What To Do With Decorative Textiles?

What To Do With Decorative Textiles?

Leah Moss
Aug 2, 2010

The bright colors and intricate patterns of decorative textiles always look fabulous in a market setting, but attempting to incorporate them into your home's aesthetic isn't always an easy task. They may look wonderfully eclectic in the company of other global wares, only to look cliche and chintzy in your home. So, what to do?

Display them like art. This certainly isn't a new idea, people have been hanging delicate textiles such as tapestries for a bizillion years, but it's one that never ceases to be fresh. Depending on your intention, wall hangings can look casual and easy-going — tacked to a wall, as in Ellen Pompeo's room featured in Elle Decor (Picture 1) and the gypsy wagon-esque room from Marie Claire Maison (picture 2)— or clean and refined— mounted on canvas stretchers (picture 3) or framed (picture 4).
Use them as a wall covering. I'm sure I'm not the only one who was delighted and intrigued by Lonny's feature on Liz Bauer's home in which she used decorative textiles like most people use wallpaper (picture 5). Art and other decorative elements sit atop the wall hanging, setting the tone of the accent wall rather than being the main focus.
Dress up a piece of furniture. Draping a textile over a chair or sofa back (picture 4) or bed frame (picture 1) can completely transform the look of the piece of furniture— what once may have seemed dowdy can look carefree with the right textile accent.
Use them as bed throws. In Anna and Dan's loft, the couple draped their bed with a decorative cutting that plays up the eclectic vibe of their space.
Use them as upholstery fabric. Not all decorative textiles will be up for a functional task, but there are plenty that are. Better Homes and Gardens has an awesome tutorial for turning your beautiful global textile finds into stylish ottomans.

What uses and display ideas have you found for your decorative textiles?

Images: 1, 4: Elle Decor, 2: Marie Claire Maison, 3: Martha Stewart, 5: Lonny Mag, 6: Rachel Grad for Apartment Therapy: DC, 7: Better Homes and Gardens

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