A Velvet Sofa – The Starting Point For My “New” Living Room

The other day when I shared that I was taking my living room in a new direction, a few of you mentioned that a velvet sofa would look great in there.  Honestly, I had never even considered a velvet sofa, so I got onto Pinterest and Houzz and started searching.  And oh my!!  I’m hooked on this idea now!

So when I went to look at fabrics the other day, I was trying to work in a velvet sofa that would go with my dark teal ottoman, and ended up choosing a chocolate brown.  It was pretty, but I kept going back to those Pinterest and Houzz pictures, and the sofas that I really liked the most were the sofas in the various shades of greens and blues.  They’re so gorgeous!  And a bit dramatic.

velvet sofa in dark blue - via Elle Decor Espanavia Elle Decor Espana

And I’m nothing if not dramatic!  😀

Okay, maybe not.  But I do love these rich, saturated colors on these sofas.

velvet sofa in green - design by Stephen Knollenbergvia Stephen Knollenberg

So that means that my ottoman will need a bit of a makeover as well.  I already have plans to “neutralize” it (it’s actually becoming a coffee table), and I’ll be reusing the tufted teal top on another project.  I’m a little bit sad about not having that teal tufted ottoman in the living room, but it’s all in an effort to make way for a bold velvet sofa — the foundational piece around which my entire “new” living room will be decorated.

velvet sofa in dark blue - Smith Boyd Interiors, via HouzzContemporary Living Room by Atlanta Interior Designers & Decorators Smith Boyd Interiors

And right now, my plan is to reupholster the sofa I have.  I like the style, with the English rolled arms, and it’s a very sturdy, heavy, well-built Thomasville sofa.  I’ll be reconfiguring the cushions a bit, because I really like sofas that have just one long seat cushion, and one long bolster along the back, like this green sofa…

velvet sofa in green - bedroom designed by Jennifer Robins Interiors, via HouzzTransitional Bedroom by San Anselmo Architects & Building Designers Jennifer Robin Interiors

So now my hardest decision is choosing between blue/teal or green.  Every time I think I have my mind made up to go with a gorgeous dark blue or teal…

velvet sofa in dark blue - living room design by Mint Home Decor, via HouzzEclectic Living Room by Seattle Interior Designers & Decorators Mint Home Decor

…then I see an amazing green that makes me change my mind.

velvet sofa in green - from ninemsn real livingvia NineMSN Real Living

Or I could just go with turquoise…

velvet sofa in turquoise - Katie Rosenfeld Interiors, via HouzzTransitional Family Room by Milton Photographers Michael J. Lee Photography

Okay, probably not turquoise, although that sofa is beautiful!  I really do think I’ll go with dark blue/teal.  This teal sofa is so pretty, but I like my teals to be more on the blue side than the green side.

velvet sofa in tealvia Boca do Lobo

Since my kitchen is so predominantly green, I really don’t think I want my living room to also be predominantly green.  Dark teal with some green accents to tie into the kitchen would be perfect.

And for those of you who may have missed my update on Friday, I made some further modifications to my fireplace by painting (yes, painting) the stone mosaic tile.

fireplace makeover - from Craftsman to Traditional - with tile toned down - 2

You can see more, including the final before and after of the fireplace with the “new” tile, in the update at the end of Friday’s post.



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  1. I feel like the teal color is beautiful and would work great. I also worry that the green would be repetitive and lose its “special-ness” it currently has in the kitchen. Go with the blues!

        1. The ottoman is one of my favorite projects you have done to date, PLEASE reuse it someplace else in the house! I will mourn its loss. 🙂 Your sunroom perhaps??!

  2. I’m glad you found a sofa style that you’re happy with, but omg, you have to keep the ottoman. Maybe you could use it in your entry way for seating–I’m assuming it’s strong enough. In any event, I know your living room will be stylish and lovely.

  3. Your ideas are good but please take your time figuring it out. I’m sensing a frantic pace and we are all more than willing to wait for changes to come. A couple things- have you worked with velvet before? I remember reading a post on the Centsational Girl blog where Kate used velvet to re-do a chair. She said it was difficult to work with due to the stretchiness and she probably wouldn’t use it again. Also, a one piece cushion will be very heavy and may be difficult to put the foam into, not to mention the cost of the foam!

    1. Upholstery Velvet should not be stretchy. It really is not difficult to sew and if the bench cushion has a zipper that extends the full length of the cushion, the foam will be easy to insert. 🙂

    2. I love my bench seat sofa and wouldn’t have any other kind. It’s very worth the construction hassle, cost and weight. I have had divided cushions before and would not go back to them.

    3. I was about to say the same thing as Donna. Upholstery velvet has no stretch to it at all. Trying to upholster with regular velvet is just asking for trouble.

      And there’s no frantic pace here. It probably seems like it because I bounce around a lot of ideas, but the only thing that’s actually been done so far is my fireplace makeover. Other than that…nothin’. I haven’t even ordered any fabric yet. 🙂

  4. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Velvet Sofas!
    Just think, if you had not gotten the brass kitchen light, you would not have started work on the kitchen until way down the road, AND you would not have fully discovered the “true you” with regards to your own interior design. How exciting to know exactly which direction you want to go for all those other rooms in your home. 🙂
    I say never hesitate to change something if it doesn’t work. I would rather take the small amount of time to make it exactly the way I want, then to spend the next 10 years simply “making do”.

  5. Back in August I was perusing Austin’s Craigslist at 2 am (I have to be to work at 3am), and I came across a sofa identical to the first picture except it was bright green like the couch in the sixth picture AND IT WAS ONLY $25!!! I sent an email begging for the sofa and by some miracle (or the logistics of working early shifts at HEB), my email was the first one she got. I live an hour outside of Austin so I had to make a few phone calls to a friend in Austin (who might have been my ex-boyfriend a LONG time ago), but goshdarnit I got a bright green velvet tufted couch for $25!!! It’s in need of reupholstering, more so every day with 2 kids and 2 dogs, and I will admit that the tufts collect dog hair like a magnet (the dogs are NOT allowed on the couch but the couch doesn’t lie about what happens when I’m at work) but I still love it with all my heart!

  6. I am in love love LOVE with the green velvet sofa! I think if it were the only “green” piece in the room it would definitely compliment and not compete. Soften it by adding a complimentary, patterned fabric on the ottoman. Your sofa is an anchor piece for the living room. Your kitchen is the anchor of your home. I can actually see it done and I am just drooling!
    Stunning it will be!

  7. Love the sofa choice, however I was thinking instead of getting rid of the beautiful ottoman that you worked so hard on, why not paint it like you did the sofa. Ottoman’s don’t need to be soft necessarily and you could paint it to co-ordinate with you new sofa color.

  8. Love the idea of the velvet sofa! Stay with your teal & accent with the green to tie into your kitchen. Is this a room you will use all the time? Will your cats have access ? My only drawback (practical side kicking in!) would be that velvet & cat hair don’t mix. Loving the changes & await your updates everyday. You are a true inspiration to get me off my butt to do something in my own home.

    1. Our sunroom will eventually be remodeled and used as a family room, so this room will be more like a formal living room. Right now, my cat shows absolutely no interest in this room. She spends most of her time in the dog bed in the sunroom lying in the sun. 🙂 I’m hoping that she continues to have no interest in it, but just in case, I’ll get a big, heavy duty cat hair upholstery roller thing.

  9. I love the idea, but consider your pets and their hair. Velvet is a magnet for hair, more like Velcro. I’ve regretted a sofa purchase strictly for that reason… Unless you buy a color to match your pets’ fur.

  10. I think I would move my ottoman to another room and construct whatever you are wanting to replace it with — do that as a completely new project. That ottoman is the bomb and I just don’t see tearing it apart/reusing unless you plan to use it as a headboard or something of that nature.

    Those sofas are awesome, and I keep swooning at EVERY ONE OF THEM!

  11. Hah – looking at your fireplace makeover on Friday I wondered whether those tiles might get a tune up too. They looked a little too casual and brown for the new formality in the surround.

  12. Love the velvet sofa, but the one I had the dog and cat both LOVED to lick the thing to death, must have been the texture or they thought it needed grooming! Just a word from the wise.

  13. So glad you decided to go with a velvet sofa. It will really add drama to the room. It is a shame about the ottoman, but maybe you could use it in the sunroom with real neutral looking furniture. Stuff covered in canvas to make it a good place to hang out with all the animals. I think you could work it in in there with out any problem, especially if you pick up the color in your floor. There are some great indoor/outdoor rugs that can add major pop to a room. Check out some of the selections at Ballards. I can see a big glass bowl filled with silver and gold Christmas balls on a glass top coffee table. Living room is really shaping up! Blessings.

  14. I grew up with my mom’s green velvet sofa. she bought it used and like yours it was a very good sofa that she had upholstered in green velvet. I loved that sofa! Good choice!

  15. I love the idea of turquoise, because it take you out of your comfort zone. Please take your time in making your decision this time. Your are redoing all of what you did before, just take some time and make sure it is what you want. Loving the fire place so much better now! Velvet and cat hair, think about.

  16. I’m wondering if a large boldly colored, dramatic sofa in that room will make the living room look crowded and smaller? I like the idea of having the white as the major color in the living room, and accenting with the green, brass, and black. That would give a little ‘taste’ of the green before it’s introduced in full force in the kitchen. I’m sad to see the teal ottoman go too. Do you think that painting it in the green, with black painted legs, would be possible? If you leave the sofa you have white, and put the moldings on the walls as you mentioned, painting them to blend with the sofa, would that work? Do you have a computer program that would allow you to try out the different colors on sofa, walls, and other furnishings?

    Lots of changes coming, whoohoo!

    1. If I were sticking with the other furniture arrangement, a large sofa in a deep, saturated color might make it look smaller. But now that I have the new arrangement (sofa up against the big window, and the chairs opposite), the room actually looks really big. And the entryway looks a bit cavernous. I’m keeping it like that because it’s easier for Matt to maneuver around, and I do like how open it looks, but it could definitely stand to have some deep, saturated colors in large doses. 🙂

        1. No, I haven’t shown it yet. :-/

          Almost as soon as I got everything rearranged, I decided to work on my fireplace and wanted to get everything out of the way. I also needed to move the rug out since it’s not big enough for the new arrangement. So now everything is shoved into the entryway, along with the huge box that holds my new breakfast room chandelier. It’s quite an obstacle course just to get to the front door. I’m hoping to get everything put back in the next couple of days, and I’ll take a new picture.

  17. A couple of things come to mind…how large is your ottoman? It looks a bit large for your living room space. Pictures can be decieving though. How about a little smaller oval one to give some softer edge to the square and rectangular features in the room? I like the idea of the teal sofa and using peacock “colors” for accessories, you can incorporate your greens, blues, teals and even black as you desire. It will tie nicely with the wonderful kitchen and still be its own room. I’ve wondered also about cat hair and velvet:) Hmmmmm?

    1. It does look really big in photos, but there’s plenty of room around it in the room. The first time my mom came over and saw it in person, she was shocked at the size. She said in the pictures, it looked way bigger than it is, but in person, it looked like it fit the space much better. She was surprised at how much space there was around the ottoman. So I’m not sure why the pictures make it look so big! 🙁 Anything smaller would look too small…in person, at least.

  18. I loved the first velvet sofa color by Elle. I think that would be most elegant choice and bring in green and lighter color of sofa for pillows..just my thoughts..

  19. I’m so glad you changed your fireplace. In its initial version, I thought it looked like a faux fireplace. It’s beautiful now, and I think you had a great idea by toning down the tile surround and hearth. I’m eager to see the finished sofa. You’re going to have so much fun realizing your vision!

    1. I also come to a halt when I look at this sofa…it is lovely. Before you decide get some cheap cotton and drape the couch you want to recover and see how it feels in the room.

      Velvet has to always go the one way with the nap….I have used tailors chalk to draw arrows on the back when I have made something with lots of bits.

  20. Hi Kristi-

    I love the idea of a velvet couch! You won’t regret it. We just had two wingback recliners reupholstered in Banks Velvet (color: Uniform, a fantastic navy blue) and love, love, love them. We have two pre-teen boys and one dog, and those chairs are used daily. After almost a year, they still look like new. Functional and beautiful: I’m so happy! Here is a link if you’re interested!


  21. I’m having a big lmao moment this morning reading your blog. I’m SO happy to know I am not the only one who loops on my home decoration. I can start in one place, move to another, move to another – all along the way honing my vision, until I get back to the first place and realize I really need to redo that. It’s wonderful! I love it because it means the decorating never ends! There is always one more thing!

  22. OMG! I am so happy about your decision to go velvet – it will definitely be the new centerpiece of the room. In my new home, I am planning on a luscious midnight blue sofa. The fabric makes a statement all on its own! In regard to the color choice, maybe you could oder a sample a keep it it in your living room for a day or so while you mull it over – it makes such a difference when you can see it at different times of the day. I did this recently and it really sealed my choice.

  23. I never consider velvet as it reminds me of the Harvest Gold velvet my Mom used…you know, the Harvest Gold/Avocado Green Era! However, I love that Elle navy blue sofa – I need that as a sectional for my living room! Rich teal blue for yours will be amazing. Question…With a single couch cushion, are there issues as far as flipping for even wear since you can’t switch with other cushions as on a 2 or 3 cushion? Maybe in the “formal living room” it won’t get used regularly enough to matter? In my home, everyone has their favorite position on the couch, especially me, so I have to flip often.

  24. Love the velvet sofa idea! The deep rich color will add so much elegance to the room. I missed Friday’s update of the painted fireplace tile, so I went back and checked it out. When you added the trim and painted the fireplace, I loved it and thought the tile didn’t do justice to it. But with all the tile so muted now, I think it looks kind of washed out. It doesn’t say “Kristi!” to me now. Where is that touch of color or gold or hint of sparkle? Maybe with the saturation of color elsewhere in the room it isn’t needed, but just wondering….

    1. I think part of the problem is my photography. 🙁 One of these days, I’m going to take a photography class…when i have some spare time. 😀 Because I look at the fireplace in person, and the tiles have more color and contrast to them. But in the pictures, they look so…white. I mean, they’re definitely toned down and muted, but in person they’re not quite as white as they look in the pictures.

  25. I love your ability to create on the fly. I work the same way, and have learned to let the creativity flow. The velvet couch is an AMAZING addition. And what is a little cat hair between friends….. I had a Navy couch, good fabric, great quality, and it faded within a few years, inspite of not being exposed to the sun. I offer this frustrating information to file away for reference. The update to the fireplace is a great addition. It is so fun to follow your escapades on this blog. I miss reading you on the weekends, and look forward to Monday. You rock, Girl!!! Hope the other ‘project’ is going well. Rooting for you from STL!!!

  26. I have a deep green velvet English arm chair (my reading chair), which I adore. So do my cats – they know how elegant they look there.* It’s beautiful, and velvet is a very tough material, despite its luxurious appearance. Go for it!

  27. Hi Kristi,
    Great job on painting the fireplace tiles. I didn’t think they worked with your new mantel but painting them toned the shine down a enough for it work!

    I really like the velvet sofa idea, and think using your current sofa is a great choice, my only comment is to keep the teal towards navy rather than turqouise.

    Also glad to see you are keeping your ottoman, I used your ottoman instructions to build my headboard. It was the second hardest thing I have done in my life, the first was climbing the horseshoe mesa trail in the grand canyon.

  28. Kristi, I get you completely about changing your living room. I like to let my ideas evolve too. To me that is the excitement of decorating, not just settling for something because it’s already there. Recovering the sofa in velvet sounds delicious to me. But I’m glad you are considering changing the coffee table. I’m feeling that the ottoman table would look too heavy in your room with a dramatic piece like the velvet sofa. I think a more pared down look would be more successful. And then you will think of something wonderful to repurpose the ottoman table elsewhere in the house. Oh. And love the changes to the fireplace. I liked the old look, but I certainly agree this fits better with your new concept for the room. As always, lovin’ what you are doing!

  29. I love the idea of the velvet sofa. Would you ever consider a cream? You then could use and change them out with the most gorgeous gem tone pillows. Emerald, saphire, tourmaline green or blue. I’ve recently found your blog and your stunning kitchen. I cannot get over your abilities to see then do.
    Love your blog.

  30. As a pet owner(husky/lab mix that pan ever stops shedding) all I can think about is that velvet will be a magnet for cat hair! We have two chairs that have a velvety finish and the dog hair is an absolute night area…and that’s wy we have leather furniture on order.

    1. Jeanie, I just commented below the same thought. lol…we just got new leather furniture too due to pet hair. You will love it! I love decorating and “styling” my house up but we have both dogs and cats so I try to be stylish and practical. All for my sake…cleaning and hair drive me crazy so I have adjusted/tweaked my style a bit to keep my sanity.

  31. I am voting for a green velvet sofa…I think the color will bring some of the green from the kitchen into that room and improve the flow between the rooms. That way too you could leave your ottoman as blue/teal and then add more neutral items throughout the room. You said you were going with a textured wall treatment much like grasscloth and I think that will be beautiful, especially if you carry the brass accents in the metals to that room as well. I worry, however, like the commentor above, that the velvet sofa would be a cat hair magnet, I guess that’s something to consider as well. I’m looking forward to seeing how your vision for the room unfolds!

  32. This is my first time commenting here, I’ve been reading your blog for quite some time. I vote for the dark navy/teal colour for one very important reason, your peacock door pulls. With a lovely dark teal you can include a subtle touch of peacock-y-ness in the room, it shouldn’t be obvious but I think it might bring everything together for you.

  33. I think your right with the green or royal blue but to get a grand look I think the otmen should be white or light cream.

  34. I love the new direction for the living room. I vote for the bright royal blue velvet on the sofa with some green and maybe a gold/brass color in a contemporary designed pattern for the throw pillows to pull in that gorgeous green in the kitchen.

  35. Well, I really like the new direction of this living room, and I understand that you want a sofa that doesn’t go with the ottoman, but, …the ottoman!!! It’s right up there with the gold leafed cabinets as my favorite things you’ve done. I think it’s a shame to disassemble it. I do like the velvet sofas, though. I like the turquoise and I think you might like purple too.

  36. How much wear and tear/use is the velvet sofa likely to receive? And how long do you plan on keeping the piece? If you reupholster your present sofa with green velvet, can you guesstimate how much the overall cost might be? Just curious. I’m thinking of either reupholstering my den sofa or else having a slipcover made for it. We use the room for TV watching, so the blinds are closed most of the time. I loved the sofa when I bought about 11 years ago, and it’s held up quite well, but I’d like to change it ’cause the heavy dark green velvet upholstery sucks the light out of the room. Plus, I’m ready for a change. BTW, it has one long seat cushion, which is great for taking naps! Also, my carpet and upholstery cleaner once told me to unzip the cover to the seat cushion cover and just throw it in the wash when it gets dirty and I’ve done this ever since. It works beautifully, although I was afraid the first time I did it. Thank goodness the seat cushion has a long zip, which helps with removing it for laundering and makes it very easy to put back on after it comes out of the dryer. And the color has never faded in the wash so the seat cover still matches the sofa’s overall upholstery.

  37. Just looked back at your blog last November when you did Phase 1 of the living room. Is the furniture placement like that.? I take it you will be doing the walls to hold the sliding doors to the music room at this time also so I can see where you probably want a slightly larger rug. Something in a print would look nice but that all depends on the drapery fabric. I really like the floor length drapes on each side of the fireplace like seen in so many of the pics you have posted. I really like the turquoise. It goes nicely with gold in the pic & the green in the lamp looks close to the green in the lamps you made. I think turquoise & teal would look nice together & green accent color. I think green would be too much with the kitchen & you’re going to pull that color in the breakfast area. Teal would be my second choice but a more jewel tone.

  38. Kristi, have you thought you about going with a dark, rich, gray velvet and punch up the color with your accents. You can keep the beautiful ottoman then as well.

  39. I thought you would go for the emerald green one; I think it would be gorgeous in the new living room and introduce/reference the green for the kitchen. Go green, it’s so beautiful.
    And the fireplace is beautiful as well. I love traditional style too and you are a magician with trim! I think I’ll need some advice when we move. Trim makes everything more beautiful.

  40. I green would carry your kitchen color into your living room,and you don’t have to use the same shade of green. Velvet couches are so luxurious.

  41. I love the velvet couch idea! I think green would be too much with the kitchen but bluish teal? Beautiful… I also love the new look of the fireplace.
    And I know it was mentioned but I just read an article from houzz I think, about decorating with pets and they referred to velvet as a “pet hair magnet”…..I hope not! I love it but my practical side had to summit to my stylish side and go with leather recently when buying new furniture. Although not necessarily what I initially wanted, I love leather for real life with animals. My anal side knew pet hair on my furniture all the time would drive me bananas. lol…Good luck though and I hope your little one stays uninterested!!!

  42. I have a vintage velvet sofa that I want to reupholster – I can’t imagine doing it myself though! I’ve absolutely loved it- super comfy and originally it was a gorgeous shade of teal (you can see the original color under the cushions that were never turned). My favorite sofa in your array is that first dusty navy color – I’ve always loved that image! I agree that you should avoid making green a huge part of this room, since the breakfast room and kitchen both will.

    I’m thrilled with this new direction. I wasn’t feeling your living room, but loved your kitchen so much! I couldn’t believe they were in the same house. The fireplace is so much better. The subtle tile really makes it. New curtains will really set the tone for the space, especially against a neutral wall.

    Please keep trying new things! I’m excited to see what you choose for the tabletop.

  43. Kristi, I’ve been out of town and so I am catching up on your postings. Wow, have I missed a lot. I see lots of readers want to keep the ottoman. It is such a great piece and you will probably find a another place in your home where it will again be the showplace. This way, your choice of sofa color will not be limited. I too love the teal though I tend to go to the greenish part of teal. My favorite is to find a teal that is an evenly mix of green and blue with just a bare touch more of the green. The velvet is a great idea and really adds a luxe touch. I LOVE single cushion sofas. I have had both single cushion as well as three cushion and when we bought our new sofa for the living room I looked until I found my single cushion dream sofa and I love it. I also find them more comfortable and it can seat more than three people comfortably. So, go to it, girl. I can’t wait to see the results!

  44. I’m playing catch on your posts. I’ve missed a lot while away I see. But it makes for a great evening seeing eight posts to read. I just love the idea of velvet. Both the teal and green are beautiful. Not sure which way I would go if I could even consider velvet. But with two pets that use the sofa as their own bed( yes I’m one of those people) I decided to go with leather. It’s so much cleaner. If you go teal I would not be concerned with adding any green as the music room will be dividing the two rooms with your yet to be made beautiful black doors. Looking forward to seeing this room come together. Cheers