A window treatment that turns up the dial on glamour? Velvet curtains are right there at the head of the pack. The soft drape of any curtain could balance a room’s hard surfaces, of course. But the special qualities of velvet make it a star: the reach-out-and-touch appeal, the light-catching nap, the way it emanates color. Use it for curtains and you can set a stage on which all these virtues shine.
Oh, and as traditional as velvet curtains may be, they also are at home in any contemporary room you would like to design. Here’s the proof.
Throw a light show. Teal gives the velvet curtains in this bedroom a modern aesthetic. They’re an important factor in the opulent whole: Gold floral wallpaper and a silky carpet together with an upholstered headboard complete the picture.
If you like the idea of upping velvet’s impact, you could follow this room’s lead by lighting curtains from above to exploit the fabric’s reflective nature. It’s a worthwhile addition in a room that’s largely used after dark.
Pick a worthy ally. When there’s a huge expanse of window to dress, the treatment needs to be its match — and these velvet curtains have the substance for the job. They’re neither billowy nor barely there; instead, the fabric’s weight, drape and color add up to a feature that demands attention. Besides holding their own against the expanse of glass, they temper the effect of a large area of hard flooring, ensuring that the big space feels homey.
The block of curtain color is part of a tonal blue-and-green palette incorporating both hard cabinetry and soft furnishings. Why repeat colors? Because it’s a trick that lets separate zones feel part of a whole.
Lighten up. Velvet curtains often sport dark shades, but this room features a punchier color as part of a design that showcases floral pattern and celebrates the hues of summer blooms and foliage.
To get the look, opt for a velvet with a deep pile, like this one, and allow curtains to pool on the floor — another way to bolster a room’s sumptuousness.
Adopt tradition. Deep red velvet curtains are a classic and, in these period surroundings, they definitely look the part. How to pull off this room’s successful avoidance of quaintness? Let the curtains drape unfussily —pelmets and other formal top treatments are out.
Adding in areas of fresh, clean white, like this room’s bed linen and painted floorboards, also helps keep things modern. Check out the paintings too. Propping as well as hanging make for relaxed 21st-century style.
Get the royal treatment. With its regal associations, purple is a natural choice when luxury is desired, and how better to introduce it than with velvet curtains? The luxe continues in this bedroom with a tall, wide upholstered headboard and a dark wood bed base that have hotel good looks.
Come to the table. The textural quality and gentle pleats of velvet curtains are a boon in a separate dining area, where unyielding surfaces and straight lines can otherwise hold sway. In this design, the curtains’ warm, dark tones — along with the dark wall color — add to the intimacy of the room.
Get that five-star feeling. Velvet’s a favorite in hotels as well as homes. Here, the velvet curtains are part of the recipe used to evoke boutique-hotel style, along with a textured teal wallcovering.
For a rich finish in your own bedroom, be inspired by this room’s use of metallics, including the tone of the velvet fabric. It’s effective for layering on the luxe.