Interior Design

Gingham is trending – designers share how to style this timeless pattern with a modern twist

We're bringing this old-fashioned print to the forefront of our contemporary homes, the expert way

Gingham chair in Firmdale’s Ham Yard designed by Kit Kemp
(Image credit: Shot at Firmdale’s Ham Yard Hotel. Interior by Kit Kemp. Photography Christopher Horwood. Lost and Found green £246.50/m / www.christopherfarrcloth.com)

One of this season's most attractive interior design trends comes in the form of your grandparents' old table cloth; only, today, it looks a whole lot more stylish.

Yes, it's time to rewrite all old-fashioned conceptions about gingham because this century-old design is currently enjoying a renaissance – meaning it is one of the trendiest patterns to bring into your home right now. 

Though, before you revive a dated piece from the depth of your attic, we've noted five interior design tips from design experts who share their styling advice – and this old-school print is not what it used to be. This is how to bring gingham into your modern scheme in the most stylish way possible. 

Salvesen Graham gingham cushions

(Image credit: Salvesen Graham)

From the recent board game boom to the social media-fueled cottagecore aesthetic, the rise of gingham is almost inevitable. Though, it is not the gingham we once wore to school. As Etsy's Trend Expert, Dayna Isom Johnson explains: 'This must-have pattern is incredibly versatile and can be incorporated into home design in a variety of color combinations.' 

Dayna also notes a recent jump of 889% for chequered print items on Etsy, including printed rugs, which rose in popularity by 1,004%. With the allure of cottagecore showing no signs of wavering, we're pleased to announce that the new gingham movement isn't going anywhere fast. This is how the experts are bringing the craze into their homes.

How to style gingham in a modern home 

Beata Heuman designed bathroom with gingham curtains

(Image credit: Jumbo Gingham in Hay by Beata Heuman)

1. Remix your curtains with a timeless twist  

As Studio Peake's Director, Sarah Peake, suggests, an easy yet impactful way to bring elements of gingham into a contemporary home is through your curtains or curtain liners. 

'One of my favorite places to use gingham in projects is on curtain linings. If curtain linings are seen from outside through the window – or perhaps because you have a window seat behind the curtains – then it is lovely to use a contrast lining for that element of surprise, and ginghams work well with most patterns,' she suggests. 

Following her new gingham-based collection, Plain Checks and Stripes, Susie Atkinson similarly recommends blessing your window scape with this pattern. She confesses to using 'checks for curtains, and likes mixing up plains, checks, and stripes in complementary colors for a rich, eclectic look.'

Green gingham-style seat designed by Kit Kemp

(Image credit: Shot at Firmdale’s Ham Yard Hotel. Interior by Kit Kemp. Photography Christopher Horwood. Lost and Found green £246.50/m / www.christopherfarrcloth.com)

2. Play with the direction of stripes 

Alongside experimenting with gingham curtains, Susie recommends bringing gingham into the contemporary day by breaking up the conventional and playing with daring shape directions. 'Plain fabrics, checks, and stripes are included in all of our projects – they can work as well in a contemporary interior as a traditional one and in many different ways,' she begins. 

'I like to play with the direction of stripes, often using them horizontally on chairs or headboards. I use stripes so often for lining curtains, on the backs of chairs, for squab cushions, covering mattresses, or for curtains in a dressing room, kitchen, or bathroom.'

White Pomegranate, Plain Checks and Stripes collection by Susie Atkinson

(Image credit: White Pomegranate, Plain Checks and Stripes collection by Susie Atkinson)

3. Combine traditional decor with your contemporary scheme  

When looking for ways to bring gingham into the modern world, Founder of Rebecca Hughes Interiors, Rebecca Hughes, recommends looking to the past and choosing a 'timeless print' that oozes a timeless ambiance – because despite its (literally) chequered, not all old gingham should be forgotten. 

'The great thing about this timeless print is that it enhances almost any interior. Whether it be a simple lampshade, a ruffle trim cushion, or an upholstered chair, with the right choice of color, size of the pattern, and style, these beautiful checks will suit both classic or contemporary settings,' Rebecca says. 

Gingham Trellis table linen by Molly Mahon with flowers

(Image credit: Trellis table linen by Molly Mahon)

4. Create a perfect tablescape – by pairing gingham with flowers  

Think of gingham, and you may picture a dated tablecloth before all else. However, H&G's favorite textile designer Molly Mahon has completely reversed our opinions on a gingham tablescape with her Trellis table linen (above) that – in its ever-popular green shade – brings the pattern into the trendiest of homes. 

Plus, Interior Designer & Co-Founder of La Di Da Interiors, Steph Briggs, recommends 'mixing with florals and fringing' to curate a quintessential table dressing that fits effortlessly into any style of home. This is the modern dining room idea your interiors have been waiting for. 

Osborne & Little gingham towels

(Image credit: Osborne & Little, Wallpaper: SYLVANIA W7457-01 £145 per roll, Fabric on ladder from top to bottom: MOUFLON TWILL F7430-01 £105per m, MOUFLON PLAIN F7431-01 £115 per m, MOUFLON CHECK F7432-01 £125 per m)

5. Less is more  

If you're a minimalist who would still like to embrace this bold trend, then fear not. Wayfair's Resident Style Advisor, Nadia McCowan Hill, suggests creating a more streamlined look by 'introducing one or two gingham pieces within a room that features fewer colors and limited busy prints.' Alternatively, she recommends 'opting for a monochromatic color palette' that will ensure your chic scheme stays sharp. Nadia recommends choosing black and white accessories that subtly pay homage to the trend without overpowering your space. 

Gingham's time has arrived, but it's not the gingham of the past – it's the chequered print of the future. 

Megan Slack
Megan Slack

Megan is a News Writer across Future Plc's Homes titles. She has a background in national newspapers in the UK and has experience in fashion and travel journalism, which she previously practised whilst living in Paris and New York City. Her adoration for these fashion capitals means she particularly enjoys writing about upcoming styles and trends for Homes & Gardens. Megan also loves discovering vintage pieces in her spare time, meaning her decor is largely influenced by the beauty of the jazz age.