Some rugs are works of art and should be displayed as such. We have a light green and cream silk rug from India of a man wooing his wife in a garden. It’s the kind of rug that’s better on a wall than on the floor. Like, who would want to step on the people in the rug?! But you do need to be careful when hanging rugs on the wall – the look could easily get “downmarket dorm room.”
Here’s some examples of rugs hung on walls, done well …
Would I trust Martyn Lawrence Bullard to do a good job of hanging a rug on a wall? Absolutely! And he has:
This bedroom is in Ellen Pompeo’s home and was featured in Elle Décor.
The next bedroom has similar colors with a suzani hung on the wall, by Marjorie Skouras and featured in Met Home (I miss that mag):
Another bedroom, another rug hung on the wall. This time a berber rug (new not antique) that adds texture and a feeling of insulation to the room. From The Design Files:
Doesn’t that feel cozy for winter?
Alright. Enough bedrooms. Let’s try to find some other rooms with rugs on walls.
Here’s a dining room. This adds pattern, color and texture to an otherwise basic room. And it’s more noticeable on the wall than on the floor, so this choice to hang the rug adds something to the room. Plus the wood floor is beautiful here, why cover it? Again, via The Design Files:
If you have a treasured rug – it’s antique, expensive, fragile or sentimental – hanging it on a wall is a way to see and enjoy it, and keep it better protected than if it were on the floor. This rug looks antique and expensive. And it may be, this entryway design is credited to Christian Liaigre:
Shown at Yle, this looks like a handmade, hooked rug and hanging a rug you created is a good way to enjoy and preserve it:
I like the composition of this photo and elements in this space by Westbrook Interiors. The tapestry helps fill a tall wall:
Usually I think tapestries are stuffy. You know what I mean. But maybe the blue shutters and the country-ish floorboards here make the tapestry feel more “accessible.”
To my eye, what helps hanging rugs not look like “dorm room chic” is if they’re hanging taut and don’t have folds and creases. This is personal preference, but I prefer the look of rugs attached to the wall rather than hanging freely from rods. Larger rugs always look more expensive, even if they are not expensive, and the larger size may actually offer you more style for your money.