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House to Home: Tactile wall hanging

The 70s are back in fashion, says Debbie Travis
Handwoven textiles have a superbly tactile aura, as shown in DIY Woven Art by Rachel Denbow 

Dear Debbie;

Am I dating myself? I recently came across a series of three wall hangings at a friend's home, and they looked and felt gorgeous. We made these in the 70s. Is it that time again? 


Dear Linda;

The 70s are back in fashion; mid-century furniture and lighting are popular in showrooms and on-line shops. And a micro-trend that links very closely with 70s macramé plant holders and wall hangings is definitely here. The colours and textures in woven art create a stunning counterpoint to sleek furniture lines. There is an exciting variety of yarns and threads that allow for unique works of art. And you already know how therapeutic this kind of project can be. After hours spent at keyboards, typing and texting, the feel of the soft yarn and the peaceful repetition is soothing and rejuvenating.

Rachel Denbow is a self-taught weaver, who is drawn to items that carry a story with them. In her book, DIY Woven Art, you'll discover (or rediscover) the joy of weaving, and many DIY projects that are captivating and not difficult. Included are step by step instructions in choosing yarns, setting up a loom, and creating your own pieces of art.

Denbow says that, "historically, handwoven textiles have incorporated motifs that share cultural mores and use colours indicative of the resources available in their region." As well, seasonal colourways, on trend shades, and newly manufactured weaving materials provide inspiration and a refreshing scope of finished looks to create.

In Denbow's introduction she outlines and illustrates the materials, tools and accessories, describing different yarn fibers and other weaving materials. First projects are clearly laid out so that you can start your very own weaving project immediately.

Shown here is Denbow's epic project titled Last Summer Statement Wall Hanging. There are many different stitches, techniques, and fibers that come together in the abstract design. This is not for first time weavers but may inspire you to learn more advanced techniques.

Dear Debbie;

I'm dealing with concealing cords, the wifi box and an electrical outlet sit in the centre of the mantel, plus a heat pump (air conditioner) box is located above the mantel at ceiling level. These visually obtrusive elements must remain stationary. My challenge is how to decorate my wall above the fireplace. Thank you.


Dear Jo-Anne;

You have two challenges. Hiding cords and electrical outlets is today's biggest decorating problem. Media and workstations come with numerous cords and connectors. In most cases, they can be bound together and hidden behind furniture. I don't know what builders are thinking when they locate a stationary plug or cable connection in the middle of a mantel or wall that is obviously part of a major focal area. Duct work is also poorly placed. Prop a large mirror or painting on the mantel. This will produce a delightful visual effect that will camouflage the unsightly bits. If the wifi box is situated so that you can't prop the painting, then hang it over the wifi box and its impact will be reduced.

Whenever you are faced with a difficult shape in a room or an obstacle that you would prefer not to stand out, draw attention away from it with an interesting furniture grouping or a focal wall of art. Lighting can become your best friend too, by highlighting the best areas of your space.

Debbie Travis' House to Home column is produced by Debbie Travis and Barbara Dingle. Please email your questions to You can follow Debbie on Twitter, and visit Debbie's new website.


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