Seriously, as of the date of this blog post, there's just nothing out there:
|Google auto-fill has zilch.|
|I mean zilch. Which tells me that nobody is even searching for ideas on this.|
|Same with images. I can't find a single decent example of an area rug used on a wall. I did find this article, which extolled the virtues of the idea - but tellingly, it contained no pictures. Same with this article - great logical arguments for doing it, but no photographic evidence of success. |
Even design trailblazer HGTV has apparently not yet hit upon this idea (hint, hint, link, link).
|This was our bare target wall, in our "spare" room. This room must serve multiple purposes, which I'll explain in a future post. For now, let me just deal with the area rug which is sitting on the floor in this photo.|
|I am an Overstock fan. Overstock does not pay me to say this. Nobody pays me to say anything. This is called "blue abstract rug". It is the fourth area rug I've purchased from Overstock and I've been more than pleased with every one of them. Overstock has literally thousands of area rugs to choose from. Their website is easy to browse and their prices are excellent. |
Actually, Overstock should be called Overstalk, because it pays to over-stalk them. Stalking the website periodically over the course of a month or so, and waiting for Christmas sales and also for a promo code to show up in my mailbox, I snagged this 5' x 8' abstract creation for just $97.92, shipping included.
Screengrab above from this site.
So here's the project sequence - How to mount an area rug to a wall as art:
|I mentioned in another post that nothing comes into our house without first being built as a cardboard mock-up and tested in place. This was one exception only because we had already mounted another rug in a different room, so we knew what we were doing. What I did instead in this case was draw the room, the couch, and the rug to relative scale, so that I could figure out the exact wall position in advance. This was importantly mainly so I could experiment with how high above the sofa we could mount the rug and still have it look cohesive, rather than looking like it was a disjointed magic carpet about to fly into outer space. We settled on the rug being about eight inches above the back of the sofa.|
|Knowing how far up the bottom of the rug was to be above the back of the sofa then told us how far down from the ceiling the top of it had to be. We used Post-It squares to mark a horizontal line at that level, with the bottom of the Post-Its to line up with the top of the rug.|
That blue painters tape you see marks the center of the wall, which was to line up with the center of the rug.
The one Post-It note page that is higher than the rest marks the place where the water lines run through this wall cavity to a bathroom sink that is on the other side of this wall. We didn't want to risk nailing into those lines, so we avoided the space six inches on either side of this position. As always, you have to be careful not to puncture water or electrical lines when hammering nails into walls.
|Correspondingly, we put a piece of blue painter's tape in the very center of the rug.|
|Because this rug is eight feet wide, we had to employ some means of control so it wouldn't be flopping around as we were trying to lift it onto the wall. I rolled it up like a scroll on each side...|
|...and used ordinary binder clips to keep each side from unraveling.|
|We use ordinary finish nails with small heads. Don't use a rusty hammer for this because some of the rust might rub off on the rug, which would be bad.|
|Now you have to see the "BEFORE" picture one more time...|
The effect of rug art is similar to having an accent wall covered in a graphic wallpaper. Here's somebody else's excellent blog post describing examples of that, but I'll tell you my issue with it: I find wallpaper accent walls to be too visually dispersed. There's no focal point to them. My eyes zig-zag back and forth across the entire wall looking for a place to alight every time I see one. If you use a rug instead, the graphic pattern is contained to a discrete area and the focal integrity is maintained.
The secret to having an unconventional wall-mounted area rug turn out to look pleasing is as follows:
You have to be absolutely disciplined about the stylistic cross-referencing. In this room above, the design discipline is achieved partly through the stylistic restriction (every element is contemporary, and contemporary style is very forgiving of the unconventional), but mostly through color control. Every color in that room is tightly constrained. Every color in the accent pillow is also in the rug - and I don't mean it's close - I mean those shades are exact. The color of the sofa leather is prominent in the rug. The drapery panel and the throw both match the exact shade in the rug. If the colors were not constrained, this would instead look like a dog's breakfast.
My family is well aware of my obsession with thinking outside the box on all matters, including home design. When we got done with this most recent rug installation, my husband said, "I bet you anything that we are the only family in greater Houston with two rugs on our home's walls." And my teenager replied, "Yeah, I know, but I kind of like it."
Ah, yes, two rugs. Let's talk now about the other one.
In our other rug-wall room, the design discipline is established using the opposite strategy: some measure of internal validation is achieved using color coordination, but mostly it's done via geometric and thematic cross-referencing:
- The grey on the upper right fern almost matches the grey that runs up the exterior wall and across the ceiling (I had to de-blue the wall color a bit) and also the grey of the slate tiles inset into the conference table.
- The cream of the left fern and the outlined fern matches the cream of the end-cap wall exactly.
- The charcoal of the rug background matches the charcoal of the office chairs, the photo frames, the lines in the African basket in the foreground, and many other elements in the room.
- The different wood tones are paired with each other (desk with bookcase; conference table with half-round table), which is essential if you want to mix wood tones in a single room.
- The unruly plants on the rug match the unruly plant hanging in the window. These two elements impart the same "feel", which leads to a cohesive impression.
- The shape and scale of the window itself are echoed in the shape and scale of the rug, so they look like they go together as being giant rectangles (for those of you with a scientific bent, they have virtually the same aspect ratio).
- Three square photos on the wall, three square inset slate tiles in the table form a balanced visual right-angle.
- The arched forms in the ferns echo the arched forms in the chandelier, which happens to be a Meritage builder-grade standard fixture which I like and retained here (although we later flipped it upside down for better illumination of this table surface).
- The "feet" of both office chairs appear similar to claw-like roots clinging to the stone floor (i.e., the primal plant theme expressed in the abstract).
- Running the paint up the exterior wall and across the ceiling rather than painting a traditional ceiling also adds to a primal flavor. Where do you often find ferns? Clinging to the rocks at the mouth of a cave. The paint choice gives a bit of sophisticated cave-like feel.