Originally a woodblock printed, painted or stained textile, this print originated in India. It was all the rage in Europe during the 18th century, and the pattern flooded Southern port cities as colonial Americans sought to try the trend. From the halls of Mount Vernon to the Sugarbakers of Designing Women, chintz has always appealed to the Southern aesthetic.
The key to making chintz work in a modern home is selecting a single color to pull through your decor, especially if you’ll be using multiple prints. Utilize neutrals and bold architectural elements to offer visual breaks from the pattern.
Not sure it’s right for you? Subtle, monochromatic chintz prints might be your perfect match! It adds visual interest without overwhelming the eye.
Ticking stripe fabric was invented to keep feathers or straw from poking through old mattresses. The durable fabric was inexpensive and readily available, and families began using it, first for children’s clothing, then men’s suits.
Today, we love ticking stripe for all sorts of uses, but it’s especially fantastic on furniture. The herringbone weave makes it sturdy enough to stand up to everyday use, but the darling stripes give tons of visual interest without a hefty price tag (usually!)
Because the pattern is relatively subtle, you can use these stripes just about everywhere. In red and blue, this pattern can take on a nautical feel; in beige or sage, it can feel positively luxurious.
Worried about overdoing it? Remember: it’s all in the trims!
If you’re ever out in the garden, you probably know that a trellis is an interwoven frame that’s made to support climbing plants. Trellises can take on elaborate decorative styles. In the South, you’ll see trellises just about everywhere.
Trellis patterns mimic that look with bold, graphic lines in interlocking repeated patterns. It brings to mind the outdoors and the joy of Southern architecture and gardens like you’d see in New Orleans, Charleston and Savannah.
It’s best to use this bold pattern sparingly. It’s ideal for a small bathroom or powder room. This pattern can also offer visual interest in a kitchen that’s filled with plain white cabinetry. It’s great on throw pillows, as well!
Pair your trellis print with florals: it’s a natural fit!
From Madras to Buffalo, we’re mad for plaid in the South!
Plaid allows so much room for decorating flare. There are countless iterations of plaid and it allows a wide range of color to be employed in a structured pattern: it’s no wonder designers love the stuff!
Gingham is a subset of plaids that’s more subtle. While it came our way via Europe, this inexpensive fabric was an instant hit in the South. Just ask the folks at Draper James.
If you’re stuck in a decorating rut, give plaid a try. It can be a quick way to introduce new colors into your decor. Gingham can easily bring visual texture to a room. Madras check can bring just the right amount of wild to a space while remaining thoroughly traditional.