This “Dated” Trend Is Making a Comeback, but We’re Here for It

published Aug 4, 2020
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Patterns are always an easy way to perk up any room, and right now, checkerboard prints are back in the spotlight. Here’s the thing—for many years, once hardwoods really started taking over the flooring market, black-and-white linoleum and ceramic tiles were seen as dated and just not a dream material. This humble, high-contrast motif has persisted in design nonetheless, and now the pendulum is swinging back in favor of all things checkered.

Part of this resurgence has to do with checkerboard’s classic versatility. Depending on how you style it, checkers can be sporty and fun or sleek and sophisticated. It can also go French country, retro, or even Danish modern. The first thing that probably comes to mind is the aforementioned black-and-white tiled floors, but checkerboard can be used in so many other ways than just underfoot.

Equally appealing in small doses, you can add this motif to your home with wall art, accent pillows, a kitchen backsplash, or a tray, among other things. Checkerboard doesn’t just have to be in black and white, either. Opting for neutral shades, like a checkerboard rug in creams or taupes, delivers the pattern in a subtle way. On the flip side, adding a bright checkerboard pillow to an otherwise simple room brings a playful pop of personality. Need a few examples? Shop these pieces to bring this look home.

Credit: Etsy

1. Rainbow Fused Glass Platter

Each of these colorful trays is one-of-a-kind and fused in a kiln after being arranged by hand. Use one to corral items near your entry, remotes on a coffee table, or jewelry and hair ties on a dresser.

Buy: Rainbow Fused Glass Platter, $75 from Etsy

Credit: Wayfair

2. Checkerboard Bamboo Geometric Bath Rug

If you’re looking for a fresh take on checkerboard, this is the piece for you. Imported from France, this bath mat is made of bamboo slats crossed with woven polypropylene fabric for comfort. It’ll brighten up your bath in an instant.

Buy: Cross Twill Checkerboard Bamboo Rectangle Geometric Bath Rug, $52.99 from Wayfair

Credit: Amazon

3. Kendal Upholstered Farmhouse Accent Chair

A classic checkerboard motif meets buffalo check in this comfy chair that checks (pun intended) all the boxes. It’s an elegant addition you can feel good about, since it’s made from eco-friendly rubberwood that’s durable. The tapered legs and clean lines add extra elegance, while the plush upholstery is cushy and cozy.

Buy: Kendal Traditional Upholstered Farmhouse Accent Chair, $103.02 from Amazon

Credit: Society 6

4. Purple Checkerboard Coasters

Drink coasters are always helpful for preventing water rings and stains, and this glossy set is a simple way to bring the checkerboard trend into your home. The clipped corner design and fun purple color makes this set especially stylish.

Buy: Purple Checkerboard Coasters, $15.00 $12.00 from Society6

Credit: Nordstrom

5. Couristan Patchwork Indoor/Outdoor Rug

With its striped patchwork take on checkerboard, this peachy-pink rug is a little bit country, a little bit modern. Designed for indoor or outdoor use, it’s great for areas that get a lot of foot traffic, since it’s made of fade-resistant polypropylene that’s both mold- and mildew-resistant.

Buy: Patchwork Indoor/Outdoor Rug, Starting at $79 for a runner size from Nordstrom

Credit: Amazon

6. Checkerboard Kitchen Towels

Hit your kitchen with the checkerboard graphic in the form of a fresh towel, and you’ll be cleaning up spills in style. Made from extra absorbent microfiber, it is designed to dry fast to help cut down on bacterial buildup. Pair this guy with red countertop appliances for the ultimate diner kitchen look.

Buy: Antoipyns Checkerboard Kitchen Towels, $13.98 from Amazon

Credit: Society 6

7. Checkerboard Clock

A checkerboard motif often adds a sporty, racing vibe anywhere you put it. When you’re talking a wall clock in a blue and white colorway though, the look is decidedly more retro cool. This model has a plexiglass face that’s set in a wooden frame—choose from a natural finish or one that’s painted black or white. The piece a cinch to hang, thanks to the built-in hook in the back.

Buy: Checkerboard Clock, $31.99 $25.59 from Society6

Credit: World Market

8. Woven Rattan Carla Counter Stool

Turn your kitchen into a sidewalk Parisian café with these counter stools. A World Market exclusive, the frame is crafted from rattan, and the resin wicker seat is woven from black and white polypropylene for extra durability. Since the fabric is easy to wipe clean, you don’t have to worry about spills.

Buy: Black And White Woven Rattan Carla Counter Stool, $169.99 from World Market

9. Checkerboard Printed Rug

Put it in neutral with this printed cotton rug that will spruce up any space. For a more classic vibe, it also comes in a black-and-white pattern; both options are available in two sizes.

Buy: Checkerboard Printed Rug, Starting at $19 $16 for a 2’x3′ from Urban Outfitters

10. KJP Fiona Cushion

Dress up your couch with this organic linen checkerboard pillow cover that’s hand-screened by Stockholm-based artist Katherine Jean Plumb. With a few pink, yellow, and green checker pieces mixed into the pattern, this design gives the checkerboard motif you know a stylish, subtle refresh.

Buy: Fiona Cushion, $70 from Lisa Says Gah