Floor-to-ceiling cozy style never looked so chic.
Fabrics have taken center stage in rooms throughout history, but for many, rooms entirely enveloped in fabric, where yards upon yards of glorious textiles cloak everything from the walls to the ceilings, are considered the most entrancing. A design element employed to dramatic effect in some of the greatest rooms of the 20th century, textiles have actually been used to cover walls since the Middle Ages, when thick and expertly woven tapestries lined the halls of drafty stone castles.
Later, during the Renaissance and beyond, luxurious silk damasks were applied to surfaces in the finest houses across Europe, and by the 18th century, tented rooms, mimicking the campaign tents of Emperor Napoleon, became fashionable. Today, just about any space, from an intimate study with velvet-wrapped walls to a light-filled breakfast room with a striped circus-tent ceiling, can benefit from being covered in fabric.
Whether with fully upholstered walls, paper-backed fabric applied as wallpaper, or draped as a full-on tent, rooms swathed in fabrics create tranquil and cozy retreats necessary for life today. Not only are they comfortable rooms ideal for curling up in at the end of the day, they also provide sound-insulating qualities that are just the ticket when working from home requires respites of peace and quiet.
Be it printed cottons and linen stripes or silk damasks and tapestries, the cocooning effect created by layers of fabrics is sure to make the room the most sought-after hideaway in any house. You can even take it one step further and cover everything, from the curtains to the sofa and chairs, in one fabulous fabric. And while the world certainly feels smaller these days with limited travel, there's something to be said about the transporting nature of a room tented with fabric...Suddenly, when enveloped in an Indian block-print or Indonesian batik, your drawing room seems to take flight to a faraway land.
From Lee Radziwill's opulent Turkish tent and Gloria Vanderbilt's paean to the patchwork quilt, fabrics have been famously used as backdrops to spaces around the world, and there's much to learn from these iconic examples. Read on to discover 12 of the most memorable rooms decked head-to-toe in fabric.