The Perfect Teal Velvet For My Sofa (and Other Living Room Fabric Options)

So, just a little heads up here.  I’ll probably be jumping around from project to project, and from the house to the condo and back to the house, quite a bit until the condo is finished.  It’s imperative that I get the condo finished and on the market ASAP, but I can only concentrate on it so much when what I really want to be doing is working on my house.

And to add to what seems like complete randomness and disorganization, while my mind has been firmly focused on my living room for about three weeks now, and I’ve been full steam ahead on making decisions, getting it started, and working on it until it’s finished, I’ve been given an incredibly motivating reason to drop the living room and work on the breakfast room instead.  And because I hate “secret projects” and bloggers trying to be all mysterious, I’ll just say that it involves a magazine editor who has expressed an interest in photographing my kitchen early next year, but obviously that can’t happen with the breakfast room looking like it does now.  And nothing is set in stone.  She may end up seeing my kitchen and deciding that it’s not worthy of publication.  It’s all very tentative right now, so I’ll keep you posted as I learn more.

Soooo…all of that to say that I really have no idea what I’m doing, where I’m headed, or what I’ll be doing from one day to the next.  I hope you’ll stick with me through the randomness and chaos anyway, because regardless of what I work on from day to day, I’ll at least be moving forward and making progress.  🙂

But on to the topic of the day…velvet!  (And other fabrics.)

As you know, I finally decided that I want a teal velvet sofa in my living room.  I ordered a few samples from Online Fabric Store.  From the online pictures, I wasn’t really sure if any of them would work, but one of them turned out to be PERFECT!

new fabrics for living room 1

I’m so excited one of these velvets turned out to be the right color because check this out…

velvet fabric for sofa

Do you see that durability rating?!  150,000 double rubs!  Any fabric rated at 30,000 or above is considered heavy duty.  It’s incredibly rare to see a fabric with a durability rating this high.  And it’s also a cotton velvet, so while it will be very pretty, it won’t be too super fancy for my house like a silk velvet might be.

So now that I’ve decided on the sofa velvet fabric, I still need to find the perfect drapery fabric.  I decided not to go with the Robert Allen Graphic Fret fabric because I saw some draperies using that fabric, and I didn’t like them.  The pattern just seemed a bit too heavy.  So here are a few new samples I got.

This first one is Portfolio Zuma Stone.  As far as the color and the texture of the fabric, this one is my favorite.

new fabrics for living room 3

In person, I absolutely love this fabric.  It has a very natural linen color to it, and it’s about the same weight as a drapery linen.  I also like that it has an embroidered accent on it.  I’m just not sure about the flowers.  I generally love flowers, so I’m not sure what the problem is.  I think the online picture showing the repeated pattern kind of scares me off.

portfolio zuma stone fabric

But I have a feeling it’s much prettier in person, and you can see that the online picture looks much whiter and brighter than the actual natural linen color of the fabric.  But I’m still not sure of it.

The next one is Premier Prints Towers in Sherbet/Gray, which doesn’t look gray at all to me.

new fabrics for living room 4

I love this fabric, and I found this example on Custom Made that shows what it looks like as drapery panels.

premier prints towers drapery panels

If I only had one window, I’d probably go with this one.  But I have three windows, and one is rather large, so I wonder if this fabric might end up looking too busy if used on three windows.  But I do love Greek key trim (and Greek key anything else), so I could always use this fabric just as a trim on the leading edge of the draperies, like this drapery panel from Amanda Carol Interiors.  She used the same Premier Prints fabric in a different colorway as the trim.

greek key trimmed drapes from Amanda Carol Interiors

And then the final one I’m considering is HGTV Curl Up in Quartz.

new fabrics for living room 8

If that print were larger, I would have already ordered this fabric.  But the small print concerns me.  I can’t decide of it will be subtle or busy and overpowering.  I tried to find draperies online made of this fabric, and this drapery panel listing on Etsy from Stitch and Brush is the closest I could find to a full length picture.

HGTV curl up fabric used on curtains from Etsy

I keep coming back to this one because of the interlocking circle pattern, which I think would look great with the rolling doors

finished sliding barn door style French doors 3

I love repeated elements in a room, but I’m still concerned that the print is too small and may look too busy.

So I still haven’t quite settled on a fabric or a design for my draperies.  I haven’t ruled out cornices, either.  I keep seeing some really pretty ones that don’t look anything like 1980’s cornices.  What I do know is that whatever I decide on is what I’ll need to live with for many years to come.  I’m giving myself this one do-over, but this is it.  If I don’t get it right this time, I’ll just have to live with it.  🙂


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  1. I too love repeated elements in a room but I must agree that the pattern is too small and would look very busy. Since you are so crafty what about stenciling a fabric with a larger design to match your doors? Just a thought.

    1. I agree with Darnell’s suggestion. I was wondering about adding some applique to a lovely linen curtain mimicking the doors, but a stencil would be much faster and easier. Your favorite panel would be very nice, too. I was looking at it in sections, like you would see if it were hanging, and thought it had a softness the Greek key doesn’t. With the direction you’re heading, I’d lean more toward rounded, flowing patterns.
      I love watching your projects and designs unfold. Its going to be beautiful!

    2. I also agree – the last print’s too small and will look too busy in your room. What what color are you headed towards for the walls? Thanks!

  2. I like the first one – it looks just right. The others seem too dark and too busy. But I’m sure in the end you will find a completly different solution ;). Greetings from Switzerland.

    1. Wow – Switzerland! So cool.
      I agree with Christine, the first one looks just right. In person, they probably all look different than on the screen, but the first one’s color, at least on the screen, seems more subtle and that reduces the “busyness”.
      Good luck –

  3. hi kristi, love the velvet colour for the sofa. Very yummy. Looking at your pictures of fabrics for the drapes my preference is the Greek key. But instead of the neutral drape I’d match the colour. I think this would look wonderful next to your plan of painted grass cloth walls and trim. Cheers.

      1. I really like the idea of the greek key edging. It would go with your greek key tables if you choose to keep them. The cotton velvet is lovely.

  4. So the pretty patterned drapes you already have up won’t match the new pretty teal fabric for the sofa? I remembered reading that you wanted to change the drapes (and were confidant you’d recoup your initial investment), I just don’t remember why you wanted to change the drapes. I love the teal sofa fabric. I know it will all comes together beautifully., it’s fun to watch the process. And I’m excited to see your kitchen in a magazine spread, CONGRATS!!!

  5. Ooooh, I love that first one. From the samples I was unsure, but when you showed the on-line pic which showed the complete pattern, I thought it was beautiful. I want it! I don’t have anyplace to use it, but I still want it, ha! I thought the other two were too busy, but so often it’s hard to tell on a computer screen! I do love how the greek key pattern was used as a border. Sorry, not feeling that last one, but again, it’s probably so much prettier in person. Love the velvet fabric you picked out for the couch. Looks yummy! Well, as much as fabrics can look yummy, lol! I don’t know how you feel about the look, but I bought plain linen curtain panels, in a taupe shade, and had my friend add a wide panel stripe (around 12″) towards the top of the panels (maybe 12″ down?) and it looks beautiful. I’ve gotten lotsa compliments on it. What wasn’t even planned is that we realized the striped fabric is really close to the fabric to the couch throw pillows!

    Don’t worry about the randomness of jumping around. We love being shared in your thought process and how your choices come to fruition. Congratulations, even if it’s too early on your possible opportunity to be in a magazine. Kristi, she will love your kitchen. I’m not into green cabinets, concrete countertops or even subway tile and I love your kitchen! I’d be proud to have it! Who wouldn’t? It’s beautifully executed! I’m excited for you!

    1. I totally miswrote that. The panel she added isn’t striped at all. It’s a swirly floral fabric in a stripe across the panel.

  6. I love the first one. It is the right scale and isn’t busy like the others. It is so pretty. I can really see it working well with you other choices.

  7. I like the style of the Greek key one the best, but the pattern of the first one is wonderful. Why not use a strip of the first one as a border. I love the velvet, yummy.

  8. It seems that you like the last sample the best………if you think it will be too busy, why not edge curtains in that fabric like you thought to do in the previous one?

  9. I’m so excited that a publication might (and will, I’m sure) photograph your kitchen. Woot! Woot!

    As for your drapery fabric I love the fabric that mimics the pattern in your barn doors. I think it would be classic and be great in your room with the teal sofa. Very exicting stuff!

  10. I worry that any of those patterns will be overwhelming when you put it on all three windows. I LOVE the idea of using whichever one you choose as an edging on the drapes AND on the cornice.

  11. I like the interlocking circles, but agree that they are too small. If you couldn’t find a larger print, maybe designing your own somehow or you could use the smaller print to do an edging like the idea you had for the Greek key pattern. I like the repeated element in rooms as well. I would leave off the cornices, please.

      1. I was thinking of Spoonflower too…… you can design your own fabric, wallpaper and gift wrapping. Perhaps the pattern that you are using for the wallpaper in the breakfast room could be used as a basis for your own design for the curtain fabric… maybe tone on tone, i.e. the background colour of the fabric in the first sample. That way you would have your pattern but it would not be overpowering on all three windows and if you wanted you could edge the curtains in the gorgeous teal velvet that you have chosen for the sofa. You could even trim the cornice if you decide to go that way!! Good Luck with the decision making…

  12. I am casting my vote for the first one. While I love a Greek key, I just like a more curvy, natural shape better. I also think the curves, while not interlocking, go well enough with the doors. Overall, this is the one that looks richer and more custom to me.

  13. Not reading past Lisa and Debbie. I kinda, sorta knew there’d be a lot of diff opinions but as Lisa said, the first one is beautiful and I’m crazy for that Greek key. I have small pattern similar to one you said may be too small and I’m already sick of them after only 2 years. But you know what opinions are like! Do what you want. Whatever you do is always ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL. GOD, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE THAT TEAL COTTON VELVET. Goodness…it’s expensive! Hurry, hurry, hurry, you’re killing me! Can’t wait for the reveal!

  14. Once your breakfast room is completed, I feel certain you’ll get the magazine spread! Congratulations.

    Aside from the flowers, I think the first fabric has a Moroccan vibe, although that feeling would probably be lost once it was gathered into folds. It would be my inclination, no matter which fabric you choose, to use it as a leading edge trim or as a bottom border (in case you choose the first fabric). I think people tend to tire of draperies rather quickly when they’re all patterned. For months I’ve had a print fabric to have bedroom draperies made, but I’ve just about decided to have them made from drop cloths and to use the print as borders. Just a thought: Since you’re going to live with this room a long time, it would be easy and inexpensive to refresh it in the future simply by changing the drapery border and throw pillows. Those two simple differences can entertain your eye in a new way without redoing the whole room.

    Does the Online Fabric Store provide cuttings for approval? I’ve found that cotton fabrics in blues and greens can sometimes have a distinct variation from dye lot to dye lot.

    The more I think about it, the more I like the interlocking circles as borders because of their echoing the door design even though, like you, I’m also a sucker for the Greek key. If you plan to use patterned throw pillows on your sofa, perhaps it would be a good idea to choose the drapery fabric and pillow fabric at the same time so you won’t be chasing down something to coordinate after the fact.

  15. That is so incredibly exciting – a magazine shoot! I hope it comes true! Kristi, the last few months when I get a new House Beautiful or Traditional Home, the cover makes me think of you. A recent one featured a white herringbone backsplash, then Nov/Dec TH has that emerald green, and Sept. TH has graphic circles. I know there are other examples that I can’t recall right now. It is as if you are styling magazine covers.

  16. I like the couch fabric, but the drapery fabrics… none of them is that luxury look I thought you were going for – quite the opposite in fact, especially if you are making the walls more neutral.

    Are you still making the wall more neutral though? ‘Cause you set all the fabrics against the teal walls…

  17. I love the teal velvet. I was so hoping you’d go with the teal versus green for the couch. I also love the first fabric. I think is is a bit more modern/classic than the ones that you made previously, though I like them too! Have you checked out Jenny Komenda’s couch? I think it looks very similar to what you are describing. In fact I have the same couch she re-did, and I have been saving it to reupholster. I’m anxious to hear about how you go about doing your couch.

  18. I like the color of the “last” drapery print, but do think it’s pretty busy.

    Congratulations on the possible photo shoot. Because of that I’d probably finish the breakfast room and then revisit the front room. Though the velvet to recover the sofa might be something to pursue sooner. I just have a feeling something might spark your interest and create even more “new ideas” for the front room while you are finalizing the breakfast room.

  19. I love the fabrics…all of them. I am an admitted fabricaholic. I reupholster things that don’t need it after a trip to the fabric store. Lol. That said, if you haven’t shopped Warehouse Fabrics, you should. I’m fortunate enough to live close to the store (mind boggling!) but their online service is bar none above par. Same goes for price and selection. They’re on FB and their website.
    Love your fabric choices!

  20. Kristi: If you want the velvet sofa to be the STAR in the room, the windows need to be much quieter, especially since you have 3. Perhaps a linen that softly matches the wall color? Also, do you plan to leave your coffee table as is? Will the blue/teal fight each other? One thing leads to the next–sigh.

  21. I like the idea of using the last pattern as a template from which you create your fabric – either with a stencil or as an ornament to sew onto plain fabric: to achieve this, you can either use your Silhouette (I know, I keep coming back to it, but I just love the possibilities it offers and which I’m only about starting to discover myself) or, if there really is such a thing, which you seem to be able to design online and having it made (oh wonderful world!). I like that it would match your doors but think to achieve that effect, the pattern really should be bigger… And I would also go with a more intense colour considering that you want to change the walls to something more neutral, perhaps even teal to match the sofa. Cannot wait to see the outcome!!

  22. Kristi: All your choices in your home have been amazing…so this too shall be wonderful!
    BUT what I love most about your blog is the lack of “secrets, stay tuned, coming soon”
    You get to it and share it!

  23. Kristi, I love the idea that you really like the last one. To me it is just marvelous! Okay, I agree the pattern may be too small, but I believe out there somewhere the bigger pattern will be found! I love how it repeats the pattern of your sliding door. And I LOVE the upcoming of a magazine spread!!! We have all the faith in the world in you and your talent! Congratulations!

  24. I have a hard time making one decision at a time, and here you are making multiple decisions- you’re my hero! 🙂 Congrats on the possible magazine feature, totally deserved. I love the velvet fabric you chose. I always have a really hard time picturing what a fabric will look like made up, especially on curtains. I spent big bucks on fabric a couple of years ago, made lined curtains for 9-foot windows, then hated them when they were up. Totally different that what I had imagined. All that to say, I’m no help at all! 😀

  25. Of all of them I prefer the first one. I think the greek key and circle are going to shortlived. Like the Ikat, I don’t think they have lasting power in drapery fabric. Yes I do know that the Greek key has been around since time immemorium. I happen to love it, but as a border or in smaller doses. I am not even sure about the first one. While I like it better than the others, I still think you could find something out there in a silk or linen in a soft shade of the teal or a neutral. Drapes without patterns can last a life time, especially if the fabric is of good quality. When you tire of them. there are always, dust ruffles, duvetts, table runners, place mats oh and the often imitated but never duplicated ball gown, Miss Scarlet~ Blessings.

  26. How exciting to see your awesome kitchen in a magazine photo shoot! I’ll bet that editor will LOVE your kitchen! It’s so much fun watching your creative process. I’m sure you’ll make something gorgeous out of whatever fabric you choose. 🙂

  27. Love the velvet color- and I’m told velvet wears like iron. I’m curious- how do you keep your kitties from clawing your beautiful upholstered pieces?
    Are you keeping the Roman shades?
    I can’t wait to see you in a magazine! They will SO choose your house. What you accomplished in that kitchen was nothing short of miraculous. And to think…we knew you when…. 🙂

  28. I like the trim idea. I think you’re right, with 3 windows too much pattern is going to overwhelm. I’d pick whatever print you like and only use it as trim. The velvet is a stunning color!

  29. I’m thrilled that there is a possibility, for you, of a magazine spread on your kitchen. But geez! First of the year?? Talk about pressure to get a room done! Though I’m sure you can pull it off the pressure just before the Holidays would be way too much for me. I hope it happens though. I love your choice for the sofa fabric. It’s really luxurious feeling and you can’t beat the fabric quality. On the fabric for the window treatments I think I’ll reserve comment at this time since each came with the caveat…I love it but… You now have more time to decide and there will be new fabrics coming on the scene before you have to make a final decision. I’m pretty sure you’ll know it when the one that’s perfect shows it’s pretty little face to you.

  30. I like the last one that matches the pattern on the doors – and while you may feel the pattern is too small and may come across as too busy, I think that actually the pattern is small enough that it will read more as a solid, with the pattern only being truly noticeable from close up or upon examination. I like that it mimics the pattern in the doors, and goes away from your linear leanings.

  31. 🙂
    Just wanted to let you know I’m still following/paying attention. (You’re still making me tired just thinking of all you accomplish)
    Also, I ADORE those doors!!! But I think I told you that already. And If I HAVEN’T – shame on me!!
    Yikes that $31/yd velvet is going to be costly – I’m guessing you’ll need a minimum of 10, if not 20 yards – $300 – $600 YIKES!!! But, it sure is going to be gorgeous! Could you do a border a la the Greek Key one (which I really like also, BTW) with the ‘Curl Up in Quartz’ print?

  32. Oh my….they are all pretty….yikes..
    I knew you were going to be famous….Congratulations and I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed!!!
    Blessings to you,