How to style velvet and leather furniture for a cool look

Padstow Armchair and Sofa in Olive Velvet

Our polls are always popular. Asking key questions on the latest interior design fashions and fads, we love to know what you think.

Our latest poll was about the must-have fabric of the season, velvet and the old guard, leather. Both are materials that are loved and revered but, are they two fabrics that you would use together?

We Asked, You Answered

The yes/no poll was unanimous. Using leather and velvet together in a design scheme was not only perfectly acceptable but a coveted look for the coming season or two.

But it presents an interior design conundrum. How can both materials – one plush to the touch and the other satisfyingly cool and smooth – be mixed in one room? Can they be mixed or are they best kept apart, never the twain shall meet? Are they materials that suit the industrial look?

No rules, just ‘principles’

There is no rulebook that says velvet and leather cannot be used in the same room BUT, there are design principles that need to be followed.

An equal crack of the whip

Candice Fabric Armchair

Interior designers say that if you are going to use velvet and leather in the same room then both should be used in equal measure, so one doesn’t look like the poor relation or an afterthought. Thus, a stylish velvet armchair framing a two-seater leather sofa is perfectly acceptable.

Colour it well

A neutral tone leather sofa in an industrial styled room is ideal – black or brown leather, even a cream in some instances – and can be the perfect partner to any colour velvet armchair, footstool etc.

Spitfire Brown Cerato Leather Sofa

However, the other way around is slightly more problematic maybe because an unusual coloured leather leaves it ‘natural’ roots behind and becomes something else. There is an expectation that a leather sofa is tan or black, and the velvet fabric has the colour.


And so, with colour and an equal footing, you now need to ensure that you have a sense of cohesion between the two. And you do this via style.

In other words, if you are opting for the angles and lines of the industrial look, you wouldn’t opt for a Scandinavian inspired leather sofa with a wing-back traditional velvet armchair.

Luxe Daley Upholstered Dining Chair in Blue Velvet

Choose similar styles and shapes in both fabrics so that they pull together strongly.

The same is true in the dining room too, enjoying a mix of both velvet upholstered chairs and leather dining chairs to sit alongside the metal frame of an industrial style dining table.

Add a contrast

But to stop it looking too ‘twee’ and matchy-matchy, throw in a curveball in the shape of an industrial coffee table. Frankly, in the industrial styled landscape of the home, marble is the perfect addition. Instantly adding a sumptuous, luxurious note to a room, it is not overbearing in the industrial look, a style traditionally devoid of fuss and clutter.

The combination of a sleek metal frame in a marble top coffee table is ideal for the industrial look and for those of us that enjoy the mix of leather and velvet fabric, this is the additional zing the scheme needs.

How will you combine leather and velvet?

1 comment

  • Susan

    I’ve combined a whiskey leather colored sofa & loveseat with six cobalt blue velvet wingback chairs and a yellow French provincial farm table in a huge, open space cathedral ceiling kitchen & family room. Walls are pale yellow, floor is pine laminate. It’s stunning!

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