This traditional pattern is making a modern comeback.
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Checked patterns, including plaid, gingham, and buffalo check, have been a popular feature in home decor for decades. However, the checkerboard motif has recently stepped into the spotlight as the check of the moment. The classic staggered arrangement of black and white squares, reminiscent of a chessboard, is once again popping up across flooring, textiles, wallpaper, and more.

small white breakfast nook with black and white checkered floor
Credit: David Tsay

Perhaps the recent craze around checkerboard patterns has something to do with the popular limited Netflix series The Queen's Gambit, watched by more than 62 million households within the first month of its debut in October 2020. According to the online marketplace 1stDibs, sales of chess sets and chess tables jumped 57% in 2020 compared to the previous year. But playing the game itself isn't the only way people are drawing inspiration from the show. "The Queen's Gambit had a stunning set design, but the real show-stealer for interiors is the black and white checkered pattern of the chess set," says Barbara Fuller, vice president of marketing at home furnishings brand Arteriors.

Small white kitchen black and white checked floor with rattan rug
Credit: David Tsay

The checkerboard pattern trend dates back well before we'd ever heard of Beth Harmon, though. In fact, the simple, two-color checked motif has been used in interior design across the globe for centuries. Checkerboard flooring was particularly popular during the Renaissance period in Europe, with one of the most notable examples being the checked, black-and-white marble floor of the Grand Trianon at the Palace of Versailles in France. Fast forward a few centuries to the 1920s, when black-and-white linoleum or ceramic tile became a favorite flooring choice in kitchens and bathrooms in American homes.

Today, the high-contrast pattern makes a striking statement on a wide variety of design elements, offering a look that's both retro and traditional. For a high-end effect, Fuller suggests looking for pieces made with black and white marble or lacquer. To try the trend in a smaller way, accent solid-colored seating with checkered throw pillows. Here are a few of our favorite checkerboard-patterned accessories to help you nail this bold yet classic look at home.

Black and White Checked Pillow

$32 (was $35), Etsy

Checkerboard pillows are a simple way to dress up your sofa with a new look. This stylish lumbar pillow includes an insert and a double-sided, black-and-white checked cover. The durable polyester fabric resists water and mildew, so you can accessorize both indoors and out.

Checkerboard Outdoor Rug

$68 (was $87), Wayfair

Try the dynamic pattern outdoors with this checkerboard area rug. The polypropylene material is made from recycled plastic straws and resists stains, water damage, and fading in the sun. The black-and-white design is available in four sizes.

Credit: Courtesy of The Home Depot

Checkerboard Wall Decor

$145, The Home Depot

This framed rope artwork puts a natural twist on the checkerboard trend. Earth-tone ropes coiled into circles and squares form a three-dimensional checkered pattern. The natural pine frame measures 18 x 30 inches and comes with sawtooth hardware to make hanging easy.

Credit: Courtesy of Society6

Acrylic Checkerboard Tray

$36 (was $45), Society6

Add some pattern to your coffee table with this acrylic checkerboard tray. The 15.5 x 12-inch size is perfect for holding books, vases, small collectibles, and more. Handles make for easy carrying, and feet on the bottom of the tray protect your table's surface from scratches.

Credit: Courtesy of West Elm

Modern Checkers and Chess Set

$55, West Elm

This colorful chess and checkers set doubles as a pretty decorative accent for a coffee table or shelf. The painted wood box includes 32 chess pieces and 24 checkers pieces. The lid, which doubles as a game board, is reversible with a pink checked design on the other side.

Checkerboard Peel-and-Stick Wallpaper

$60 (was $74), Wayfair

Bring dimension to your walls with this black-and-white checkered wallpaper. The peel-and-stick design makes it easy to apply, remove, or reposition as needed. The fabric wallpaper is sold in three sizes of 24-inch-wide panels that range from 48 to 126 inches in length. 

Credit: Marty Baldwin

Imperfect Checkerboard Tray

$36 (was $45), Society6

Skewed lines add a fresh twist to this checkered serving tray. Made with 100% bamboo wood, it makes an eco-friendly and versatile accessory for any table. The 18x14-inch size is perfect for holding a few beverage coasters, books, small potted plants, or other decorative items of your choosing. 

Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Checkerboard Picture Frame

$18, Amazon

Make a favorite photo pop with this checkerboard picture frame. The edgy pattern is made up of black-and-white bone inlay to give it a vintage attitude. Sawtooth hangers on the back make it easy to mount on a wall, or try propping it up on a desk or shelf. 

Credit: Courtesy of West Elm

Tan-and-White Checker Coasters

Bring in an understated dose of checkerboard pattern with this set of four coasters. Handcrafted from tan and white polymer clay, the 4-inch coasters can easily mesh with any color scheme. A cork backing helps prevent scratches on your tabletop. 

Checkerboard Throw Pillow

$49, Urban Outfitters

Instantly spruce up a bedroom or seating area with one of these checkerboard pillows. The 18-inch-square pillows are made of 100% cotton fabric with a textural weave. Opt for the black-and-white pattern for a high-contrast statement, or go with the taupe version for a subtler accent.

Credit: Marty Baldwin

Checker Print Candle

$45, Lockwood

A handpainted checkerboard design adorns this pretty candle. It's available in six splashy colors, which correspond with unique scents like cactus flower and lavender mimosa.  The 4-inch-tall porcelain vessel is food-safe, so once the candle burns down, you can reuse it as a mug or planter. 

Moroccan Checkered Pouf

$139, Etsy

This handmade wool pouf combines checkerboard print with a soft, shaggy texture. Measuring about 24 inches square, it functions well as a comfy floor pillow or an eye-catching ottoman. The pouf comes unstuffed, so you can fill it to your desired fluffiness with old clothes or blankets, polyester fiber fill, or polystyrene beads (sold separately).


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