A Guy’s Guide to 8 Essential Home Decor Patterns

A Guy’s Guide to 8 Essential Home Decor Patterns
A quick overview of 8 great print patterns for adding “visual texture” to your home decor.

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.

Herringbone

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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:

herringbone vs chevron pattern

Speaking of chevron…

Chevron

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Gold Wire Geometric Basket: World Market, $29.99

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.

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Mid-century Chevron Wood Cabinet: Amazon, $218
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Chevron Area Rug: Amazon, $96 / Alt: Wayfair

Basketweave

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Hand-knit Basketweave Throw: Wayfair, $170

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!

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Basketweave Sea Grass Runner: Amazon, $60

Houndstooth

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Houndstooth is another established print, which is versatile enough to work equally well in modern farmhouse and industrial decor.

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Gabriola Houndstooth Lounge Chair: Article, $429

Ethnic Prints

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Bezhig Pattern Pillow: Indigo Arrows, $89

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. 

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Pinterest

If you’re considering purchasing an “ethnic” print, seek first to buy from Native and Indigenous artists and creators. (For more on this topic, you can start here and here.)

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Indigenous-made alpaca blanket: Etsy, $126

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

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Hexagon shelves: Bijouxlu & Co, $130

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.

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Hexagon Side Tables Set of 3: Amazon, $138
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Hexagon bar trays: Amazon, $60
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Hexagon Capiz Side Table: Urban Outfitters, $149

Stripes

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Indoor/Outdoor Stripe Rug: Target, $150

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.

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 Stone & Beam Striped Throw Blanket: Amazon, $36
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Striped Duvet Cover Set: Amazon, $37 – Read more about what the difference between a duvet cover and comforter is in our full guide

Geometric

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. 

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Metal Cage Wall Lights: Amazon, $51

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.”

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Geometric Temporary Wallpaper: Etsy, $38+

Did we miss your favorite pattern, or have you recently added a new, patterned piece to your home that changed the room for the better? Share in the comments!

author bio image

Lindsey Silva is a native Texan currently living in Germany. She writes about home decor and real estate, and dabbles in academic editing. Her interests include Brazilian jiu-jitsu, balcony gardening, binge watching Forensic Files with her husband, and spending an unhealthy amount of time on Reddit.