Honest Review of the West Elm Marin Velvet Sofa

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The two West Elm Marin velvet sofas are my second set of sofas in two years. My previous two matching sofas were from Interior Define and I was quite displeased with them. I documented my disappointment on Instagram and saved it to a highlight there. The initial replacement sofa I purchased was the Marin in Deluxe velvet in Camel. I wanted to be sure I liked this sofa before ordering a second one. So even though I received the white velvet sofa mere days ago, I have lived with and used the Camel-colored one for six months now.

If you have been in the market for a sofa in the past couple of years, you might be familiar with the frustrating and anxiety-ridden shopping experience that it has become. Prices have risen, quality has dropped, and the supply chain issues are leaving us facing months if not years in fulfillment delays. Read on for my experience with ordering a velvet sofa from West Elm.

West Elm Marin velvet sofa in Deluxe Camel. Kader Boly The Herd print.

Shipping time

Many retailers have in stock availability but what I came to realize is that what’s listed on the website as in stock, or shipping soon, is not necessarily accurate. The Marin white distressed velvet sofa was listed in stock but when I placed the order, the shipping date updated to three months out. As far as furniture fulfillment times go, this isn’t bad at all. In stock availability changes daily so check often for options. The deluxe camel velvet sofa was an in stock option that delivered within a couple of weeks. You just never know!

Fabric choices

There are a ton of options when it comes to color and fabric and I ordered a lot of swatches. My first choice was a natural material like cotton or linen. I came to realize that West Elm does not carry any 100% natural fabrics – at least not for the Marin sofa. Everything is performance fabric (polyester and/or viscose) or a performance/natural fiber blend. I am generally not a fan of performance fabrics but ordered a few swatches of my favorite colors. Ok, maybe more than a few.

West elm swatch book

The swatches confirmed my reservations against performance fabrics. They all looked very shiny and plasticky. This quality is what makes them resistant to stains and spills. Stains are not a concern for me so I wasn’t willing to accept the appearance of the fabric for a feature I didn’t need.

The velvets, however, looked very soft and appealing. In case you haven’t noticed, velvet is having a huge moment in interior design right now. The deluxe velvet sofa in Camel was an in-stock option and I loved the idea of a warm-tone sofa. I have noticed that this option is not always available online but there is a Dijon deluxe velvet that is similar. There’s something so classy about camel-colored velvet. Maybe because it is reminiscent of suede and leather.

swatches of velvet fabric for sofas

The white velvet sofa I picked is in white distressed velvet. There is not any actual distressing or wear on the fabric but more of a rough texture than the deluxe. I am hoping that the textured fabric is a little more forgiving in the white color compared to a smooth deluxe velvet.

Wear and cleaning

The velvet fabrics are a polyester and cotton blend. They are probably better at stain removal than 100% cotton or velvet fabrics, but not as good as a performance fabric. Velvet tends to attract hair, fibers, and lint more to it than smooth fabrics. Understandably, not everyone can handle having a white sofa but I’ve always had one, even with babies and toddlers, so it is not a concern for me. The camel color is obviously your safer bet if you are worried about stains.

West Elm Marin velvet sofa in Deluxe Camel. Amazon pinch pleat linen drapes.

Spot cleaning is the recommended method for cleaning both fabrics. The seat and back cushion covers are removable which makes cleaning them easier. Even though it is not recommended, I may try washing them in the washing machine and air drying, if it becomes necessary. The little matching side cushions are also helpful in keeping the sofa arms clean.

Cushions and comfort

My biggest complaint with our previous sofas was that the cushions and slipovers would become distorted and impossible to fix. Partly because of the construction of the slipcover, and partly because of the single back cushion.

The Marin velvet sofa has a down-wrapped foam bench seat cushion and 100% feather/down-filled back cushions. The back cushions are also usually a pain point for most people. When they’re only down-filled, they tend to get smooshed as soon as someone sits down. There is no avoiding that if this is the type of sofa you want. The more relaxed and casual sofas are in style right now. Alternatively, you can opt for a hardback or foam-only back cushion. But those types of sofas have a more formal and even maybe dated appearance. In addition, once a foam back cushion has received some wear, there is no way to fluff it back up. At least, fluffing a feather-filled back cushion is easy and quick – just like you would a throw pillow. This is what the two sofas look like right after someone sat in them and then after I fluffed and straightened them:

The back cushions are extremely soft and comfortable but require frequent fluffing. The seat cushion has a foam core which gives it firmness but the down wrap adds softness. I would say it probably ranks somewhere in the middle between very firm and very soft.

The layout

The two sofas face each other and not the TV. This does not present any issues watching TV because I just lie down on the sofa with my head on the sofa arm and face the TV. When we have guests we do not typically watch TV so it makes for the perfect conversation area of everyone facing each other. We also have two armchairs that face the TV and we sit there a lot too with our feet up on the ottomans.

The other obvious question is why I did not get matching color sofas. Matching sofas would create a more traditional and formal look. I wanted to shake things up a bit and create more visual interest and a more casual style in my living room that already looks very traditional. It is a personal preference and I have had both matching and non-matching sofas. I like both looks.

Living room furniture layout with white and camel velvet sofas facing each other and white boucle chairs facing tv

You might enjoy my review of our World Market upholstered dining chairs.

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