Rugs As Art: It's Time To Swap Your Paintings For Something More Textural

Think outside the frame. Rugs on the walls will lift your space from the ground up.

Who said rugs have to stay underfoot? 'Statement rug wall hangings' are all the rage, and the term is trending on Pinterest and Google, as more people are opting for a more textural look for their walls.

Because why limit a striking design to the floor, when walls cry out for a little texture? Wall hanging rugs is a fantastic way to give your space a modern, edgy twist, and to fill your vertical space with texture, colour and warmth.

A photo posted by on

A rug can be easily mounted against the wall – without the need for a frame. This makes a striking, textural artwork, and invites you to really look at a design, much more than if it were hidden underfoot and under furniture. With expensive or rare designs we think this is a rather clever way to show them off to full potential.

As rugs are soft and maleable, they are the perfect art for hanging on curved walls where a framed piece wouldn’t work.

Read Also:5 Achingly Cool Ways To Place Rugs

Plus, hanging textiles is a great method for retaining heat and for noise dampening.

But we're not talking about your standard beige rug here. We're getting bolder with our choice of rugs and choosing larger, more colourful pieces. Rugs are becoming less of a finishing touch and more of an investment or talking point within a room.

Interior designers are encouraging us to think outside the box when it comes to rugs, advocating that rugs shouldn’t merely be used as a finishing touch but rather as the room’s centrepiece in order to give the room a new lease of life.

In the home of Studio Peake, she uses textiles above her desk as her inspiration board, and can attach scraps to it like a pinboard.

Read Also:Design Project: A Colourful London Flat

The Rug Company Creative Director Milly Wright tells Livingetc: 'It is remarkable that the ancient skill of hand knotting rugs has adapted to the needs of the digital design world, because of this level of technical innovation within the craft, people are moving away from more traditional floor patterns and opting for designs that are less static, patterns that are organic and expressive. These rugs are so beautifully made by our artisans that often they are hung on walls, thus coming full circle.'

In the Rug Company's collaboration with Luke Edward Hall, the rugs were created to act as wallhangings, rather than for floors.

Read Also:Collab Alert: Habitat X Luke Edward Hall

And it's not just walls either; rugs make striking headboards too. Even hanging a bold textile or throw behind your head will add drama to a bedroom.

(Image credit: Simon Brown)

Read Also:Beata Heuman launches her online shop

Hang them horizontally to emphasise the width of the bed, or hang them vertically to draw attention to the height of the room. Use a headboard rod and hang a rug or throw from it for an eclectic, textural look. You could even hang a rug above the bed to display it as an artwork.

People are shying away from vintage, subtle patterns and instead opting for bolder pops of colour and graphic forms. Here are a few rugs that would look striking on the wall...


Fancy an Alexander McQueen? This is the Chiaroscuro design by Alexander McQueen for The Rug Company.

Alexander McQueen also created this hummingbird wallhanging, specifically to go on walls.

Read Also:Discover Anthology's Architectural New Wallpaper Collection

For an arty look, rug master Jan Kath’s Cloud series draws inspiration from Baroque skyscapes, spanning biblical lightning bolts and painterly skies. Considering each is hand-spun from Tibetan wool and silk, this collection is set to cause quite the storm…

And finally, Amy Kent's designs have a painterly fresco-style effect.

Read Also:De Gournay shows us striking ways to create impact with wallpaper


The latest collection from CC Tapis has caught our eye with it's modern designs. We love the shape of the Feathers rug that look like bird wings in motion.

Rug Artisan also has some gorgeous graphic statement rugs, like the Equilibrium design.

Crosswind is another striking pattern.

Meanwhile Trine Kielland has partnered with The Rug Company to create this geometric repeat pattern.


Meanwhile Lucy Tiffney's designs are fun and playful, and ideal for vamping up kids' spaces.

Read Also:Lucy Tiffney's painterly patterns hit the high street

IKEA's bold prints would also suit a young, playful space.

Lotte Brouwer

Lotte is the Digital Editor for Livingetc, and has been with the website since its launch. She has a background in online journalism and writing for SEO, with previous editor roles at Good Living, Good Housekeeping, Country & Townhouse, and BBC Good Food among others, as well as her own successful interiors blog. When she's not busy writing or tracking analytics, she's doing up houses, two of which have features in interior design magazines. She's just finished doing up her house in Wimbledon, and is eyeing up Bath for her next project.