Tapestries Are Having Their Biggest Moment Since Medieval Times
13 looks that have us hooked.
Published Apr 30, 2019 7:00 AM
Everything old is new again, and for one fiber-based art form, that’s particularly true. Tapestries have enjoyed reinvention over the years, but today, they come in a wide array of totally innovative, perfectly contemporary styles. In fact, many of what could be called tapestries feature modern motifs and can double as rugs, throws, and even quilts. You might just say that they’re enjoying their biggest moment since the medieval times—or at least in the past century.
Now, when you think of fabric wall-hangings, your mind might immediately go to an image of a bohemian college dorm room, where swaths of material haphazardly cover concrete walls. But the following examples are nothing like those lightweight printed coverings. Instead, they’re dynamic, large-scale works of art that incorporate texture, shapes, and color in interesting new ways.
Ready to tap into the tapestry revival? Take a look at our favorite wall hangings of the moment—and prepare some space on your walls.
If you’re an avid doodler
Add some warmth to your space with this maroon-hued tapestry. A few lines and shapes make it a contemporary choice that both maximalists and minimalists can agree on. We suggest positioning it above your sofa and adding a few Yves Klein Blue throw pillows to the mix.
If you want to make your walls more expressive
Your space can use a face like this. Place this neutral-toned tapestry against a more vibrantly hued wall so it really stands out—now that’s something to smile about.
If you dream of summer all year long
Yes, this piece from Blockshop is technically a rug, but sometimes rugs just look even better on the wall. This piece’s ultra-saturated color scheme makes it a great focal point.
If you’re down to take a walk on the wild side
Why opt for an (admittedly on-trend) animal rug when you can put some big cats on your wall? James Daw’s tiger tapestry nods to old-school weavings, but it exudes plenty of contemporary flair (the palm trees). Maximalists, this one’s for you.
If you’re all about the abstract
Organic, irregular shapes rendered in earth tones make for a simple, pleasing piece of wall art. The large scale of this tapestry (55” x 72”) makes it the perfect piece to fill up an entire wall. Incorporate warm ochres and tans into your space to play off of it.
If you constantly seek coziness
Yes, we love tapestries, but there’s something about wall quilts that feels even more cozy. QuiltKween’s pieces are simple and graphic, so they’re quite versatile. Consider adding this one to your gallery wall.
If you’d rather be in the tropics
The illustrative style of BFGF is decidedly contemporary—that’s what makes this tapestry feel so fresh. And the imagery is modern-art cool in a Matisse-meets-Gauguin kind of way. Sure, this blanket can work on a bed or sofa, but we think it’s best displayed on the wall. Hang it as close to the ceiling as possible to make your room look larger.
If your style exists somewhere on the spectrum between boho and contemporary farmhouse
Not ready to commit to a large-scale tapestry? No problem. This small, gray option from Sunday/Monday is as versatile as it is eye-catching. Consider it the perfect accent for your all-white kitchen.
If you’re cool with a bit of disorder
Abstract shapes in an array of both primary and muted colors feel perfectly playful on a runner-style rug. Trust us, this piece is perfect to hang up in an entryway or that small, odd corner that you’re not sure how to decorate.
If you live for sunrises and sunsets
Aelfie’s new collaboration with Robert McKinley draws inspiration from coastal landscapes, each rendered in a graphic interpretation. At $2,600 apiece, they’re definitely an investment, but consider this: Just 10 of each design have been created, so you can consider them a covetable work of art.
If all your vacations take place at the beach
This playful tapestry features twisting palm trees of Seuss-like shape and scale. Treat this piece like you would a mural: Give it an entire wall to breathe.
If you prefer a minimalist palette
These Oaxacan-made tapestries work well on both walls and the floor. Each rug takes a week for a cooperative of 60 women weavers to complete, and the final result is the perfect piece to amp up an otherwise minimalist space.
If you can’t resist something soft and plush
Not only is West Elm’s take on the trend an affordable pick at under $200, but it’s also positively cozy. Made out of wool and cotton, this tapestry has a shaggy texture that adds tons of dimension to any wall. Plus, on-trend lavender makes a subtle accent.