Textile Spotlight: Velvet

November 4th, 2014

Ah velvet. That woven fabric easily recognizable by its short dense even pile that is so soft to the touch. Still chic after hundreds of years, the textile originated in the Far East in the 14th century and grew significantly in production by the 16th century in Italy.

Historically, velvet was created by skilled weavers with silk for nobility and for the church, its presence was a symbol of power and wealth. To make it, warps are drawn over rods to create loops then the rods are removed. The resulting loops are cut into a dense pile that is soft to the touch and changes in various light as it is draped or folded. Variations of the weave include crushed velvet, burnout, voided, embossed, and pile on pile, among others.

In modern times, velvet textiles are made from a variety of materials. Silk is shinier and softer but also the most expensive. Cotton and wool are used for more affordable versions and most inexpensive velvets are made from synthetics such as polyester. Velvet is one of those fabrics that begs to be touched and brings to mind a famous George Castanza quote, “I would drape myself in velvet if it were socially acceptable.”

Velvet makes its appearance this time of year because it’s so soft and warm against the skin although it’s a fabric desirable in interiors all year long. These twin gray sofas are perfection in a space decorated for the holidays featured in House & Home.

gray velvet sofas


A velvet headboard is one way to bring elegance to a bedroom, tufted or with nailhead trim, it’s a classic touch year round!

gray velvet headboard

song of style

blue tufted headboard

how to decorate

gray velvet headboard

victoria hagan

Velvet is always appropriate in the dining room where it adds a dose of formality and so comfortable it encourages family and guests to linger longer.

velvet dining chairs

 house & home

teal velvet dining chairs

landino photo 


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Umbrellas + Wellies

November 3rd, 2014

Today I took stock of my winter attire in our hall closet in preparation of the rainy days ahead. I fondled my fave cream double breasted trench coat (fashion success) but realized I have long lacked a cute umbrella and rain boots to go with (fashion tragedy).

I turned my attention online, randomly searching for a variety of rain boots and umbrellas to add to my wardrobe because life is too short for boring accessories especially for splashing in rain puddles which I always encourage. I love a great mix of pattern and/or color, here’s a fun combination of umbrellas and rain boots with personality!  just


kate spade stripe / pink print wellies / teal mid rain boots / william morris floral / hunter red bubble (four colors) / buffalo plaid boots / mollie navy stripe boots / blue bubble stick umbrella classic black and white umbrellas and rain boots


celene black + white geometric / spotted high leg boots / blue and black plaid / graphic strokes umbrella / checkered umbrella / leopard boots/ quilted boots / plaid compact umbrella   bold and bright umbrellas rain boots


red quilted boots / zebra scalamandre / patterned blues umbrella / turquoise bootsswirl boots / birdcage coral / dots bubble umbrella / yellow dots boots

I love those bright color combinations! They’re the perfect prescription for a rainy cloudy day… do you have a favorite?