One of the fastest and easiest ways to add visual texture and interest to an otherwise bland room is to introduce patterns.
Patterns aren’t just for pillow slipcovers, either. Rugs, lampshades, blankets, plant pots, walls, etc., can all be potential places to show off a bold, inviting pattern. This can be especially important if you have plain white walls and a straight-forward, rectangular room.
But with so many pattern options, it’s hard to find out their names, so you can specifically search for what you want. You can tell that that pattern is kind of “geometric,” but what is it called, exactly?
Or perhaps you just learned (like, right now) that patterns have names, and are curious what options are out there.
Wherever you are in your pattern journey, here are eight patterns, with accompanying examples, to consider adding to your home.
Black and White Herringbone Temporary Wallpaper: Etsy, $72
Not to be confused with its similar-looking sister, chevron, (though you’ll see the terms “herringbone” and “chevron” used interchangeably, which is incorrect) herringbone is laid out in a mismatched, jagged edge style, creating an eye-catching and sophisticated effect:
Speaking of chevron…
Chevron looks like angled waves, and you’ve probably seen the tacky version of it everywhere, like these shower curtains.
However, chevron print doesn’t have to look like the background of your aunt’s latest “Live, Laugh, Love” poster. Search for neutral colors (and yes, gold can be considered a neutral color) and clean, thin lines, and chevron can look mature and classic.
While basketweave isn’t trendy at the moment, it remains a timeless pattern. Note that you’re looking for basketweave print, not a woven basket, as some search results will suggest!
Houndstooth is another established print, which is versatile enough to work equally well in modern farmhouse and industrial decor.
The troubling history and meaning of “ethnic prints” is more in-depth and sensitive than what can be explained in a quick, feel-good article about home decor, but in short, you should know that heritage prints from native and indigenous peoples have, in many instances, been appropriated and sold by non-natives and non-indigenous, leaving the real owners and artists out of the profits.
Another great home decor store that is 50 percent Indigenous Métis-owned is Chloë Angus Design, which also collaborates with Canadian Indigenous artists to create gorgeous home goods.
To see how to incorporate ornate prints into your home read our feature, Get This Look: Nailing Luxe Home Looks for Less
Hexagon’s honeycomb shape works well as an interesting and compact repeating pattern. We also like the “elongated hexagon” look, but so far, it’s mostly used for tile backsplashes.
Stripes are a tried and true pattern, but it’s easy to make them look boring and basic. Look for patterns where the stripes are in varying sizes, or have interesting details, like the tiny dots that make up the stripes in the rug above.
Sadly, there are so many ways to mess up using geometric patterns these days. Rugs, lampshades, blankets, and bedspreads often use terribly ugly and outdated geometric designs, so if you plan to use geometric designs in your decor, use search terms like “minimalist geometric pattern” to pull up trendier options.
Beware: Searching “modern geometric pattern” can pull up a mixture of old designs and new ones, so start with “minimalist geometric pattern” to get a good feel for what’s trendier these days, before trying “modern geometric pattern.”