8 Reasons to Consider Bringing Plaid into Your Home

updated May 3, 2019
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(Image credit: Sarah Crowley)

I know it’s hard to think about fall right now, when it’s 100 degrees outside. But this crisp, yet not quite chilly, colorful season is on its way, folks. And with it comes a shift in decor. Home trends don’t move quite as quickly as fashion ones do, which may be one of the reasons plaid is, yet again, everywhere in major retailers’ and smaller home designers’ collections alike. But there’s another reason: Plaid is pretty rad.

From oversized madras and buffalo checks to classic tartans and tiny tattersalls—and everything in between, plaid is a versatile pattern. Plaid accents walk the line between primitive country and modern farmhouse, prepster and hipster. Heck, plaid can even be granny or grandpa chic! And don’t forget the texture it lends to a room, as well as the readymade color scheme it supplies. I mean, the more complex prints and weaves will basically hand-pick accent colors for you, if you let them. So in honor of this trend that really has withstood the test of time, let’s explore the reasons plaid is still rad in the home

Reason 1: Plaid Makes a Bold Statement

(Image credit: Sarah Crowley)

Wallpaper’s definitely the riskiest way to use plaid in a home. But it also has the biggest pay-off. Just look at this entry. Yes, it’s a tight hallway, but what a way to make a big splash in your house—going bold right from the get go, so guests know you’re not playing around when it comes to design. I could see this pattern working behind a headboard, in a bathroom, or a study/library—provided you’re fancy like that. Of course it doesn’t have to be a simple check like this, but you don’t have to do much with a plaid wall covering to make an impact.

Reason 2: Plaid Can Anchor a Space Quite Nicely

(Image credit: Kyle Schuneman)

Another large scale way to bring plaid into your place is with an area rug. Again, two-toned styles are probably best when you’re going this big, and it’s amazing how a plaid rug can be at once both graphic and neutral, as seen in designer Kyle Schuneman’s living room. You’ve definitely got interest underfoot, but because the colors are cream and a grayish blue, the pattern isn’t overpowering and plays nicely with the rest of the room.

Reason 3: Plaid Can Get a Little Weird

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Sometimes a funky plaid can be just the exclamation point you need in a room that otherwise feels too perfect. Take this desk setup, for example. If you told me that you wanted to use a cotton rug that’s a red, cream and olive green plaid under an Eames chair with a big piece of figural art, I’d be all, “What?” And yet, it works. Even though the rug sounds super dated and kind of off the wall in the abstract, it totally holds its own with these modern pieces.

Reason 4: Plaid Plays Nice With Other Patterns

(Image credit: Arthur Garcia-Clemente)

Plaids are a little tricker to mix than, say, a stripe or a floral, but if you follow the rules of pattern-mixing (varying scales, keeping a common color running throughout items, etc.), then it will work with the other guys out there. I mean, this bedroom has a plaid comforter, a neon striped lumbar pillow and mod circle wallpaper, and it looks pretty freaking good. The overall vibe definitely feels hip hotel to me.

Reason 5: Plaid Does Traditional Well

(Image credit: Tamara Gavin)

Textiles are often the easiest way to work a particular pattern into a design scheme. In this North Carolina home, these pillows feel like a nice classic touch that tempers the rest of the more modern wall art, side tables and chairs. Don’t you just want to curl up, have a cup of tea (or cocktail!) and read a book there? If you gravitate towards a more trad home style, than plaid is definitely for you.

Reason 6: Plaid is Perfect for a Throw Blanket

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Whether your decor is English country like this living room or super modern, I’ll bet it can handle a plaid throw blanket. And you know what? If it can’t, just use that sucker for a picnic. All plaids go with green grass.

Reason 7: Plaid Can Hang, Literally

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Not all patterns are suited for curtains. Some are far too busy, while others are a bit too subtle. But a nice Buffalo check? Check! Had to. Sorry. If you go white-and-black drapes versus red-and-black, it’ll feel less log cabin and more mainstream. But there’s nothing wrong with lodge-y if that’s the look you are going for. In that case, plaid is your best friend, and red-and-black is where it’s at.

Reason 8: You Can Put Plaid on Furniture, and it Won’t Look Crazy

(Image credit: Kyle Schuneman)

Similar to window treatments, not all prints are suited for furniture upholstery. But plaid will definitely work in smaller doses. A pouf is perfect, and you could probably get away with an accent chair, too. A sofa is a little trickier, but it can be done.

It’s easy to see why plaid is still going strong in home decor. If you needed a little convincing on taking the plunge on a piece, hope this helped. Plaid really can work in a variety of settings with a ton of different styles.