Creative home design ideas for fabrics — walls and ceilings

Filed Under: Crafts, Do it yourself, Redecorating, Remodeling    by: ITC

All sorts of textiles can be hung on walls—tapestries, tweed, suede, hessian, silk, flannel and, of course, kilim rugs. Fabric panels can be used to cover one wall or to line a whole room, acting as a kind of insulating wallpaper. Single pieces of fabric look effective hung individually as a feature.

You can use a staple gun to attach fabric directly on the wall but a better method is to fix the fabric to battens. It is hardly worth buying a staple gun for this but they can sometimes be hired from tool hire stores. If the fabric is plain, pictures and prints can be hung on top so you will not have wasted any display space.

Individual hand-woven tapestries can be hung from rods or poles fixed to a picture rail. Kilims make excellent hangings, being weighty and in colors which coordinate with many interior styles. If you have a lighter-weight hanging, such as a batik, you could weight the bottom by sewing small ball bearings in the hem so that it hangs well.

Ceilings can be softened, and ugly ceilings concealed, with looped fabric. This is specially suitable for halls where a very little fabric can conceal a multitude of gas and electric meters and other unfortunate sights. Muslin is cheap and effective because it drapes prettily and is unobtrusive. All you have to do is make a hem at each end wide enough to get a rod (a bamboo or a narrow wooden batten) through and fix the rods to the ceiling. You could perhaps create another channel halfway along the length of fabric for an extra rod, allowing plenty of fabric to loop between them.

Narrow rooms can be treated in the same way, with the fabric caught at intervals to create a scalloped effect. This is very good for concealing unsightly ceiling treatments and for lowering the ceiling to make the space less box-like. It does not matter if the fabric is not quite as wide as the ceiling—a few centimeters each side will not be noticeable.

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