Neutral spaces are calming and can help us recharge when we’re feeling depleted. However, pared back spaces usually need a little lift, otherwise they can feel flat and dull. Adding pattern is the perfect way to energise a space.
Enter stripes and checks! These unflappable, geometric staples are a safe way to add a bold, striking element without tipping the balance out. If florals, animal print or organic patterns are stretching your aesthetic just slightly too far, then checks and stripes are the perfect alternative. Having said that, a graphic expression suits an exuberant maximalist interior just as well as a minimalist space!
Here’s a few tips for incorporating them into your space:
If pattern isn’t usually your jam, think again about including a striped or check rug into the space. The geometric nature of these patterns can instantly pull a space together. It and create visual interest to a room without being overpowering.
If you want the to make a statement but don’t want to be too dramatic about it, then a throw a few gorgeous striped cushions on your sofa – the impact is real!
Think outside the living room and add some fabulous checks to the bedroom. A check quilt cover is a fabulous way to dive in and enjoy this trend. Adding some check towels to the bathroom feels like you’ve given it a makeover.
Keep in mind some contrasting scale, otherwise the patterns will complete with each other. For example, if there is a narrow stripe patterned quilt cover, then choose a fat bold check. That way there is contrast between the patterns and they sit well together.
The key to mixing in a stripe or check is to stick with a limited colour palette. Mixing stripes and check patterns adds life and a joyful tone to a room however when all of the patterns are different colours, it can look chaotic.
For a calm room, stick to stripes and checks in muted colours like nude, ochre and moss green that have less contrast. If you’re looking to create an exciting, joyful space then look to how the Memphis designers used bold colours such as yellow, lilac and cobalt blue.
Keep It In Check
Unless you’re going for a maximalist vibe, be careful of overdoing one pattern. If you’re considering a checked rug, then steer clear of also using checks in your soft furnishings, or furniture. And too many stripes – such as striped wallpaper combined with striped curtains – can create a dizzying effect in a room. So – focus on one or two key pieces which add impact, and leave it at that!
Steph + Holly’s family home in Kew. Photo – Caitlin Mills for The Design Files. Styling – Annie Portelli.
‘The Venetian’ chequerboard rug by Tali Roth Interiors.
The ‘Oblique’ table in the Transcendence range by Kelly Wearstler.
Sarah Ellison‘s ‘Lan Banda’ screen in Bismarck House. Photo – Dave Wheeler courtesy of Sarah Ellison.
‘Slow Beam’ house by Hearth Studio in Hobart uses clashing patterned carpets to great effect! Photo – Pier Carthew.
Chequerboard cushion in wisteria, citron and tan from Bonnie and Neil.
A variety of original + colourful stripes and checks from Annie Coop! Photo – Lillie Thompson.
The ‘Oblique’ furniture range from the Transcendence collection by Kelly Wearstler. Photo – Kelly Wearstler.
The ‘Takara’ cushions from OYOY Living and Design available locally at Sisalla. Photo – OYOY Living and Design.
The ‘Toppu’ collection of ceramics by OYOY Living and Design available locally at Sisalla. Photo – OYOY Living and Design.
The ‘La Banda’ side table by Sarah Ellison. Photo – Dave Wheeler courtesy of Sarah Ellison.
Buchanan Studio‘s signature squishy armchair! Photo – courtesy of Buchanan Studio.
Baina towels are THE cult checked accessory! Photo – courtesy of Baina.
Handmade ceramics by Lucy Tolan. Photo – Shelley Horan. Art Direction + Styling by Mildred & Duck.
Each Curio blanket is made from 1.9 kilos of Australian merino wool and made locally in Melbourne by one of the last remaining knitting factories. Photo courtesy of Curio.
Softedge Studio ceramics handmade and painted in Byron Bay. Photo – Layla Cluer.
Left: The young couple behind P0ly handmakes their tiles plinths, side tables, coffee tables and consoles at their house in Northcote! Photo – P0ly. Right: Lucy Montgomery brings sophisticated Sydney coastal chic to the table with her range of classic striped homewares. Photo – Dave Wheeler.
Left: These brown and white porcelain vessels are made by a ceramicist in NYC but stocked locally at Pan After. Photo – Pan After. Right: Thekla table linens are handmade in Sydney from deadstock, vintage or small batch fabrics. Photo – Thekla.