Decorating with Gingham and Plaid

I love the start of a new year, a chance to redecorate and refresh your home and give everything a fresh, clean slate. If you’ve shopped at Target, browsed Serena & Lily, or even opened Instagram lately, then I’m going to bet you’ve seen the opening stars of 2022 decor – gingham and plaid! Gingham and plaid decor are everywhere this year. Even though it’s only January, this is a decorating trend I foresee sticking around for quite awhile and I’m completely fine with that! In this post I’m going to address the similarities and differences between plaid and gingham, discuss how these styles have been used in home design in the past, and share how you can decorate your home with gingham and plaid in 2022 without it becoming overly country chic or farmhouse-styled.

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Plaid rug under dining table.

The Differences Between Plaid and Gingham

You’ve probably heard of gingham and plaid, but what is the difference between the two? Let’s start with some basic information about these patterns before jumping into how to use them in your home. They’re similar and often the terms are used as a blanket statement, but let’s discuss the differences next.

Plaid Decor

A plaid pattern includes vertical and horizontal lines of varying sizes and colors (sometimes up to 10), creating a grid. Different plaid designs are created by adding more or less lines and changing up the spacing between the lines.

Plaid rug from Target.
Cottonwood Rug by Target

Gingham Decor

Unlike plaid, which has multiple colors and various line sizes and spacing, gingham is much more uniform. A gingham design is an orderly pattern of criss-crossed checks of white and another color. All of these “boxes” are the same size in a gingham pattern.

Blue gingham rug from Serena & lily.
Gingham Rug by Serena & Lily

Originally, plaid referred to a pattern on wool, heavy material and gingham referred to a pattern on a light linen or cotton material. Yet, over time these words began referring to the design pattern itself, rather than the specific material. Plaid and gingham can now each be found on many different types of materials and products.

Plaid and Gingham Decor Throughout the Years

Plaid decor and gingham decor have both been around since the 18th century, evolving and changing throughout the decades. Plaid decor was often used in English and Scottish homes in the 1800s and 1900s, featuring items such as plaid rugs and tartan furniture. In the mid-1900s these patterns gained popularity in the United States. The 70s were full of moss green and yellow tartan plaid sofas, walls, and even carpeting. The 1980s saw the emergence of darker plaid decor with brown plaids often scattered throughout homes.

In the 1990s gingham decor gained a lot of traction with items such as gingham tablecloths, bedding, and furniture. Who could forget the Tanner’s blue gingham sofa on Full House! Gingham decor always takes me back to my childhood home, growing up out in the countryside. As we entered the 2000s, red and black buffalo check and farmhouse plaids became very popular. It seems like each decade has a different style of plaid and gingham decor to love and learn from – some worth repeating, others not so much!

Buffalo Check and Gingham are NOT the Same

Farmhouse decor, featuring a lot of buffalo plaid, was all the rage in the 2010s. Since this decor style was so recent, people often associate black and red buffalo check prints with gingham, but these patterns actually aren’t the same at all. Buffalo check refers to a red and black (or sometimes white and black) pattern that is much larger than a standard gingham pattern. Gingham, on the other hand, is usually a smaller check print featuring white and one other color, such as blue, pink, green, or tan, among others. Personally, I’m happy with the softer more classic gingham decor pieces of the 2020s.

How to Decorate with Gingham and Plaid Decor in 2022

If you’re wondering how to incorporate gingham and plaid decor into your home in 2022 I’m here to help! You can easily decorate your home using these trending patterns. The plaid and gingham decor I’m seeing (and loving!) in 2022 feature soft, classic, and simple patterns and can be found everywhere! I’ve recently spotted beautiful gingham decor items at Target, Serena & Lily, Pottery Barn, and House of Jade and I have no doubt I’ll be finding even more as spring approaches. Whether your home decor style is coastal, cottage, or classic these new plaid decor items make wonderful accents to bring style to your home while maintaing simplicity. 

Brown gingham duvet in coastal bedroom.
Hyannis Duvet by Serena & Lily
Plaid rug under dining table with dog.
Pillow combinations with plaid and gingham patterns.
Plaid and gingham rugs.

Rugs from left to right: Blue Plaid | Taupe Plaid | Blue Gingham | Natural Check | Taupe Plaid | Black Plaid | Blue Gingham | Natural Plaid | French Blue Plaid | Dark Blue Plaid | Gray Gingham | Flax Plaid

Decorating with Plaid and Gingham Decor

There are so many beautiful ways to decorate with plaid and gingham decor. In the wintertime, I love the idea of pairing a blue gingham pillow or a navy plaid rug with a dried orange garland. This pairing gives off a natural, fresh style. To bring plaid decor to a bedroom you could pair white bedding with plaid throw pillows or place the bed against a patterned wallpaper, such as this classic plaid wallpaper. Wanting new decor for your dining room, living room, or office? A plaid rug might be what you need! A simple plaid rug in a breakfast nook is a great choice for a coastal or cottage-styled home while a classic plaid rug in a living room is sure to provide timeless style. I also love the slight contrast that comes from partnering a darker pattern with lighter pieces nearby, such as pairing a brown gingham bedspread with light blue pillows. There are so many lovely smaller plaid and gingham home items currently available as well, including coffee mugs, kitchen mats, hand towels, and more!

Blue plaid rug with home decor ideas for a coastal kid's bedroom.

Flag One | Flag Two | Flag Three | Nightstand | Lamp | Alarm Clock | Bed | Plaid Rug | Rattan Bench | Quilt | Duvet | Shark | Art | Lumbar Pillow

Plaid rug with home decor for a coastal kid's bedroom.

Sconce | Art | Maileg Mice | Headboard | Baskets | Gingham Rug | Pillow | Throw | Flowers | Console | Stool

Are you loving gingham and plaid decor as much as I am? Are you ready to move beyond the buffalo check trends of the 2010s and into the classic gingham styles of the 2020s? Which rooms are you most excited to add gingham and plaid decor to and what are your favorite finds so far? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

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