Showing You the Ropes: Designing Your Home with Rope Accents

Looking for a way to add a handcrafted touch to your home? The solution may be easier than you think. Adding rope accents or element to your home through the use of lighting, framing, supports, and more can bring a rustic touch you can’t get any other way. Whether you want to try making rope accents yourself or rely on a professional to perfect your sailor’s knots, don’t underestimate this handy material.

Tackling the Latest Trends

Medusa Pendant Lamp – 6 Bulbs, AL004 Old Modern Handicrafts

More people are opting for visible rope because it makes the space feel more handcrafted. But while rope itself is a very DIY-friendly material, and there are lots of home projects you can do with it, there are some you shouldn’t try to tackle yourself. Rope lighting, for example, is best left to the professionals; you don’t want to take a hot glue gun to something that might electrocute you. The good news is, there are lot of lighting fixtures that have that same handcrafted quality and that prominently feature ropes – that you don’t need to make yourself. This is a great way to accentuate and complement a handcrafted style, while keeping the actual crafting part manageable.

Going for a Theme

A beachy feel in your bedroom can feel too subtle without accents like rope work adorning the space (by Oscar Ono Paris)

Not sure where to start? There are a few interior design styles that pair particularly well with rope accents. Beach and nautical style rooms are probably the first that come to mind; ropes are a pretty core element of these aesthetics, and help evoke boat docks, ships, and seaside summers. That said, don’t feel limited to a Cape Cod or lake house look. Farmhouse style spaces are also a natural pair for rope accents; think spaces that want a slightly rustic, weathered, hands-on feel. Rope accents also add this authenticity to a cottagecore style, and pair beautifully with reclaimed industrial style lofts. But don’t let me tell you what to do! If you like the look, a few rope accents can add a little pop of personality to just about any space.

Ropes as a Structural Support

Rope is a reliable way to not only accent a space, but assure sturdiness in structure as well (by Revel Woods)

Rope may not look very fancy, but it is a very solid material. That means it’s actually a good choice as a functional, structural element. Having trouble hanging a piece of art, mirror, or clock? A sturdy piece of rope will not only get the job done, but add that little stylistic something to the piece that can dress up an otherwise simple accent. Often you’ll find pieces with rope hangers built-in rather than needing to affix them yourself, but you can rely on them to be weight-bearing and sturdy. If you’re feeling really fancy, you can even use it for other visible structural elements, like rope shelves. Running rope through holes drilled in wood planks and securing and leveling them with knots is stylish, DIY friendly, and great for saving space or adding storage to odd areas.

Added Intricacies of Rope

Cassio Set Of 2 Lighting, 404597 by Elk Lifestyle

Many rope accents are relatively simple, featuring a single length of plain rope, either affixed around the edge of a frame, or used as a simple hanging or structural element. But remember: rope is meant to be tied. Unique woven patterns, knots, and other more complex rope arrangements help retain the handcrafted feel you want from decorating with rope, but with a slightly more decorative, elegant finish. You’ll probably want a lighter-weight, more flexible rope to pull off a netting or macrame-like look, but the final result can be really stunning. Bonus points for using a decoratively knotted rope for hanging!

Going for the Purely Decorative

Darya Nautical Console Table, 24665 by Uttermost

All that said, rope accents don’t need to be useful to work in a space. You don’t need to be a DIYer, a boater, or looking to upcycle or reuse materials to like the look. And there’s plenty of options out there for incorporating rope accents into your decor as a purely decorative element. From ship-wheel mirrors with rope affixed to the front to furniture or lighting with non-functional rope elements integrated into the design, you can absolutely add rope accents to your home just for the fun of it.

Rope is an underappreciated accent piece. It’s strong, beautiful, and functional, and adds a totally unique element to your home’s aesthetic. So whether you’re a big DIYer, a lover of all things lake or lighthouse, or just looking to add a tactile conversation starter to hour house, don’t be afraid to try out a new rope accent piece.