Whether it's plaid bedding or a plaid sofa, we're seeing new ways to use the most traditional pattern on the list. Give this classic pattern a fresh face with these simple tips for decorating with plaid.

By Carrie Waller

Once considered an exclusively traditional pattern, plaid has made its way into modern homes in contemporary large-scale styles. Blown out proportions, bright unconventional colors, and the layering of styles have brought this classic pattern into the millennium with panache. Because it's a classic, plaid also endures as a no-fail pattern for more traditional tastes.

If something still feels slightly "off" in your space, it could be a lack of dimension. One of the most effective (not to mention, affordable) ways to infuse dimension into a space is through pattern. Plaid gets the job done with a seemingly limitless array of color mixtures and scale combinations. You can use it as drapery fabric, throw pillows, bedding, even wall coverings. Introduce an oversize pattern for the greatest impact. Imagine for a moment that this room didn't have the plaid finish on the wall. Although still pretty, the whimsical edge is suddenly missing without buffalo plaid decor.

Plaid is one of the most multi-dimensional patterns there is. Whether it's tartan or tattersall, gingham or check, there's little argument against the fact that plaid could work its way into just about any type of unique decor. For sleeker styling, choose a favorite plaid scheme and use it in the room as a focal point in a sofa or accent chair. Or, if your tastes are more eclectic, play with several different types of plaid on anything, like pillows and drapes. When kept to the same color scheme, the combination of patterns will feel cohesive, not overdone. Different kinds of buffalo plaid fabric abound in this bedroom, but they blend nicely, thanks to presentation in the same olive green tone.

Plaid decor is an eclectic stylist's dream. Bridging the gap between modern and traditional decor, it truly runs the gamut in terms of design. Keep the pattern tight with a handful of colors to achieve a classic look, or go more modern with an oversize print in just one or two colors. The latest trend you may have picked up on is the inclusion of thin metallic accents in plaid. Suddenly, we're seeing a pattern that used to work exclusively in historic homes find its way into the most glamorous of settings.

If you think plaid belongs on a ranch, think again. Trendy buffalo check pattern easily blends with any decorating style, including traditional, contemporary, cottage, and country. Here, a simple throw pillow in a plaid pattern looks right at home tucked behind a metallic polka-dot pillow on a glam velvet sofa. The  peach tones in the pattern set it apart from the traditional red and black or navy and white buffalo check designs we're so used to seeing. Accents throughout the room continue the color-blocked look, including a vibrant coffee table book. We love using trends as accent pieces because they can be switched out easily and inexpensively.

Plaid has an undeniable tie to childhood. Whether it's a vintage holiday dress or a well-used picnic blanket, the pattern has fond memories. Use that nostalgia to your advantage when decorating with plaid. In this farmhouse-style kid's room, duvet covers in classic deep red plaid top a pair of twin beds. Paired with plain white walls and furniture, the plaid pattern stands out and creates a cozy atmosphere. For a modern take on this bedroom design, consider using buffalo plaid fabric in a muted color or larger pattern. Other small details in the room, like a vintage lamp and feed sack pillows, continue the nostalgic motif.

Comments (1)

February 10, 2019
I love plaid-It's timeless Janet