Others have followed suit. In a Victorian residence in New York’s Hudson Valley, Workstead hung a framed 19th-century tapestry over the sofa in the living room. Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele was recently photographed for Vanity Fair against a gargantuan antique tapestry in his Rome abode. And in art adviser Will Kopelman’s New York City apartment, decorated by Gil Schafer, a 17th-century Flemish tapestry (a 15-footer, no less!) hangs in the living room.
Kopelman snagged the eye-popping piece, which depicts the coronation of Charlemagne, at auction in London before realizing it was too fragile to be rolled up for easy transport. Rather, it had to be crated flat for shipping and craned in through his 10th-floor window.
If that sounds like simply too much, take a note from AD100 firm ASH NYC, which recently used tapestry-covered pillows in a L.A. staging project. Plenty are available ready-made, as are interesting tapestry fragments poised to be reinvented. Or learn from stylist Mieke ten Have, who installed a Verdure tapestry-mimicking fabric by Manuel Canovas as a giant panel in her upstate New York bedroom. “I love the feeling of being set in a lush green pasture inside of a room,” she says. “I think tapestries have a wonderful way of mooring a space, especially if they are large in scale.”
If you’re buying the real thing—whether it’s at auction, from an antiques dealer, or on a site like Chairish or 1stdibs—Chudley advises to “look for signs of age, signs of the hand that made it, interesting scenes, and pleasing color combinations.” As for hanging, she suggests mounting it on a simple pole, as she did in her London project. “It gives you the flexibility to move the piece around—you may want to hand these special pieces down as family heirlooms. It also gives a carefree, lived-in impression.” And for cleaning? Says Chudley, “Other than dusting, send the tapestry to a professional if you want to clean it.”