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Of all the clever ways we love dressing up a room, wallpaper has long been our go-to choice. That said, when our inner commitment-phobe kicks in, even the most disposable of treatments—including all things peel-and-stick—can feel like a really, really big deal. Luckily, there’s one alternative (and not-so-permanent) fix that gets the job done, and chances are it’s already hanging around your home.

No longer relegated to window frames and fellow sun-drenched spots, drapes are fast becoming our favorite solution for bare walls, empty nooks, and other eyesores around the home. Whether used to disguise a doorless closet or step in as a substitute for wall art, they are not only incredibly easy to install, but let you play with fresh texture and movement like never before. Still not convinced? Ahead, five reasons why statement drapes are the new

temporary wallpaper

Disguise the unsightly

If there’s one thing we learned from designer and prop stylist Olga Naiman’s colorful Brooklyn condo (seen above), it’s to never let your rental stop you from experimenting with the unexpected. Putting her background in theatrical set design to the test, Naiman lined the once-white walls in her bedroom with a series of vibrant fabrics. Though you would never know it, her punchy, primary panels conceal 19 feet of closet doors (and a wall-mounted television, too!).

Add depth

A dramatic ode to ‘70s-chic, this layered vignette created by LA-based design firm Grace Home Furnishings is all about the illusion of depth. Cloaked in a contemporary, almost checkered pattern and swathed in varying shades of emerald green, this three dimensional scene essentially fulfills the same purpose as wallpaper—but with a lively, textured twist.

Clean up a small space

When you live in a tiny Manhattan apartment like MyDomaine senior editor Sophie Miura, you’re forced to come up with smart ways to conceal your home’s quirky corners and walls. Taking a more neutral approach, Miura wisely opted for sleek white wall coverings that let the rest of the design in her living room shine.

Build off your aesthetic

In light of ditching the tapestry that may or may not have once lived in your dorm room, consider this unexpected substitute. Inside blogger Arianna Danielson’s eclectic Colorado Springs home, graphic bamboo curtains from Urban Outfitters take the place of a wall-sized painting, print, or college-cool textile without compromising her unwavering bohemian ways.


Warm a cold room

A true master of contrast, architectural designer Mattias Schlachet knows a thing or two about bringing balance to a design-forward space. Because the drapes in this ultra-mod home were hung on a track, they can swiftly be pushed aside when there’s no reason to block out sunlight. When displayed along the wall, the fabric introduces much-needed texture and warmth to the cool, concrete structure.

See more rental tricks we swear by:

11 Tips to Make Your Rental Feel Like You Own ItHow to Fake a Backsplash in a RentalEasy, Affordable Swaps That Will Transform Your Rental

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