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Velvet Stevie


My husband’s love of Stevie Wonder was apparent the first time I visited his apartment and saw the musician’s oversized portrait on velvet filling a wall in the living room. Velvet Stevie hung in a place of honor — above an old school stereo cabinet and stacks of albums awaiting their spin on the turntable. Stevie is wearing sunglasses, headphones and sporting a canary yellow shirt embellished with crystals. His hands aren’t visible but if you stare at Stevie long enough you almost can see his head swaying to the tune coming from the ivories. The frame has the same kind of detail — crudely constructed but intricately carved.



As I looked around Justin’s apartment that first time, it was clear that his love of music and books dictated much of the space’s cozy design. Several bookshelves lined the walls and more books were stacked neatly around the room. A shiny music stand and trumpet case sat in one niche. Framed photographs of Miles Davis and collages of favorite CD covers filled other wall space. Add in the smell of soy candles and homemade hummus and I was captivated. Justin’s place was a design for the senses like I’d never experienced before.

As much as I appreciated Justin’s unique design aesthetic, when we got married this summer and moved into our first house, it wasn’t clear where Velvet Stevie’s new home would be. The wall space above the stereo, we decided, was reserved for a flat screen television. After a couple of weeks of settling in, Stevie’s place became obvious. He now hangs in the entrance to a little room we are (for the moment) calling “The Man Room.” Fitting, since it’s also the room that houses many of Justin’s books, more turntables and his recliner. Stevie makes an appearance in a few other spots in our home — in a clock hung in the kitchen and in a framed illustration depicting the “Hotter than July” album. These types of objects are not what I would have imagined in my first house but now that they are there, it wouldn’t be home without them.

Is a love of music exemplified in your home’s interior design? Is there a particular object that your significant other loves but is a stretch for your design aesthetic? Thanks for sharing!


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10 Responses

  1. Sharon Good says:

    Very good, Leslie Judson. I would say your interest in your new husband's tastes will take you far. I am sure the blend of your preferences with his is quite unique.

  2. Choo Choo says:

    Yo that's the phattest, illest, flyest picture of my man Stevie Wonder ever! What great taste your husband's got! What panache! What flair! What savoir-faire!

  3. Katy Russell says:

    Isn't She Lovely? Or should I say isn't this picture lovely? This flamboyant ebony and ivory velvet masterpiece is nothing less than what I would expect, and hope, to see in the newly wed Judson household. I think you both have an exquiste taste for the arts and your personalities shine through your household treasures. I wish you both the best of luck with your new family and HAPPY DECORATING!!! -Katy Russell

  4. Reba says:

    Wow, you are in love too with a Stevie Fan. My new husband used to work for him as a D.J. in LA and we have a designated music room, with lots of memorablia. Would he consider "cropping Stevie" i.e. (loose the crystals) and placing him in a more modern frame to match your decor?

  5. John Shaft says:

    Yo, who's the cat with the baddest black velvet Stevie Wonder painting ever? Justin! Now go hang Stevie in the living room and crank up "Sir Duke."

  6. Leslie Judson, Decor says:

    Hi Reba,
    Sounds like quite a memorabilia collection you and your husband have! A Stevie fan's dream :)

    Thanks for the wonderful idea for giving Velvet Stevie a new, more modern look. That's a great tip for anyone wanting to revamp old artwork. As for Stevie, however, I think he will remain as-is for now – save a few repairs to some sagging velvet. (I was remiss in not including the artist whose name is painted on the canvas. Thank you, Santos, for your inspired work.)

    Happy collecting and displaying, everyone!

  7. lynn says:

    I am new to this, but I hope I can learn from all of you.

  8. Mad for Mod says:

    That's got to be the first black velvet painting featured on HGTV.com. Here's to design populism.

  9. mamasita says:

    My significant other has a love for skulls and other adolescent decorations found at Spencer's (sigh…)She understands that my home is my throne, though, and her "collections" will be displayed in the office and garage.

  10. nike free black For the Love of Stevie | HGTV Design Blog – Design Happens

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