Trend: Let's Play with Checkerboard Neutrals for Interiors
Checkerboard patterns are a design classic but beige is the new check, mate.
“Chickity-check yo' self before you wrickity-wreck yo' self.” I think Ice Cube would approve this design pattern. So are you gonna check yo’ self (or your house) or not?
Checkerboard patterns go back well beyond bathroom walls, grandma’s quilt, pizza restaurant tablecloths and those retro Vans in your closet. In fact, Checkerboard floors have been spotted in 15th century European paintings, as a motif on ancient artifacts like Iranian ceramics, and even on Bronze Age pottery as early as 1500 BC. Not kidding. This classic design pattern was part of ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics, too.
When I think of the pattern, I immediately imagine monochromatic checkerboard floors prevalent in old homes here in Europe. You know the ones in typical black and white.
Yet, what I’m seeing more and more lately aren’t those strong checks in red/white or black/white, or even dark blues and greens, but lots of neutral checks which dial the intensity of the pattern down a bit yet they’re still bringing visual drama but more quietly than, say, a black and white checkered floor.
Wanna check this neutral look out for yourself? Here you go…
Would you dare to do a little beige checkerboard on the walls? By keeping it neutral and behind the bed [so it’s not the first thing you see each day] you are taking this trend from the floor to the wall to almost mimic a tiled look.
Here is a bathroom designed by Sarah Sherman Samuel in the midwest, USA. It’s more olive-beige but definitely neutral so I’m including it here. What do you think?
Can you imagine it as a soft thick-piled rug in your office? This is the new studio space designed by Sarah Sherman Samuel. The color is warm and a little on the mustard side but a neutral still.
Here you can see it in a smaller scale behind a twin bed. This could be a guest bedroom or child’s room. What do you think?
Again, here it is in a bedroom, as a neutral, on the wall… Would you like a little terracotta check action on your very own upholstered headboard? What do you say to that? As I pinch in, it almost looks hand-painted onto the headboard. What do you think?
The Irregular Checkerboard Rug in both photos above is from Sarah Sherman Samuel for Lulu & Georgia and is a favorite rug of mine at the moment, I really like the irregular squares, it reminds me of antique carpets from Turkey and North Africa but in a modern format.
Geneva Vanderzeil is an author based in Australia and is definitely my favorite DIY Queen on Instagram. I love how she MADE a checkered rug by hand (video here) shown above. Even the little pillow used on her daughter’s bed is a lovely small checkered accent that you could use if you don’t want to go all out with a feature wall, flooring, or rug. Of course, gingham* is checkered so you can introduce some gingham to your home, too. The gingham sheets shown are from Gabrielle Paris.
*Gingham is only considered a checkerboard print if the second color is white. Gingham with two different colors (like pink/red, green/blue, etc. is not considered a checkerboard).
Okay, I wanna know… Do you or don’t you like neutral checks?
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