Monday, August 12, 2013
Something tells me that velvet-covered furniture is an acquired taste. Or, put another way, you either love it or hate it. Personally, I think that velvet upholstered tables and bookcases can be quite sumptuous, but I will admit that velvet furniture can go from tasteful to trashy in the blink of an eye.
First, the velvet that is used can't look too shiny or, even worse, too crushed. Also, its color needs to be sophisticated rather than garish, so certain shades of red, green, and blue seem to work best. And finally, embellishment, if used, should be kept to a minimum. I'm not crazy about most velvet covered tables from the late 19th century because they were usually finished in fringe. (I included an example below just for comparison's sake.)
Of course, the current king of velvet furniture is British designer Alidad, whose signature velvet console table, above, was a hit about six or seven years ago. Alidad has branched out into velvet enrobed bookcases and occasional tables, too. But the piece that got this whole blog post rolling is the green velvet bookcase below, which was designed by the great French decorator, Henri Samuel. Is that a masterpiece or what?!
Green silk velvet covered bookcase, designed by Henri Samuel and sold at Christie's New York, 2001.
A pair of velvet occasional tables, 20th century, sold at Christie's Amsterdam, 2011.
A pair of crimson silk-velvet end tables, sold at Christie's London, 2008.
Gaius bookcase by Alidad
A Napoleon III table, 19th century, part of the Yves Saint Laurent- Pierre Berge collection, sold at Christie's Paris, 2009