IIt’s like your beloved straight jeans. Or your must-have coffee order. Or your oldest record playing on repeat. Some things never go out of style, and for good reason: because of their timelessness and the joy they evoke.
On the home front, prints like checks and gingham have been around for for all time (okay, not quite, but textile designers trace the origin to Malaysia or France as far back as the 1600s), and they’re not going anywhere. Whether you’re ready to dive headfirst into cottagecore with plaid wallpaper and upholstery, or prefer the modern twist over casual accents, repeating squares is an always reliable design decision.
For Heather Taylor, Founder and Creative Director of Heather Taylor Home, prints feel cozy and warm. “Ginghams and plaids are classic and deeply nostalgic, which is why they never go out of style,” she says. “These patterns are cozy, yet also timeless, and instantly make a home feel like home.”
Traditionally made from cotton, gingham fabric isn’t just an age-old home aesthetic, it’s also eco-friendly. By opting for a cotton decoration, you support a plant fiber that does not contribute to plastic pollution. Plus, the fabric is durable, long-lasting, and easy to wash and care for, making it ideal for any beloved spaces under your roof.
If you’re looking to give your home a bit of sunshine and lots of comfort, follow Taylor’s lead and consider trying checks and gingham with the following tips on how to incorporate print into your rooms more inhabited.
Make your bedroom the dreamiest corner of your home by adding some whimsical plaid accents. Prediction: You’ll fall asleep peacefully with feelings of warmth and longing, and the splashes of summery colors will make you want to wake up and face the day too.
Try a vibrant gingham bedspread or, for a more understated look, pair a plain duvet with plaid shams or cotton sheets, which can help promote deeper sleep thanks to the fabric’s breathability and cooling properties.
“We love our cotton duvet covers because they get softer and cozier with every wash,” Taylor says. “With proper care, cotton bedding will last for years. [It’s] also relatively easy to maintain – we throw ours in the washer and dryer and it always comes out perfect. Country B&B atmosphere activated.
Give your bathroom a classic refresh without a major design overhaul by following one of these formulas: stick to monochrome gingham for an elegant spa-like space, or go retro with bold tile throughout. the colors of the rainbow. All it takes is a stack of absorbent cotton towels — which Taylor calls the epitome of comfort — and a standout shower curtain (bonus points if you opt for a recycled one). “I also like to hang a cotton [gingham] bathrobe on a hook in my bathroom,” Taylor says, which may totally doubles as decor.
The living room
If you’re looking for a reason to reupholster a broken chair or loveseat, be inspired by the Taylor-worthy Laurel Canyon home. She pairs white walls, simple greenery and a neutral rug with a bold gingham sofa (adorned with plenty of checkered pillows, of course) and the result is a charming English cottage vibe.
If tiptoeing in tiles seems more realistic, add vibrant accents to minimalist furniture with cotton throw pillows, a gingham fabric lampshade, and subtle patterned curtains. Pro tip: Opt for room-darkening cotton window panels for a cozy and comfortable movie night, whatever the season.
There’s a certain picnic-in-the-park reverie that comes with gingham, and that makes it the perfect print for your kitchen. Tie a plaid apron around your waist and don’t be surprised if you suddenly whip up a summer cobbler and quote your favorite celebrity chef (just us?). When you’re done making desserts, hang your apron on a wooden wall hook and, just like your bathrobe, your clothes can do double duty.
Dress the stove with cotton tea towels and your kitchen table with a resistant tablecloth. To keep things fresh and modern, Taylor likes to layer several tablecloths, on top of each other, and finish with contrasting gingham napkins. (And when her sheets take the inevitable spillage at dinnertime, there’s no stress, because cotton releases stains easily and washing it doesn’t contribute to polluting waterways.) Homemade dessert after dinner? Add that to the list of things that Never go out of style.
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