It’s like your beloved pair of straight-leg jeans. Or your go-to coffee order. Or your oldest record playing on repeat. Some things just never go out of style, and for good reason: because of their timelessness and the joy they evoke.
On the home front, prints like checks and gingham have been around for forever (okay, not quite—but textile designers trace the origin to either Malaysia or France as far back as the 1600s), and they aren’t going anywhere. Whether you’re open to diving headfirst into cottagecore with checkered wallpaper and upholstery, or you’re more into the modern spin on the occasional accent, repeating squares are an always-reliable design decision.
For Heather Taylor, founder and creative director of Heather Taylor Home, there’s a feeling of comfort and warmth that comes with the prints. “Ginghams and plaids are classic and deeply nostalgic, which is why they never go out of style,” she says. “These patterns are cozy—but also timeless—and instantly make a house feel like a home.”
Traditionally crafted from cotton, gingham fabric isn’t just a time-honored home aesthetic—it’s a planet-friendly one, too. When you opt for decor made from cotton, you’re supporting a plant-based fiber that doesn’t contribute to plastic pollution. Plus, the fabric is durable, long-lasting, and easy to wash and care for, which makes it ideal for all the well-loved spaces under your roof.
If you’re in the business of infusing your home with a little sunshine and a lot of comfort, take Taylor’s lead and consider giving checks and gingham a go with the following tips on how to incorporate the print into your most lived-in rooms.
Make your bedroom the dreamiest nook in your house by adding a few whimsical checkered accents. Prediction: You’ll peacefully drift off with feelings of warmth and nostalgia—and the pops of summery color will have you excited to wake up and take on the day, too.
Try out a splashy gingham bedspread, or for a more understated look, pair a solid comforter with checkered shams or cotton sheets—which can contribute to sounder sleep thanks to the fabric’s breathability and cooling properties.
“We love our cotton duvet covers because they get softer and cozier with each wash,” Taylor says. “With proper care, cotton bedding will last for years. [It’s] also relatively easy to care for—we throw ours in the washer and dryer and it always comes out looking perfect.” Country B&B ambiance, activated.
Shop Bedroom Checks
Give your bathroom a classic refresh without a major design overhaul by following one of the following formulas: Stick to monochrome gingham for a sleek, spa-like space, or go retro with bold checks in every color of the rainbow. All it takes is a stack of absorbent cotton towels—which Taylor calls the epitome of cozy—and a statement shower curtain (bonus points if you opt for an upcycled one). “I also love hanging a cotton [gingham] bathrobe on a hook in my bathroom,” Taylor says, which can totally double as decor.
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The living room
If you’re looking for a reason to reupholster a broken-in armchair or loveseat, let Taylor’s swoon-worthy Laurel Canyon home inspire you. She pairs white walls, simple greenery, and a neutral rug with a bold gingham sofa (adorned with many a checked pillow, of course) and the result is charming-English-cottage vibes.
If tiptoeing into checks feels more realistic, though, add vibrant accents to minimalist furniture with cotton throw pillows, a gingham fabric lamp shade, and subtly patterned curtains. Pro tip: Opt for cotton window panels that are room-darkening for the ultimate comfy-cozy movie night, no matter the season.
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There’s a certain picnic-in-the-park daydream that accompanies gingham—and that makes it the quintessential print for your kitchen. Tie a checkered apron around your waist and don’t be surprised if you’re suddenly whipping up a summer cobbler and quoting your fave celebrity chef (just us?). When you’re done with dessert prep, hang your apron on a wooden wall hook and, just like your bathrobe, your apparel can do double-time as design.
Dress the stove with cotton tea towels and your kitchen table with a durable tablecloth. To keep things feeling fresh and modern, Taylor likes to layer multiple tablecloths, one atop the other, and finish with napkins in contrasting gingham fabric. (And when her linens endure the inevitable dinnertime spill, there’s zero stress—because cotton releases stains easily, and washing it doesn’t contribute to waterway pollution.) Homemade dessert after dinner? Add that to the list of things that will never go out of style.