Step Aside, Scallops: This Retro Trim Is Taking Over 2024 Home Decor

published Apr 1, 2024
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Credit: Erin Derby

Home design over the past few years has been all about fun, personalized spaces, so it’s no surprise that designers named scallops as one of 2024’s most trendy motifs in Apartment Therapy’s annual State of Home Design survey. But that’s not the only detail making waves right now — with fashion’s focus on 1970s style, I’m also seeing the return of retro ricrac home decor. 

Also known as wavy braid, ricrac’s history dates back to the mid-1800s when lacemakers used it to trim their work. The zigzag-shaped trim then peaked again in the ’70s, thanks to its decorative functionality (it helped create clean edges on home sewing projects). Now more of an embellishment for placemats, table runners, linen napkins, and accent pillows, ricrac trim offers an opportunity for blending multiple colors in a more intentional way. 

From the literal pieces that feature ricrac trim edges to the home decor items inspired by the trim’s whimsical waves, check out some of my favorite ways to incorporate ricrac into your space. 

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One of the easiest (and chicest) ways to incorporate the ricrac trend into your space is through napkins. This 100% cotton Mud Pie napkin, which measures 18 inches square when unfolded, has a soft pink hue and contrasting blue trim. While this might be a more decorative option, it’s not high-maintenance to clean — just toss it in the washing machine on cold.

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was $178.60

If you love the wavy look of ricrac but want a piece that’s a little less obvious, consider this off-white Etsy linen lampshade with more of a wavy, scalloped edge. Choose from 15 different trim options for a potential pop of color that can accent your space.

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Get the style on an even smaller scale with these cute cocktail napkins from Etsy, which double as coasters for your coffee table or bar area. Sold in sets of four or six, they’re constructed from medium-weight linen with a ricrac border.

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This Hovia wallpaper design nods to the retro ricrac trim with bold and wavy stripes in two different color schemes. The white space in between also makes it even easier to get a seamless look when hanging it on the wall.

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Tov Furniture

TOV’s popular two-toned throw pillow technically has a scallop edge, but the trim takes on a more wavy look that feels reminiscent of ricrac. Pair it with more traditional scallop styles (like the Folkulture throw pillow covers from Amazon) to seamlessly tie these two trends together.

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West Elm

Created by West Elm in partnership with lifestyle brand RHODE, this round wiggle pillow plays up the ricrac-inspired design with a hand-embroidered wavy accent detail. It’s available in two pastel tones and made from nice-quality 100% cotton.

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Bert & May

If you want something more permanent for your home, consider this Bert & May tile. Inspired by ricrac trim, this stunning design comes with a double wavy stripe that can be placed in a variety of fun, bold tile patterns.

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The Opalhouse round textured bolster pillow channels ricrac but with zig-zag stitching for a more design-forward feel. Add it to your favorite accent chair or pillow pile on your bed to try the trend without a big commitment.

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H&M’s wavy mirror is another unique way to incorporate this trim into your space. With smaller wavy edges (and a fun pop of color), the 15.75-inch piece has that ricrac-adjacent feel without being too obvious.

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For a budget-friendly approach, use this digital download for place setting cards at your next dinner party. The Etsy design puts a modern spin on the ricrac look with a colorful, graphic print. The file is actually on the larger side, so you can print both small place cards and larger matching placemats.

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Joann Fabrics
was $2.99

Or DIY this trend altogether! Buy a pack of ricrac from JOANN, Amazon, or your local craft supply store, then stitch it onto a tablecloth, pillow shams, or placemats. You could even make a ricrac lampshade with fabric glue. For zero crafting skills needed, try using this trim instead of ribbon to tie your silverware and napkins together when setting the table, or adding it around a vase in a bow.