Secrets for Making Plaid Look Modern All Year Round

It happens every year. When the weather gets cold, plaid rushes in. It's a seasonal classic for wintertime–kind of rustic and preppy and festive all at once–but that doesn't mean you can't keep plaid as part of your home pattern portfolio year-round. With a few tricks of the trade, you'll find plaid looks cool and contemporary in every room of the house.

Throw Plaid Into a Mix of Patterns

When it's just another textile in your pattern mix, plaid looks eclectic and cool. Just check out this bedroom from Burnham Design.

Balance it With Edgy Extras

The abstract art, animal print and that cool skull pillow all help to balance out the plaid in supermodel Coco Rocha's nursery (really) on One Kings Lane.

Pair it With a Very "Now" Color

The black and white plaid door mat is the perfect foil for this (hard-to-describe) peachy pink front door from Look Linger Love.

Use a Brightly Colored Plaid

If you're after a modern look, stay away from Christmas-colored tartans and opt for something like this red and blue technicolor throw on Design Sponge.

Make it Feminine

Black and white buffalo check is a bit masculine on its own, but it's a great complement to Jessica Comingore's pastel bedroom on SF Girl by Bay.

Keep it Light and Airy

Even a plaid armchair, like the one in this living room from Studio McGee, looks fresh in a bright white room with lots of natural light.

Work it In to a Moody, Monochrome Room

This shot from Ralph Lauren Home is totally modern with its high-contrast color palette and variety of textures.

Use an Alternative Plaid Pattern

These chairs in textile designer Caitlin Wilson's kitchen on My Domaine aren't your typical plaid, but they still capture the vibe of the classic pattern while fitting right in with the modern white kitchen and saturated Persian rug.

(Image credits: Burnham Design; Manuel Rodriguez; Gray Benko; Design Sponge; Jessica Comingore; Becky Kimball; Ralph Lauren Home; Elijah Hoffman)