Breaking Plaid’s Bad Rap

Why Plaid is a Timeless Classic

By Megan Johansson

Sophisticated. British. Elegant. Modern.

You might be surprised, but we’re referring to plaid here. Yep, you read that correctly – plaid.

INVIEW Interior Design /  Hamptons Inspired

INVIEW Interior Design / Hamptons Inspired

Most people immediately think of plaid as old fashioned or outdated, but in reality it’s a design staple that is classic and modern at the same time. Whatever your taste may be, plaid is the perfect pattern to toss into the mix.

The key to incorporating Ralph Lauren’s signature look into interiors is to make sure it doesn’t cover every surface. Sometimes a small pillow or subtle bench seat is all you need.

INVIEW Interior Design /  Master Suite

INVIEW Interior Design / Master Suite

So where do you start? How do you incorporate plaid into your design without having it take center stage or tip the balance of textures and colors? Well, the best part about plaid is that it can be used on just about anything. Wool plaid in particular is highly versatile, and we recommend using it for draperies, upholstery, or pillows (to name a few options). All of these make for great accent pieces that give a little pop of excitement without overwhelming the room.

If you’re looking for more of a statement, try using plaid with unexpected color combinations and bold lines like these Paul Smith designs:

1. Mingled Plaid in Cadet / Source  2. Pressed Plaid in Sunset / Source  3. Exaggerated Plaid in Brae / Source

Some of our other favorite plaids include Plaid Affair from Robert Allen and designs by Johnstons of Elgin. Check out some of their work below…

1. Plaid Affair from Robert Allen in Oyster / Source  2. Scapa Spice by Johnstons of Elgin / Source


In love with plaid yet? We thought you might be. On your next design, try adding some into a collection of throw pillows in a master suite or use it on an accent chair in a bright color combination to spice up a room. Whichever direction you choose to move in, we guarantee that plaid won’t let you down. Just remember to use it strategically and in a way that complements the rest of the room, and we’ve got a feeling you’ll fall in love all over again every time you step into the space.