looks brand new and it is my husband’s favorite part of the cabin. A little tough to decorate around but it is definitely a statement piece. 😉 Almost 50 years old and going strong!

    1. Orange velvet sounds, uh, fantastic! Yeah I mean…orange isn’t exactly a neutral, but what a fun statement!

  19. We bought a West Elm couch in the navy “Performance Velvet” 5 years ago and it has been amazing!!! We tested out swatches at home before making the purchase. We dumped olive oil on the blue velvet and it washed out easily. The fabric can be vacuumed, sponged, machine washed, and scrubbed. It has recovered from being barfed on and, TMI, I had a home birth that involved this couch. It looks great week after week in our Air BnB now. Plus, if you get satisfaction from vacuum lines on the carpet, you can also leave them on this couch.

  20. Hi. Just wondering about the carpet in the photo. Can you share where it’s from? Thank you! Also, I have a lapis blue velvet sofa and adore it. Team velvet for sure.

  21. Thank you for writing this article! I was just trying to convince one of my clients the other day of velvet’s virtues, so I am now going to forward them this article! I have both children and pets in my home, and have always believed velvet is lower maintenance than most fabrics – so happy to be validated!

  22. Team velvet for life!! I have both cats and kids (both boys!) and velvet has been super durable and not attractive to the cats, unlike another non-velvet sofa I own that has become a very expensive scratching post. 🙁 It does fade in direct sunlight though, which is a bummer, but I employ throws to keep the fading to a minimum.

  23. I’m sorry but I bought a velvet sectional from Article, and after one day there were HUGE permanent stains on it. I had a terrible experience with them. They would not honor their 30-day money-back guarantee, their furniture is packed in large amounts of styrofoam, and it smells of harsh chemicals too – so badly that I had to leave the windows open (in the winter) for a month. I wish someone had warned me in advance about this company, hence my comment : (

  24. Arlyn, you’re 100% right on velvet! We have two very rowdy, scratchy cats. I ordered a ton of fabric samples from various places and literally used a safety pin to scratch them and see if they pulled. Velvet won every time! Just ordered the Maxwell from Interior Define based on this and your recommendation. Also, we use a slightly wet dishwashing glove as a fur remover and it’s so easy.

    1. So smart! Caitlin on our team also mentioned a latex glove or a squeegee (or both? not sure) works well, too! Enjoy the Maxwell. It’s really such a beautiful sofa. It does need fluffing regularly, but…so does every down-filled sofa, sadly. What color did you get?!?

      1. We got a right chaise in the sapphire mod velvet with the oiled walnut tapered turned legs. It can’t come fast enough! (It really can’t, it’s taking forever.)

        1. Oh! Same color as me (and same finish on the leg). It’s a BEAUTIFUL leg finish. And I love the turned leg. Maxwell (as in Maxwell from the Maxwell sofa haha) had them on the one in his office back in the Apartment Therapy offices and I always thought they were so much fun. Enjoy your new sofa!!

  25. I have 4 long hair cats and I foster kittens. I have velvet in my living room and love it. So easy to clean the cat hair off of and their claws do not snag it. I am a complete convert to velvet.

  26. But. SUMMER. do you switch out your sofa when it gets hot??? i just can’t imagine sitting on a velvet sofa in the middle of July in a pair of shorts. ICK. but, imagining it on Christmas morning?? DREAMY. lol. Maybe i just need to live the kind of life where i change out my furniture seasonally. I guess this is why fancy people have “Summer houses”.

  27. You didn’t mention silk velvet! Ha, I don’t know if you can even find a non-custom sofa in silk velvet. It’s wooooonderful, but I only have it in tiny throw pillows (Scalamandre’s le tigre) and a tunic top that I will NEVER give away.

  28. Great article. We were just looking at velvet couches and I was a bit concerned how well the material will stand up with a family. I will definitely buy one now. Do you buy furniture online without testing it out? Thanks

    1. I’d love for other people to chime in on this one. I myself have never ordered a sofa that I haven’t tested out, but so many new D2C brands don’t have showrooms. Luckily, they all have pretty great return policies and make it easy to send back or swap if it turns out you don’t love it. Technically, I bought my sofa online, but that was after going into the showroom to test out what I wanted.

  29. I am here to say velvet is in fact great for kids. My mom bought a vintage camel back sofa when she was 18 (35 years ago) and had it reupholstered in emerald velvet sometime in the 80s (so ahead of the trend!). It was lovingly referred to as the napping couch and I am here to say the drool was easily cleaned up with a damp towel 🙂 my mom tried to get rid of the couch a few years ago and I talked her out of it. It’s sitting in my storage unit waiting for me to move to a bigger house.

  30. can we have a general sofa post about one long cushion vs 2 cushions vs 3 cushions? are there objective style and comfort arguments for each or is it just a matter of personal preference? as a poor decision-maker and someone in need of a new sofa i could use some guidance!

  31. We have had great luck with velvet – two kids, two dogs and a clumsy husband who several times spilled red wine on the sofa, as well as some sort of chocolate. That’s right, my husband did all that. Kids also ate popcorn on it and spilled other things (as teens, when they were little they minded the rules and never ate on furniture). We had a Sherrill sofa for 10 years, that was used HARD, and bounced back every time. When we redecorated 2 years ago, it was still in great shape and lives at my moms house, looking great. We got a new Sherrill sofa in a different color of velvet and it’s awesome. So I can recommend velvet (not cotton), and Sherrill. Also like their Precedent line. They’re built very well.

  32. I have, and *love* my Crate and Barrel Lounge petite sofa in a high pile microfiber (aka velvet). It’s their View fabric. I’ve had it for 3 years and it wears very well. Easy to wipe up dog drool and the like.

    I flip and rotate the cushions every other week and vacuum the entire sofa at that time, too. That’s a big part of keeping it looking good. Takes maybe 5-7 minutes each time but has been instrumental.

    1. I still mourn the loss of my Lounge. Dang was that thing comfortable. It’s not as “pretty” as my Maxwell, but when I eventually scale up to a larger home with another “living” space, I know exactly what I’m buying…

  33. I highly recommend Bemz Zaragoza vintage velvet slipcovers for Ikea pieces. I have two- the velvet is gorgeous in person, washable, and has a high Martindale result (70,000 rubs). They’re not cheap, but they look like a million bucks and wear well.

  34. OMG I’m so terrified of velvet! If you want to have a great test of velvet’s durability I am your gal as we would put it through the ringer!

  35. Wow! I had no idea that velvet was so durable! I am looking for a new sectional so this is very good to know☺️

  36. I have a West Elm Andes sofa in their “worn velvet” fabric (medium gray, but light enough that I was initially worried about potential stains) and it is GLORIOUS MAGIC. We have a black and white long hair cat and I literally rubbed fabric swatches on him when we were planning to buy the couch to see how any shedding would look, but this fabric actually repels his fur. We rarely have to lint brush because somehow it just doesn’t stick to it. Spills? Repels those too. Food, wine, one unfortunate accident with blood — all of it wiped away instantly with a damp paper towel and didn’t leave so much as a hint behind. Even when it’s been a spill we didn’t see right away, it cleans up even days later.

    Additionally, on the rare occasion that one of our cat’s claws does catch the fabric (a difficult thing to spot and no one else would ever notice, but I search for this sometimes when I’m feeling a little obsessive) I’ve been able to just poke the stray thread back into the weave and it’s brand new again.

    The couch is only a few years old, but gets heavy use. It still looks like it was purchased yesterday because the velvet keeps it looking immaculate with zero effort required. I want everything in my life to be made of this fabric. Velvet forever and for everything.

  37. I really appreciated this post because I’ve been considering getting a new couch and going AWAY from velvet since my husband and I are considering starting a family soon and have a dog. I actually inherited a large cream cotton velvet sectional from my grandma that she bought from JCP in the early 70s…She took SUCH good care of it. EHD team has convinced me that Crypton fabric might be the way to go, but I LOVE velvet, and like that it can be cozy and elegant and dressed up or dressed down, and I’ve had a hard time giving up the idea of velvet.
    I’ve had my grandma’s velvet sectional for 4 years and have had trouble getting water stains out of it from cleaning up spills and when my dog has thrown up on it, but now I see that it’s likely because it’s cotton velvet and not synthetic or a synthetic blend. The fabric has also thinned over the last 50 years of generations of family sitting/sleeping on it, so caring for it at this point has been a little rough. I’ve been afraid that I’ve let grandma down! But, this post and the other comments have made me feel like I could own another velvet couch in my future!

    Any tips for reviving 50yo cream velvet would be great though since it may be another couple of years or so until we buy something to last us for the next 20 years.

  38. I have a dark green velvet sofa that is 20 years old and still looks new. And that’s with 20 years worth of kids jumping on it, building forts with the back cushions, snacking, sleeping, etc, etc. Highly recommended!

  39. Don’t forget Crypton velvet – it won’t stain. The two most durable fabrics are velvet and tapestry, but velvet is better for pets because it’s tough and they can’t snag it.

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