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Walls are like relationships—there are different levels of commitment. If you’re in it for the long run, installing fancy wallpaper is a no-brainer. If it’s just a fling, though, a peel-and-stick print is decidedly more appropriate. But when your love is brand-new (like, just-out-of-the-friend-zone new), you do what Alex Tieghi-Walker did: Tack things to a tapestry. 

The Berkeley, California–based writer and creative director’s redwood home is a crash course on decorating with fabric, and one of our favorite lessons is in the form of a vignette, in which Tieghi-Walker layered various items over a Nepalese throw that he pinned to the wood paneling. “I started hanging objects on top of wall hangings because I loved the way the soft material framed hard things like mirrors and prints,” he shares. 

Originally, the arrangement only consisted of a textile and artwork. But one winter evening during a dinner party, Tieghi-Walker added Matisse-inspired sconces (from Etsy!) and paired them with hot pink candles. He carefully nailed the holders where there were wider openings in the weave so the heavy metal wouldn’t stretch the tapestry. “It seemed a bit grander, especially with the tall beeswax tapers,” he says. While he only lights the wicks on special occasions (he considers the wax dripping onto the fabric more of a hazard than the fire), when he does, the flame emits an “almost gothic glow.” 

Renters, you no longer have to stare at blank white walls or struggle with sticky temporary wallpaper you’re not ready to invest in just yet. Pick four or five things you would normally hang separately (a mirror, a plug-in light fixture, an oil painting) and attach them to the textile of your choosing with a hammer and nails. With no measuring, priming, or pasting involved, this project is our idea of the perfect date. 

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