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The Essential Guide to Velvet

Just a couple of years ago, to say “velvet” in decoration was synonymus of outdated decor. But the sum of the cocooning trends and the love for retro style have made velvet a new object of desire.

Velvet has a bit of bad reputation (“it´s expensive”, “delicate”, “complicated”…), which is totally unfair. In this first post dedicated to velvet, we are going to know it better.

A blue velvet sofa, like this one by Blasco & Blasco with Keystone velvet, becomes the center of attention of any living room.

What is: It may be easier to define velvet by what it is not. Velvet is not a fiber, neither natural nor synthetic. The term refers to the result of a complex weaving process to obtain a soft fabric, with short and thick pile, with a uniform distribution of the loops. To create it is used a special loom that weaves two pieces at the time. Although the technique has been made cheaper with industrial looms, the process is still very complex.

Types. Velvet can be made with natural fibers, such as cotton, wool, linen, silk or mohair, with synthetic fibers, such as polyester, rayon or viscose, or mixing natural and synthetic fibers.

  • 100% silk velvet has a super luxurious touch. Today it is very rare and costs more than 400 euros per yard.
  • Cotton velvet looks less glossy, but is soft, affordable and sturdy. In addition, it dyes very well, so it is available in a variety of wonderful colors.
  • Linen velvet, with a characteristic striped texture, is the most masculine and has good resistance to the marks of use. Nowadays it is practically impossible to find linen velvet.
  • Synthetic and mixed velvets imitate perfectly the sheen of silk velvet and are competitively priced.

Color samples of Blasco & Blasco velvet Retiro II, mix of viscose and cotton.

Look. The velvet looks luxurious and shiny because the pile on its surface reflects the light at multiple angles. It is usually dyed in very vivid and dark colors that enhance its characteristic shine.

History. Without a clear origin, it seems that the ancient Egyptians made fabrics similar to velvet. From the East came to Italy around the thirteenth century. Florence and Venice were major producers. In the sixteenth century Flanders became the great exporter of European velvet. In Spain we find excellent velvet weavers from the seventeenth century, some of which continue working until today. Before the industrial revolution, velvet was an unattainable fabric, symbol of power, luxury and wealth. Today, in Europe is produced an exquisite velvet, designed mainly for Haute Couture.

Velvet is also used for bedding. This quilt from de Zara Home combines linen and velvet.

Decoration. In general, all types of velvet are good to upholster, make curtains, cushions or plaids, regardless of the fibres used for weaving the fabric. There is also velvet with anti-allergic, anti-bacteria, anti-fungus or anti-stain treatments, which do not affect its brightness or soft touch.

Hygge Tips for a Happy Home (II)

Have you tried our five first hygge tips for a happy home? Here you have five more keys:

  1. Surround yourself with things that make you happy. The hygge culture is about creating an environment that make us happy at home. And one way to do it is to surround yourself with things that remind you of good times. It can be a photo gallery of your trips. Or maybe an inherited closet with wood smell that carries you to your grandmother’s house every time you open it.
  2. Don´t spend money without thinking. The Danes aren´t wasteful. They usually save to buy good furniture or design pieces, rather than buying something that does not really fascinate them just because it is cheap or has a discount.
  3. House in order. An organized house not only improves the physical space, it also improves our inner space, our mind. How are you going to be happy if you lose 10 minutes each morning looking for the keys before you leave? The first step to achieving a tidy and happy home is to “edit” our belongings. Only objects that make us happy or are useful should be left. The second step is to invest in good storage solutions. So you can have everything organized and get a quiet space by removing from sight those things that create visual mess.

A large shelf helps keep everything in order, a key to hygge. Via: The Style Files

  1. Create at least one hyggekrog (a special corner where you feel happy) in your home. For some people it will be a comfortable armchair next to the fireplace where to read quietly. But for other people, the hyggekrog will be a walk-in closet where organize clothes and accessories, a wall with family photos or a perfectly organized desk to work from home in front of a window.
  2. Find time for your tribe… Good company is the essence of hygge and a happy home. Leave the cell phone aside and turn off the TV, to enjoy a nice evening with popcorn and movie with your children. Or gather your friends to share a delicious dinner and a good chat.

 A happy home is shared with good friends. Via: The Jungalow

Is hygge the reason why the Danes are the happiest in the world? Surely they are surprised when they see that many foreigners try to copy their houses with candles, wool plaids and Nordic-style decorations, without understanding that hygge is much more. It´s a (good) lifestyle, a way to create a happy home and share it with others.

If you liked this post, surely you are interested in Decalogue of Wabi Sabi Decoration

Natural decor in Marrakech

This Marrakesh home, inspired by the traditional country houses in this area of ​​Morocco, combines tradition and comfort, with a very sophisticated result. Its luminous and natural decor is the work of Spanish interior designer Victoria Melián, from Estudio Melián Randolph.. Her project filled the house with color, always in soft tones, and provided it with comfortable furniture. Victoria Also included materials and crafts of the area.

The house is brand new and has been based on traditional Moroccan architecture. In the backyard porch, in front the pool, Point and Métiers d’Hier furniture. The green wooden pergola is designed by Victoria Melián.

Almost every room in the house has a fireplace. In the living room, Blasco & Blasco sofa and armchairs. On the wall, photograph by Hassan Hajjaj, in Larache Gallery.

natural decorA lot of sunlight and a natural decor are behind the success of this house. In the living area, African table by Lorenzo Queipo de Llano and sofas  by Blasco & Blasco.

All ceilings are different. In this room, the turquoise in the ceiling is repeated in furniture and complements. Tables from Ziya Designs. Bamboo chair, Objetology. Rug, Berbería.

In the master bedroom, the canopy has been made with a carpet by Berberia. Fireplace of tadelakt, a surface very bright and resistant made from lime plaster. All these elements achieve the comfortable, bright and natural decor that the owners wished.