DIY

The Easiest Way to Hang a Rug on A Wall

January 8, 2019  —  Written by Julia Marcum 

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Befores, afters, mood boards, plans, failures, wins. We’ve done a lot of projects, and they’re all here. 

We have a long-standing relationship with DIY, and love rolling our sleeves up and making it happen. 

Even when you don’t want to rip down a wall, you can make that space in your home better. Right now.

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Right before Christmas, we shared the progress we’ve made in the dark green basement room at the cabin (Side note: we’re 95% sure we’re calling it the forest room with the other two rooms being the lake room and the mountain room) including paint, bed, squeezing in a nightstand!, etc..see that full post right here! The most recent addition is a vintage rug we hung!

If you remember, this is the only room without natural light. Our a-frame is built into the side of a mountain and this room is the part built in to the mountainside. The window leads to a window well with a steel hinged door on it so no animals can get in, but people could get out in case of emergency. Other than that, the window doesn’t provide light or fresh air like a normal window would. We started brainstorming how we could disguise the window, while still allowing it to be accessible (hanging curtains or blinds would just draw more attention to it) and we landed on hanging a rug over the window that doubles as art!

We found a beautiful, one-of-a-kind vintage Moroccan one (it was dated made 60 years ago) on eSaleRugs.com–we get A LOT of our vintage rugs there–and it was the perfect size and felt cabin-y, too. Hanging it took less than 15 minutes!

We picked up 2 carpet tack strips for $2 each at the hardware store. They have nails that you normally drive into the floor, so we did that (into the wall) and then secured screws into studs as well so it was extra secure.

Tack strips have hundreds of little nails used to keep wall to wall carpet in place, but they worked perfect for holding our rug in place, too! We chose to just secure the top and leave the sides free-hanging so it looked more organic, but also in case there was any sort of emergency it would be really easy to pull the rug aside (or even off!) to get out of the window.

Don’t mind the ceiling vent that still needs a cover (#workinprogress) but I’m loving the extra layer of texture on this wall! And one bonus we didn’t anticipate is how much brighter the room feels. While the dark window kind of sucked light out of the room, this bounces it right back in.

I bought two matching wooden antlers for above each bed, but when I held them up, I couldn’t take centering them off-centered. Soo I think we’ll just leave it like this for now and truly let the rug be the art and maybe add a small gallery wall on the neighboring wall.

Forest room, you’re shaping up to be pre-ttyyyy cozy.

 

SOURCES

Wall Color: Benjamin Moore’s Castle Peak Gray
Flooring: Oak Aspeland from Stuga Studio
Channel Tufted Queen Beds
Mattress
Sheets
Ivory Knit Blanket
Tassel Grid Lumbar Pillow
Lumbar Pillow Insert (this is my favorite $20 one!)
Fur Throws 
Lamp
Nightstand
Rug

What do you think?

  1. Bridget says:

    Hi Chris and Julia! I love love love the forest room. I have been thinking for awhile about hanging a rug up behind our bed and using it as a kind of headboard. We love the no headboard life but it feels incomplete without something behind it. Have you had any issues since hanging your rug? Do you think having it as a decorative headboard would work? It looks awesome!!

  2. Eileen says:

    Love everything you are doing at the AFrame!
    I think this is a very interesting solution to an awkward window. Mounting the rug horizontally might look better, but would compound the difficulty of egress, because I think now the window is pretty close to the edge of the rug. This might seem odd, but maybe consider adding something red and handle-like or pullcord-like, maybe red tassels from the upper corner, or tassels with a few red beads, or something along the side to signal “pull up n case of emergency” in addition to the emergency info you mentioned will be posted…..

  3. Karen says:

    I echo the concerns of others about getting OUT, but also am concerned about the ability for emergency responders to get INTO the room from the outside window well. Often in a fire, someone who is already outside the building will tell fire fighters that there is someone else inside. Have you tried accessing the room from the outside as if a fire fighter were using the window well as a way to get INTO the space to get sleeping people out??

    Count me on the side of feeling very uncomfortable with this arrangement.

    Not against the rug on the wall (I think it’s gorgeous!) just against the blocking of the window in this way.

    • Kris says:

      Yes. I agree. A rug is heavier than a curtain. And it’s not on a sliding rod, it’s attached to the wall. If it’s that easy to pull down in an emergency it’s likely to fall on the folks on the beds. It’s hard to get out of basement in an emergency. This is the sleeping room, not just a family room down there.

  4. Allison says:

    If you end up keeping the rug vertical (you mentioned in the comments you may try it horizontally, too), I wonder if it is possible to fold the fringe behind the rug when you re-attach it, so the fringe doesn’t stick out onto the ceiling.

    Love the rug, and I think as long as guests/renters know there is an egress window there, I don’t see a safety issue. The cabin is so lovely!

  5. Jana says:

    On the fire side, it seems fine to me? Like heavy curtains, which tons of people have.

    But aesthetically, idk. I think the ‘tapestry/rug on wall’ look works in a boho room (like it’d look right at home in one of Justin’s Blakeney’s spaces, for example). But when it’s not in a room that’s global/boho/eclectic, I feel like it just looks weird and college-ish. But maybe it’ll look less off to me as the rest of the room comes together?

  6. Shannon says:

    I love the rug! And I love using everyday things in quirky ways in home design – mostly because I have always had to be creative with our budget! My thinking is if this was just your primary residence, I would keep the rug and maybe try it horizontally and go with your creative self!! Since you are renting the space as an Airbnb, think I would go more traditional. The rug looks like it would fit great at the bottom of beds and I would just cheat some drapes ( something light colored with texture) wide like you did in your master. Sconces would be gorgeous and practical for not having to get to the light switch or lamp if you were on the other side of the bed. It really is a COZY room!!

  7. MT says:

    Love everything about this room! The colors, the rug (OMG), the textures! Very Alaskan, very A-framish… The only thing that i would love to see is maybe another night stand? Maybe in a lighter tone like the floor? But i’m sure it’s perfect as it is!

  8. Liz says:

    I like the idea of putting the rug art horizontal on the wall and having wall lamps with moving arms to provide light to each bed. Then, you could get rid of the lamp on the center table and just call it a huge step to get up to the window – bed to table to window ledge to the outside. Would thick ropes with a pull/fringe on either edge help in giving the idea to pull to bring down?

    I think the comments on the safety issue just mean that we are concerned about any liability issues – wouldn’t want you to get into any trouble.

  9. Ginna says:

    What about sconces or hanging lights in each corner in lieu of the antlers?! Loving this more than anticipated!

  10. Elizabeth says:

    Did you consider two full beds for this room? With it being so tight I’m wondering why you opted to go with two queens vs a king or a pair or full beds?

    • Julia says:

      A queen is a lot more comfortable for a couple than a full. It looks a little tighter in photos than it is in real life.

  11. Lexy says:

    I LOVE this! It turned out so well. I am married to the man who has an escape plan for ANY room we find ourselves in, and I don’t see this being an issue at all. It sounds like the rug is easy to move to the side should that be necessary. Great way to make a dark room feel light!

  12. Kirstin says:

    The rug looks wonderful on that wall. What a great solution! I think the antlers would look great centred above the headboards close to the rug.

  13. Sarah says:

    I echo safety concerns but if you say it’s as easy as removing a blind, I believe you. Aesthetically I just don’t love it. I think wall to wall drapes that match the wall color would have been more elegant and cozy and glide out of the way easier for emergencies. This has a dorm room feel. Like tacking a towel or flag over a window! Kind of cheapens the look with it crammed up there… and I’m not sure people would think what to do in a panic. You may have left instructions but they might not read them. This won’t be as intuitive as opening curtains.

    • Maya says:

      I completely disagree… I think this looks far more rich and intentional than wall to wall drapes would. I love the layering this adds! To me wall drapes would just say cheap hotel room. Funny how we each have our own associations.

    • Sharon Conroy says:

      100% disagree with the comments above. You nailed it here or “carpet nailed” it! Very cozy. Well done as always!

  14. Naomi Wheeler says:

    Another way to hang a rug is with a 2inch wide strip of Velcro loops the length of the rug edge. This was what I was given when I bought a Navajo rug in Arizona. It worked great and did not damage the rug at all. The back of the Velcro just stuck to the wall

    • Julie says:

      Love this idea! I have a small handmade rug I want to hand so might try this!! Does the velcro come off the wall easily?

      • Naomi Wheeler says:

        You can remove it easily. You may need to sand the wall a bit before repainting. I liked this technique because it did not put any holes in my expensive rug.

  15. Christina says:

    I LOVE IT! Green is my favorite color and I love a dark, moody room!

  16. Linda Grubbs says:

    I’m loving the Forest Room!! And in addition to the beauty of the rug….I would bet that it will help to keep the warmth in the room, temperature wise. Win-Win!

  17. Elyse says:

    Cool! Did you ever think of running the Carpet horizontally?

  18. Rachel says:

    How timely! We JUST bought a rug to hang on our wall as decor. Since ours will not be in front of a window and can be more permanent, would you still suggest using a tack strip to hang it, or something else? BTW this is looking great! Like a hip hotel, but cozier.

  19. Angela says:

    Just wondering if you were planning to do your paint wash on the downstairs wood trim (window/baseboards) to match with upstairs? Its seems the wood doesn’t look as orange downstairs though?

    • Julia says:

      You’re right! It’s newer wood so it hasn’t oranged (yet.) We’re going to keep it as is as long as we can. We really like it.

  20. emily jane says:

    As if! It is clearly a safe bet that Chris and Julia would never, EVER sacrifice their family’s safety for design.(#itrustinChris&Julia..? ; ) As per another reader’s suggestion -I wonder if changing the orientation the rug is hanging would make it possible to create some faux symmetry..? The CLJ ‘cabin transformation’ is Blowing My Mind -period (okay, and a lot of !!!!!!’s). Thank you for sharing your process & progress in real time. You guys remind me to trust my gut as I transform my own space : )

  21. Carrissa says:

    Could you do a post (or probably insta story) on how you make a bed? They always look so well put together and polished! I just got a new bed and looking to start making it similar to how you have this one and the ones in the loft, as opposed to the ol regular duvet cover. :)

  22. Heather says:

    Gosh I love everything you guys do, this is no exception. I have to agree with some readers though, this seems a little unsafe in the name of decor. Informing your family and ensuring they can use it is one thing, properly informing individuals that rent through Airb&b? Do you include it in the Airb&b listing, a separate email or “welcome guide” that they may or may not read? Seems like an unnecessary liability. Simply a longtime reader comment/opinion that you didn’t ask for-ha! Can’t wait to see the cabin come together, Happy New Years!

  23. Jennifer says:

    I have to admit, this looks A LOT better than what I was imagining when you said you were planning to hang a rug on a wall! It definitely brightens the space. Somehow you have amazing vision and every time I hear your plans and think “is that really going to work,” you always pull it off. Have you considered hanging the rug the other way so that it stretches farther over each bed, thereby solving the issue of what to hang on either side?

    • Julia says:

      Oh!!!! Maybe!

      • Jessica says:

        I think it would look great if you turned it the other way too! And a swinging arm wall sconce on the remaining wall space on the far side of each bed would look great and give more control over the lighting to the occupant of the separate beds.

      • susan says:

        I vote for horizontal orientation too! more of the lovely rug would be on display and less rug hanging down below the headboards making it harder to pull aside in an emergency. it’s a beautiful rug!

  24. Jennifer says:

    While it looks nice, It is not worth it. Yes you can get it off the wall, if you move the bed, and pull it off, but in the case of a true emergency, time is of the essence. There is not way kids can move the beds, bull down the rug…and get out. Even for an adult. A real emergency always puts a person in a elevated mental state, and people do not always think clearly. Having to go through multiple steps to escape a basement room is not just not a good idea, it is dangerous. You may know what to do, but a guest may not. If you ever Air bnb this place, that is a huge concern as well. I get it, windows with window wells may not be the best looking thing, but this is a case of safety, and that window should not be covered up.

  25. Liz says:

    It’s looking beautiful and I agree that the rug is art. The room looks very restful in its simplicity and I just want to get in that bed and wrap myself in those fur-style blankets.

    I like the antlers – could they be used as a whimsical robe hanger? Are you still planning to rent out the cabin? If so, will you be required to have some sort of an emergency exit sign by the window?

  26. Kelly says:

    It looks beautiful. I probably wouldn’t be able to sleep there because I’m the most claustrophobic person on earth and not having a view of a window makes me break out in hives. BUT… I’m a weirdo. I love all of the rustic textures and earthy colors going on in this room!

    • Julia says:

      Luckily there’s three other sleeping rooms to choose from! Haha, we actually slept in this room over the holidays and Polly slept the best ever because it was SO DARK!

  27. Allie says:

    Hi! After you hosted everyone up for Christmas – you mentioned some things worked well and some things didn’t, are you going to do a post about what you are planning to change now that you’ve hosted guests? I’m really interested to hear!

  28. Hanging the rug with carpet strips is brilliant!!!

  29. Monica says:

    This room does look beautiful, and the rug is lovely, however I think before you believe that this would be easy to get away from the window in an emergency, especially with the beds and night table pushed up against that wall, that you try and experiment: Sleep in that room and have an alarm go off at 2:45 AM, making sure all lights in the house are off, and try to see how long it takes you to move the beds and rugs and get out of that window and up and out of the window well. Then imagine a guest or child sleeping there and trying to do the same thing. Is it really worth taking ANY RISK AT ALL to have something look pretty?

    • Traci says:

      Ugh! I kind of hate to agree with this one. My first thought is that covering the window up in this way can lead to negligence on your part later should an emergency in fact happen in the middle of the night, especially if you plan to Airbnb this place. It looks lovely but honestly it’s not so amazing that I don’t think you couldn’t find a better solution. (Especially since the scale does seem a little small) Perhaps hang the antlers and hang the rug on that opposite wall. I love your work but practicality and more importantly safety should alway be first.

    • Meghan says:

      I was thinking the same thing myself as I read. I think that the (admittedly nice) aesthetic effect of the rug isn’t worth the risk of not being able to get out quickly in an emergency like a fire. If you do keep it up, obviously you’ll need to inform guests that there is a window behind the rug and instruct them on how to remove/move it in case they need to exit through the window.

    • Julie says:

      I was also wondering how doable it would be to use this window in an emergency. I know in our area, our local code requires that any means of egress be easily identifiable (i.e. people need to know it’s there) and not be obstructed (i.e. require the moving of heavy furniture, etc., to use it). Obviously, the hope is that the window will never need to be used in an emergency, but I would be a bit nervous about the time it would take to get people safely out of it, or whether they would even know how to escape. It does look nice, though!

    • Liz says:

      I COMPLETELY agree. (Keeping in mind that your 2:45 a.m. wake-up would be planned, and not a frantic and frightened scramble as it would be in real life.) Perhaps everyone should practice?

    • Julia says:

      Totally understand your concern. Chris and I practiced and you actually don’t have to remove any furniture (besides the lamp–which can be tossed on the ground in an emergency for all I care) to get out the window. The rug is lightweight and can either be pulled to the side like a traditional curtain or it comes off EASY with just a tug–actually much easier than if there was a traditional curtain rod. We feel confident it would be no problem at all but education and knowledge it is there is definitely key.

    • Beth Ann says:

      I must agree. My father and my husband were fireman so fire safety has been drilled into my head since I was a child. I agree that it looks beautiful, but my first thought was how unsafe this is and how it is probably against code. While accidents and emergencies happen are rare, they do happen (water leak?) Is it worth the risk to peoples lives?

    • Amanda says:

      Looks beautiful and really does lighten up the space! I don’t think the rug covering the window would be any different than a curtain or roman shades as window treatments?

      • Ellen says:

        Except that a guest may not realize the window is there at all…

      • Julia says:

        Every room is required to have a posted escape plan for emergency. :)

      • Liz W. says:

        I wonder if you could find an attractive (maybe vintage-looking) exit sign to hang in front of the rug/window? A posted egress plan helps, but I still think many guests may not read it & it’s very non-intuitive in an emergency to look for a window behind a rug. But a sign would tip them off! Could look cute if you can find a nice one.

      • Jessica says:

        I thought the same. It’s probably easier to move than any kind of blinds would be.

      • Kristi says:

        Maybe it would make everyone feel better if , instead of calling it wall art, you said you were using a rug for a curtain!

      • Julia says:

        If that is what would make everyone feel better, let’s do it.

      • MARA SMITH says:

        Could you give your guests an option to take the rug down while they’re there to ease some nerves?

      • Julia says:

        I would never want anyone in my home(s) to feel uncomfortable :)

      • Laura says:

        This is my first time reading comments on your blog. You have the patience and grace of a saint! People need to calm the heck down!!
        This room just keeps getting better & better!! I love it all!!

      • Jasmine says:

        Julia, you win today. You display amazing calm and politeness in the midst of intense criticism and opinions.

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