Who says rugs are just for floors? How to add color to a large wall without paint

Decor, DIY, Living Room

One of the last rooms of my LA apartment to get completed is my living room. It was a challenge to figure out how to place the furniture just right to make the most of the tiny footprint I had to work , a mere 10 ft x 7.5 ft. The winning furniture layout left me with a big blank wall that was screaming for something to jazz it up. Being a renter, I wanted to do something quick and easy to remove later, and ideally something that I could take with me when I move. Who would have thought that the solution would present itself in the form of a rug!


That’s right, that’s a rug on my wall! I fell in love with the colors and the texture and immediately knew it would be perfect for my living room. The rug is from Crate and Barrel, called “TOCHI”.


It really gave the room much needed personality and transformed it from plain and boring to fun and lively:


And the best part is that I didn’t have to drill any holes in the wall to put it up. Here’s how I did it:

Step 1:

I made a frame to fit the size of the rug (4′ x 6′) with inexpensive 1″x2″ furring strips ($1 for 8 ft).


I used 3″ screws to attach the cross pieces (drilling pilot holes with a drill bit before putting in the screws is the best way to prevent the wood from splitting) and a speed square helps to make sure that the cross-pieces are at 90 degrees.

Another trick for this is to mark the location for the supports on both vertical furring strips at the same time while they are side by side. That way you know that you’re attaching the support in the right place on both sides. I made the frame with legs (about 12″ from the ground) to bear the weight of the panel to avoid having to put any anchors on the wall. You could easily make this without any legs as well – it just means you would have to anchor it to the wall like a picture frame.


Step 2:

I painted the furring strips the same color of the wall to make them blend in and then used upholstery nails, every 2 1/2″ inches, to secure the rug to the panel. I didn’t do this, but you could also use velcro on the back of the rug to attach it to the cross supports to make it stay flush against the wood frame.


Step 3:

I used 3M command picture-hanging strips to secure the panel to the wall to prevent it from falling over and that’s it!


I love that I didn’t have to make any holes in the wall and that I can always reuse the rug later in another space. You can watch the entire process of how I decorated my living room in this video:


  1. I really enjoy all your ideas and helpful hints. Sure wish you had your own tv show! All my old favorites like Decorating Sense, Design on a Dime, and For Rent are long gone, taken over by big money shows that I can’t relate to. One can always hope. Thanks Isabel, hope you are enjoying LA, where I was raised.

    • Thanks so much Sherry!! That’s why I wanted to do my show because there’s really not much on TV to watch that the average person can realistically do on their own. You never know, could happen 🙂 Yes, I am enjoying LA and the nice weather year round – I’m not much of a snow person!

  2. Oh, how I agree with Sherry’s post!! What another great video!

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