Interior design trends come and go, but some accessories stand the test of time. Scarves are one such timeless item that can instantly elevate any space. With just a simple addition of a colorful scarf, you can add personality, texture, and sophistication to your home. Scarves are versatile, affordable, and easy to incorporate into any decor style. Read on to discover how this classic accessory can have your interior design all wrapped up!

The History of Scarves in Interior Design

Scarves have been used in interior design for centuries, originating as decorative textiles in ancient cultures like Rome, China, and the Middle East. Silk scarves came into fashion in the 1920s, when bold geometric and Art Deco patterns defined the styles of the era.

In the 1940s and 1950s, famous French designers like Hermès and Pucci made scarves a coveted accessory that added a dash of luxury. The 1960s and 1970s saw an explosion of psychedelic prints and bohemian paisleys that aligned with the free-spirited fashions of the time.

Today, scarves remain a staple in home decor. They provide a simple way to change up a room’s aesthetic and keep up with the latest trends. Designers like Jonathan Adler and Kelly Wearstler use scarves to add pops of color and whimsical patterns to their chic, contemporary interiors.

Why Scarves Work for Interior Design

There are many reasons why scarves make the perfect decorative accessory:

Affordable Luxury

Scarves are an inexpensive way to add a sense of refinement. High-end designer scarves can provide luxurious textures like silk or cashmere to upgrade your space. Even cheaper, mass-produced scarves mimic expensive materials and patterns, at a fraction of the cost.


Scarves can complement any style. Bold graphic prints pop against minimalist backgrounds, while floral patterns enhance romantic rooms. Neutral solids act as a subtle backdrop in boho or traditional homes. There are infinite options for any aesthetic.

Easy to Change and Update

Scarves are simple to swap out. Refresh your room for different seasons or holidays by rotating scarves. You can give your space a brand new look in just minutes!

Lightweight and Easy to Mount

Scarves are made from lightweight fabrics that can be hung without installing hardware. No nails or hooks needed! This makes them ideal for renters who want to decorate without damaging walls.

Add Dimension and Texture

Scarves introduce cozy textures, giving flat spaces visual and tactile depth. Flowy fabrics soften hard surfaces and add natural interest.

Inject Color

Scarves come in every color imaginable. They are an excellent way to incorporate vibrant hues into your home without committing to a permanent paint job.

Where to Use Scarves in Your Home’s Interior Design

Now that you know why scarves are so great for home decor, let’s look at all the possibilities for adding them throughout your home:

Wall Art

Turn any scarf into a tapestry-like wall hanging. This adds a lovely focal point behind furniture, over the bed, or above the mantle. Try different display techniques like hanging with clips or draping loosely and allowing the ends to freely flow.

Window Treatments

Scarves can instantly upgrade basic curtains or blinds. Tie them back as sashes, use as valances, or loosely drape over the rod for a pretty cascading effect. This is a quick way to infuse color when you can’t change out drapes.

Table Accents

Have fun dressing tablescapes with scarves! A bold pattern under place settings adds interest to your dishes. Drape them down table runners or across the backs of chairs. Use them as napkins or napkin rings.


Sew scarves into lumbar pillow covers or neatly fold into decorative pillowcases. This brings vibrance to sofas, chairs, and beds. Change them out seasonally for a quick room refresh.


Hang scarves on the wall behind the bed to make a DIY headboard, or drape them directly over the headboard. Choose a color that complements your bedding for a pulled-together look.

Ceiling Treatment

Who says wallpaper is just for walls? Adhere bold graphic scarves to a ceiling or swathe lightweight chiffon across the top of a room. This unexpected twist adds whimsy and height.

Fireplace Mantels

Weave patterns into stacks of books and trays or let the ends trail off the edge for an casual effect. Go for symmetry with matching scarves in urns on each end.


Jazz up railings and banisters with twisted or flowing scarves. Anchor them with discreet ties or clips. This is an excellent way to incorporate color in a foyer.


Roll or fold scarves to place in baskets, behind objects, or on their own. They pop against neutral shelves and introduce eye-catching texture.

How to Select Scarves for Interior Design Projects

Picking out scarves for decor doesn’t have to be intimidating. Here are some top tips for selecting styles that will enhance your home:

Consider Your Design Style

The patterns and textures of scarves you choose should make sense with your interior motifs. For modern homes, graphic prints and solid colors tend to work best. Boho styles come to life beside floral or paisley scarves. Go for classic stripes, tartans, and solids in traditional spaces.

Mind the Dimensions

Pay attention to the measurements of a scarf to ensure it will fit your decor needs. Long, narrow scarves work well hanging vertically. Wide scarves make better wall hangings or ceiling accents. Large square silk twills can double as table linens.

Choose Appropriate Fabrics

Delicate silks and chiffons are ideal for draping loosely. Look for textured wools, cottons, and linens to hold pleats and shapes under clips or when tied. If using as table linens or pillows, make sure the fabric is durable and washable.

Match or Contrast Colors

Choose scarves that complement your color scheme for a cohesive feel. Contrast with bold hues to make the scarves stand out as an accent. Both approaches work beautifully.

Consider Year-Round Use

Select patterns like geometrics, animal prints, or solids that you can display in any season, rather than holiday prints specific to one time of year. Neutrals also offer versatility.

Shop Many Places

Check out consignment stores, thrift shops, flea markets, or your own closet for hidden scarf gems. Online stores like Etsy allow you to search for very specific vintage patterns. eBay and Amazon also have great deals on scarves.

Displaying Scarves Around the Home

When it comes time to decorate, get creative with how you hang and arrange your scarves. Here are some tips for beautifully showcasing scarves in your home:

Create Dimensional Interest

Let fabric billow, pinch and gather in places, or loosely knot ends to add visual depth. Think about movement and shape. Avoid just laying flat.

Layer With Other Textiles

Pair with complementary textiles like cotton ribbons, rope, twine, or homespun yarn. Mixing textures adds depth and casual elegance.

Use Appropriate Hardware

Needlepoint strips, Velcro, command hooks, craft wire, tension rods, rings, drapery clips, and other specialty hardware can neatly hang scarves anywhere.

Light Properly

Illuminate with accent lighting. Scarves look gorgeous when lit from behind or highlighted with track lighting or table lamps. Candles also produce a beautiful glow.

Be Symmetrical

When using multiple scarves, create balanced arrangements. Hang to the same length, space evenly, display in matching containers. Repeat patterns also look striking.

Transition Colors and Patterns

Don’t go overboard mixing wild prints. Transition between patterns to keep them from competing. Tie colors together through soft goods like pillows or throws.

Mix Textures and Sheens

Satin and chiffon scarves pair beautifully with natural textured linens and cottons. Combine matte and shiny finishes for depth and visual interest.

Allow Scarves to Freely Flow

Don’t over-fold, wrap, or contain scarves. Let them cascade and drape loosely so the fabrics shine.

DIY Scarf Display Ideas

Looking for easy DIY ideas to show off your scarf collection at home? Here are some fun projects to inspire your inner craftiness:

Twine-Wrapped Hanging Rod

Wrap twine around a tension rod or wooden dowel. Tie scarves at even intervals along the rod so they drape down. Hang in a window or on the wall.

Bookcase Ladder

Lay a vintage wooden ladder horizontally across two stacked bookcases. Tie scarves to each rung of the ladder, slightly cascading down toward the shelves.

Macrame Wall Hanging

Make a simple macrame design on a square canvas. Decorate the knotted rope pattern with scarves tied into bows. Display on the wall when finished.

Scarf-Covered Lamp

Use Mod Podge or craft glue to adhere scarves onto a plain lamp base. Trim away excess fabric at the ends and finish by adding trim, if desired. Add a fun lamp shade.

Picture Frame Scarf Collage

Cut squares from different scarves, making sure to incorporate a mix of colors, patterns, and textures. Secure the layered squares into a picture frame.

Ombre Headboard

Tie gradient-colored scarves end-to-end and mount horizontally across the top of your headboard. The ombre effect makes a pretty focal point.

Scarf-Wrapped Wreath

Purchase a basic wreath form. Wrap and tie strips of scarves around it, creating fun patterns and bow accents. Hang on the wall or a door for color.

Scrap Yarn Fringe

Cut scarves into strips and tie onto pieces of scrap yarn. Hang the fringe vertically for a boho wall accent, or drape across curtains.

Tips for Maintaining Scarves

Scarves used regularly in your home decor will require some periodic care. Here are useful tips for keeping them looking beautiful:

  • Read care labels and wash gently by hand or machine, only when necessary. Air drying is best.
  • Spot clean stains immediately with a gentle cleaner made for delicates. Don’t rub or scrub.
  • Steam wrinkles and creases out of scarves rather than ironing whenever possible.
  • Avoid direct sunlight that could fade colors. Use light-filtering curtains in bright rooms.
  • Rotate scarves seasonally so they don’t get worn out from constant display.
  • Periodically rearrange scarves to minimize dust buildup in folds and crevices.
  • Handle silk and chiffon scarves carefully since they snag easily.
  • Store off-season scarves neatly folded in clean boxes or drawers.

Incorporating Scarves into Any Style

While scarves are chic and versatile enough to work in just about any home, they feel right at home in these popular decor aesthetics:

Boho Chic

Flowy, fringe-trimmed scarves in Eastern prints, paisleys, ikats, or batiks pair perfectly with the carefree Bohemian look. Drape them over Macrame wall hangings or patchwork pillows.

French Country

Vintage scarf patterns like toile and Provencal florals feel enchanting tied onto canopy beds or billowing at the windows in rustic French spaces.


Nautical stripes and sailboat prints go hand-in-hand with breezy, beachy interiors. Fold into seashell-adorned bowls or display on whitewashed consoles.

Vintage Eclectic

Jazz up your shabby chic or vintage home with colorful paisleys, exotic florals, polka dots, and graphic prints from past eras.


For dramatic old Hollywood allure, go for lush fabrics like faux fur, velvet, satin, or sequined scarves. Drape them across tufted chaise lounges.


Solid colored linen, silk, or cotton scarves add subdued texture without distracting busy patterns in serene, minimalist spaces.

Revamp Your Space with Scarves

Now that you know all of the creative ways to use scarves in interior design, it’s time to start revamping your home! Begin by taking inventory of the solid colored and patterned scarves you already own. Look at your space with fresh eyes, and imagine how introducing scarves could enhance your walls, windows, furniture, and decor.

Don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Use them in unexpected places like stair banisters, chandeliers, cabinets, and even shower curtains! Shop for affordable new scarves that fit your vision. Display them artfully using the tips and tricks in this article. With a little imagination, styling your space with beautiful, versatile scarves can elevate your interiors and refresh your rooms. You’ll be amazed by what a dramatic impact they can make. Soon your friends will think you hired a designer!

Frequently Asked Questions About Using Scarves in Interior Design

  1. Are scarves just for accessory fashion, or do they serve a purpose in home decor?

Scarves absolutely have great purpose and value in home decor! They can transform the look of a space as wall art, window treatments, table linens, pillow accents and more. Scarves introduce color, texture, pattern and visual interest through affordability and ease.

  1. Do scarves as decor work in casual everyday spaces, or are they too fancy?

Scarves can work in casual spaces if styled in relaxed ways. Solid colors or subdued prints are versatile. Display scarves loosely draped instead of crisply folded. Avoid ornate fabrics like heavy brocades. Use natural textures like cotton, linen and wool.

  1. How do you keep scarves dust-free when used in home decor?

Periodically dusting and gently shaking out scarves keeps dust at bay. Steam cleaning is also an option if scarves can tolerate it. Rotate scarves seasonally to give them a break. And make sure they are in areas free from direct vents that could blow dust around.

  1. Is it best to display scarves loosely or to crisply fold and hang scarves when decorating?

This depends on the look you are going for! Both draping and folding produce beautiful results. For dimensional texture, go for loose cascades and billows. To show off graphic patterns, fold neatly like wall art. Combining folding and draping techniques adds visual interest.

  1. Do you need special skills or hardware to hang scarves on walls and ceilings?

Not at all! Basic command hooks, ring clips, and tension rods from any hardware store do the trick beautifully to display scarves in creative ways as wall art, valances, ceiling accents and more without damaging surfaces.

  1. How do you prevent delicate silk and chiffon scarves from snagging when used in home decor?

Use velvet wrapping strips, ribbon, or twill tape to cover any rough edges along hardware, frames, and furnishings that could snag. Handle scarves very gently, and sew ribbon loops to hang rather than using metal clips which could tear fabrics.


Revive any room in your home with the creative use of scarves! They provide an easy yet transformative way to infuse color, texture, and interest with just a simple decorative touch. Whether you drape, hang, fold or display them, scarves can breathe new life into your walls, windows, furniture, and more. So unleash your inner interior designer, and get ready to have your home’s style all wrapped up in the magic of scarves!