Decorating with gingham – 10 ways to use this classic print in your home

Wander 'off-grid to a playful cottage aesthetic by decorating with gingham

Decorating with gingham
(Image credit: Paul Raeside)

Decorating with gingham is a key trend for 2022. While the print has been thrusted into the spotlight in recent years due to the emergence of the cottage core trend, its popularity is not new. In fact, its simple charm has allowed the print to endure across the decades. 

While it may be a simple print, with so many wallpapers and fabrics to choose from, in a variety of scales, colors and textures, gingham offers plenty of scope within interior design and there's a check available to suit all properties and rooms. We’ve rounded up an array of different looks to inspire you to use this timeless check within your interiors. 

Decorating with gingham

While decorating with gingham may conjure quaint country cottages, the print is actually hugely versatile and with clever use of scale and color the simple check can be used in any room and in all sorts of properties, from a New England beach house to a luxury townhouse. 

Reminiscent of the skirts and tablecloths of French country decor ideas, the small-scale prints are guaranteed to bring vintage charm to kitchen ideas, but when used large scale and in monochrome or bold shades, the check can make an eye-catching feature on a dining room wall or bathroom floor

1. Play with scale

Dining room with gingham curtains and dining chairs

(Image credit: Paul raeside)

Gingham fabrics are a great way to bring a touch of pattern and softness to a dining room ideas, especially those with strong architectural features, but the key when using them is to experiment with different scales to prevent the scheme feeling too matchy-matchy. Here, curtains in an oversized check echo, and help frame, the large steel-framed windows, while chair covers in mismatched shades help to create a relaxed, informal feel.

2. Choose monochrome for a modern look

Grey kitchen with island and striped rug

(Image credit: Future / Paul Raeside)

Gingham doesn’t just have to be for country cottages – it can be introduced in many ways throughout a more contemporary kitchen as this stylish space proves. Black and white tiles laid in a checked pattern can make a striking backsplash, while a fabric skirt in a smaller monochrome gingham is a great way to conceal clutter on kitchen island shelves. Made from Ian Mankin's Suffolk check in black, the fabric skirt also serves to soften the strong architectural lines of the kitchen design.

3. Use gingham for a French country table

pretty table setting for spring entertaining

(Image credit: Future Future / Emma Lee / Twig Hutchinson)

Think of French country decor ideas and gingham immediately springs to mind, so if you're looking to create an outdoor dining setting with provençal magic you can't go wrong with a pretty pink gingham tablecloth. 

'Wherever you live – weather permitting – a glass of kir, pastis or Champagne followed by dinner al fresco at a prettily laid table, seated on striped, checked, floral, or Provençal-inspired cushions, will at least give you stylish sense of the French countryside,' says fabric designer Alison Gee.

4. Add a contemporary feel with a large-scale wallpaper

Oversized Charlotta gingham wallpaper by Sandberg

(Image credit: Paul Raeside)

A large-scale gingham wallpaper in soft green tones makes for an eye-catching backdrop for sculptural furnishings in entryways and dining spaces, as this space shows. Often known as connecting spaces, these occasional rooms are great places to be more experimental with color, pattern and texture.

5. Take a cue from the architecture

Sofa in Ian Mankin gingham

(Image credit: Ian Mankin)

A timeless print, a gingham or check can make a great choice for upholstery, especially when used in bold colorways. Covered in Avon check in Peony by Ian Mankin, this curvaceous Howard-style living room sofa makes a striking focal point when set against charcoal walls in this living room idea, plus the check gives a clever nod to the wall paneling. 

6. Choose a versatile green wallpaper

Långelid/von Brömssen Picnic Grass wallpaper

(Image credit: Långelid/von Brömssen Picnic Grass wallpaper)

A timeless living room wallpaper idea, a green gingham print would make a subtle and versatile backdrop for layering colorful fabrics and artwork. Reminiscent of gingham fabric, this Picnic design by Swedish brand Långelid/von Brömssen brings together stripes of two slightly different tones of green within the check to create a design with subtle texture and rhythm. 

7. Create a feature floor in a bathroom

Bathroom pictures

(Image credit: Paul Raeside/Future)

Put a playful twist on the traditional chequerboard bathroom floor by opting for an oversized gingham vinyl bathroom flooring idea and teaming it with a soft frilly sink skirt. Chic and stylish, black and white bathrooms can sometimes feel stark and cold, but the addition of pastel pink gingham help bring femininity and softness. 

8. Add a statement bed frame

bedroom with gingham on the bed

(Image credit: Future)

Keeping bedroom walls neutral helps create a soothing, restful space, so rather than overwhelm the space with a feature wall or bold artwork, why not opt for a statement bed instead? Covered in a raspberry red gingham fabric by Kravet, this bed really sings when set against walls in Cornforth White by Farrow & Ball,while accessories in the same color help add depth. 

9. Create timeless charm with gingham fabrics 

Inchyra gingham bed valance

(Image credit: Inchyra)

A fabric headboard and valance is a great way to showcase prints in a bedroom. For a pretty traditional bedroom idea, consider teaming pastel pink walls with a small-scale linen gingham such as Inchyra’s linen check fabric. Pictured in a natural colorway, the fabric boasts a beautiful aged finish – perfect for a period home. To complete the country look try adding in a vintage rattan bedside table.

10. Bring sunshine to a garden room

Långelid/von Brömssen Picnic Sun wallpaper

(Image credit: Långelid/von Brömssen Picnic Sun wallpaper)

Conjuring happy memories of summer fetes, picnics and garden parties with their gingham tablecloths, a yellow check wallpaper is a lovely country decorating idea guaranteed to bring a joyful, nostalgic feel to any space. Try using it within your garden room ideas where it would make a beautiful foil to vibrant potted geraniums and rustic furniture.

What patterns go well with gingham?

The beauty of gingham is being such a simple and versatile print it works well with all variations of patterns. 'Checks and ginghams are the perfect foil to pretty florals,' says Caroline Inchyra, founder of the fabric  and wallpaper brand Inchyra. 'They are a true classic that can work in absolutely any room, that’s why they are always a favorite.'

Is gingham still in style for 2022?

'Perfect for creating timeless, easy-living interiors, gingham continues to be a key trend for 2022,’ says Ann Grafton, managing and creative director, GP & J Baker.

Gingham has risen in popularity in recent years due to the emergence of the cottage core trend and our yearning for a more simple way of life in a world of constant flux. However, being such a simple yet versatile print gingham has never really been out of fashion and has sustained popularity throughout the generations. A country home staple, by playing with scale and color it can it has the ability to throw off its country associations and can be used to create myriad looks within interior design.

Pippa is Content Editor on Homes & Gardens online contributing to Period Living and Country Homes & Interiors print issues. A graduate of Art History and formerly Style Editor at Period Living, she is passionate about architecture, creating decorating content, interior styling and writing about craft and historic homes. She enjoys searching out beautiful images and the latest trends to share with the Homes & Gardens audience. A keen gardener, when she’s not writing you’ll find her growing flowers on her village allotment for styling projects.