Fake a Wallpaper Look With Yarn and Upholstery Tacks
Bland white walls and a wallpaper-averse landlord inspire a young couple to harness their color and fiber-arts know-how
When your home's not your own, there's only so much you can do to alter its look. Joe and Mayra Human, who live in a classic renter's-white apartment, were itching to put up wallpaper in their living room, but figured it'd be safer to opt for paint—with a twist.
After sampling a few colors and zeroing in on moody gray-purple, Joe, an interior designer, noticed a ball of cotton yarn next to Mayra's knitting needles, its golden hue and pleasing texture suggesting a scheme. Soon he found himself measuring the wall to create a penciled grid of oversize diamonds.
After pressing upholstery tacks partway in at each corner, he painted the wall and pushed the tacks in a bit more. Then, starting in the lower right corner, he wove the yarn left, then right, then left...until he'd worked his way across.
"The first time, I ran out halfway through," he says. "So I took it all off, bought a new roll, and started again!"
Joe complemented the purple hue by facing an IKEA cabinet with richly toned walnut slats.
"If we ever move out, I hope the next tenant will want to keep it," he says of the accent wall. "If not," he notes, "the yarn can go into Mayra's next knitting project."
"People love the wall's subtle 3-D quality."
—Joe and Mayra Human, New York City