By Cora L. Diekman

Published on September 21, 2015

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Photography by Chy and Marshal Parker for Design Sponge.

Tapestries are the bean bag chairs of wall decor – rarely taken seriously, and all too often dismissed as Bohemian-style dorm room kitsch. But wait! When done the right way, tapestries can absolutely add a sophisticated touch of color, pattern, and texture to any grown-up space, from the entryway to the office. Read on to find out how to graduate your love of wall tapestries from college-cool to sophisticated-chic.

KNOW THAT BIGGER ISN’T BETTER

Instead of a traditional wall-sized tapestry, think ‘quality over quantity’. Consider your tapestry a piece of art, and opt for quality fabrics in an unexpected size like this gorgeous vertically-hung indigo cloth. Bonus points for this modern pattern that’s adding a monochromatic touch of graphic glam.

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Photography by kristin perers

PLAY WITH CONTRAST

Grown-up doesn’t have to mean boring. Combine bold, fun, eye-popping tapestries (like this hot pink ombre print) with buttoned-up antique furniture pieces for drool-worthy design contrast.

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Photography by ferm living

GO GRAPHIC

Graphic prints are definitely having a moment right now, and instantly introduce a touch of modern sophistication to any design palette. Confront the Bohemian tapestry cliche with a pattern that’s modern and minimal, like this chic colorblocked hanging.

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Photography by templeandwebster.com.au

SAMPLE A SOFTER LOOK

Baby pink hues, sheepskin textures, and organic accents create a soft and sophisticated feel appropriate for a baby’s room that’s elegant and sweet.

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Photography by Lesley Unruh for Design Sponge

GET YOUR DIY ON

Instead of simply hanging your tapestry, try DIY-ing a chic headboard-canopy, like this stunning bedroom focal point with a pattern that is mostly traditional, but offers a subtle taste of Moroccan flair.

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Photography by lou zeldis textiles

THINK IN MULTIPLES

Rather than a single large tapestry, try three smaller pieces instead. To replicate this look, select patterns that compliment each other without matching. And if your tapestries are slightly different sizes, even better. Subtle differences suggest a design that was thoughtfully curated over time.

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Photography by Pablo Enriquez for apartment therapy

TAP INTO TEXTURE

Much of the charm in a beautiful tapestry lies in its textural elements. Take full advantage of this appeal by selecting pieces that exaggerate touch and feel. Look for tapestries that are handsewn, chunky, or crafted with unusual materials like wool, silk, or even leather.

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Photography by phorm interiors

PUT IT IN NEUTRAL

Even lovers of minimal or monochromatic designs can tap into the tapestry craze. This design, with a slight masculine edge, stays true to its buttoned-up roots while adding a subtle hint of neutral texture.