Buffalo check is nothing new, but the ways we use it have changed. These days, decorating with buffalo plaid means new colors, new techniques, and big, bold decor.

By Darlene Weir

I have fond memories of navy buffalo check wallpaper filling the backs of our formal living room built-ins as I grew up. The paper always looked so fresh and crisp against the white shelving, and I loved the boldness of the pattern. My affinity for it never waned, and apparently, I am not the only one who feels this way. Buffalo check is back on trend and it is not just for country decor anymore. Now you can find this bold pattern being splashed in country farmhouses and city lofts, and it is just as fun to play with as it was back in its first heyday.

It's because of this pattern's bold presence of color that decorating with buffalo check actually works in lieu of a solid color in many design scenarios. If a room needs a punch of lavender, why throw in a plain lavender accent when you can add lavender buffalo plaid curtains for the same color punch with more pattern power? Because of this, buffalo check can be used as a base, giving home decorators the perfect excuse to add pattern on pattern.

Pattern Mix

Photo courtesy Miss Mustard Seed

The on-trend look for buffalo check this season means a play of patterns. This bold pattern can handle the mix, so bravely combine it with contrasting patterns for a modern, fresh look. You can see how well this works in Marian Parsons' guest bedroom, where the pattern mix takes center stage. If you're making buffalo plaid curtains for your room, save any scraps of fabric to use in projects for other areas of your home. 

Click here to see more fabulous farmhouse fabrics. 

Buffalo Check Fabric

Photo courtesy Studio McGee

When you know it is true love, go ahead and commit. This living room chair covered in buffalo check upholstery fabric offers a powerful design punch that is a game changer for the room. The midcentury modern design on the chair legs and lamp instantly changes the feel of the buffalo plaid in this space designed by Studio McGee. Here, buffalo check fabric is used as a modern design rather than a farmhouse-style look, showing off the pattern's versatility.

Learn how to upholster a chair for your home.

Buffalo Ottomans

Ottomans upholstered in a classic fabric choice will blend with most styles and last through any trend. This black and white buffalo check fabric is no exception. The pattern can go from totally rustic to the upscale and chic look, as shown in this stylish living room. A framed buffalo print hangs on the wall as a playful nod to the room's standout fabric.

Table Runner

Photo courtesy The White Buffalo Styling Co.

If you want the ease of adding a touch of buffalo check to your home when the mood or season strikes, you can use the print on accent pillows, a throw, or even a table runner. I love this table runner from Lindsay of The White Buffalo Styling Company. She takes her buffalo check in a rustic direction, but this table runner could just as easily go glam, eclectic, or modern, depending on the mix.

Accent Pillows

A fun way to use this trend is by adding small accents. Accessories are great because they give that stylish punch without having to spend a fortune to get the look. And what's easier that switching out a few throw pillows

Traditional buffalo plaid flannel fabric will be found in red/black and navy/white, although it can come in many colors in a more contemporary riff. These colorful pillows are a super fun take on the trend and show that plaid can be glam, too. 

Bed Canopy

Photo courtesy The Painted House

Why stop at curtains when you can surround your bed in a canopy of checks, like Angela of The Painted House did? With a pattern as bold as this, she didn't need any flashy bedding or busy wall art. Matching nightstands flanking the bed and colorful pillows work just fine. Add even more buffalo check love by draping the wall in this fantastic print.

Buffalo Plaid Blankets

This buffalo plaid blanket in a lake house guest bedroom gives a fresh, friendly cabin feeling to the room. It coordinates well with the color scheme of the room and gives just the right amount of pattern to the space. Stock up on a few of these buffalo check blankets in different colors and place them around your house for a cozy way to create a design motif.

Painted Wall

Paint your walls with this fabulous buffalo pattern. It's a time commitment, but the good thing is it is just paint, so it can be easily changed if your style switches in a few years. We'll show you how to work with painters tape to create a buffalo plaid pattern in our step-by-step instructions.

Learn how to paint a buffalo check pattern.

Plaid Wallpaper

If wallpaper is more up your alley than paint, try this fun take on buffalo check. It's another way to achieve a brilliant accent wall or transform an entire room if you're feeling especially bold. The geometric design is repeated elsewhere in the room on a lamp and dresser for a cohesive look. 

Learn how to wallpaper with our helpful steps.

Stripes and Checks

When mixing patterns, consider stripes! Thick stripes work well, but a ticking stripe is also a favorite with buffalo check in a more casual country setting. This patriotic tablescape mixes a classic picnic-inspired napkin with a funky tie-dye striped tablecloth for a fun twist on traditional red and blue.

Painted Floor

This painted buffalo check floor provides a major graphic accent in an otherwise simple space. To keep the small bathroom from looking too busy, the rest of the room is kept clean in black and white accents. A few houseplants offer the room's only color for a fresh, inviting look. It's like a checkerboard floor totally reimagined.

Get the step-by-step instructions for painting a buffalo plaid floor.


Comments (1)

October 2, 2019
Not to my taste. I'll skip the Buffalo