One of the biggest trends for this season is refined rustic Highland – think tartans and checks in warming reds with hints of taupe and grey. In a living room start with a hero chair in a classic tartan fabric and add curtains, cushions and a footstool in a variety of other checks to keep co-ordinated, but not overly matchy. Simple chunky knits are the perfect companion textures to this look and pops of solid red (and a glass of whisky) add sophistication.
Checks are great way to add colour and pattern to a room. Treat small-scale checks and tartans almost as you might use a solid colour and mix freely with stripes and other patterns. While this may not seem conventional, it is certainly fun and, when done in the same colour palette, it can deliver a visually striking boost to a neutral space. Round the look out with a graphic floor in the same tone and the look says bold sophistication.
Linens, wool plaids and faux furs are layered up for a Highland-inspired country bedroom. Like cushions, you can never have too many throws. For extra winter cosiness, layer them up on the bed. A great sleep-time option, wool is naturally breathable, hypoallergenic and resistant to dust mites; it is also entirely sustainable and very durable and works to regulate the body’s temperature. Even the headboard here gets in on the wool-blanket act, but in a shade that will look timely all year round.
Buffalo check comes to the decorative rescue via palette-matching perfection. Open storage can be a beautiful decorative feature that allows you to show off treasured china, but it can also be a minefield of clutter. The large dresser in this dining room ensures that all the china is conveniently close to hand and creates a warm and homely feel. Adding curtains helps hide bulkier pieces or messy stacks of extras. Choose a larger scale check as a playful contrast to a delicate china pattern, but unify by sticking to the same colour family for a dynamic look.
To effortlessly create a period feeling, mix traditional pieces with rich tones and ensure checks and tartans are on hand. Add warmth to a neutral living room by focusing on texture. Here, a check wool upholstered armchair is teamed with a plaid blanket and cushions in varying scales of check that add cosy layers to a leather sofa. A thick wool rug enhances the tactile feel of the scheme. If you don’t want to go the whole hog and upholster an armchair or sofa, consider covering it with a throw instead. Conversely, if you want to take the look further, a co-ordinating lampshade is a bold way to go.
Give the often-overlooked hallway an easy update with a statement feature in the form of a patterned runner. Tartan is not just for throws and upholstery; using it on the staircase can work just as well to add dynamic tone. This tartan stair runner in every shade of grey, set against a largely white scheme, takes the space to the heights of fab. Want a trick to create the illusion of space? Dark paint beneath a dado rail and white paint above makes this hallway appear taller.
This look challenges the common perception of tartan. Rather than just country and cosy, tartan can also be urban and contemporary – without losing any of its warmth. Here, a combination of sleek lines with bold colours fuses modern and traditional design seamlessly. Blend together pieces from different eras to create an eclectic look that’s unique to you. The visual switch between old and new make a space feel interesting and will also highlight the differences between individual pieces.
Create a living room with some unexpected twists like this one – the sideboard and curvaceous sofa are a nod to mid-century style, yet the tartan carpet simply amplifies the smashing non-conformist effect. The modern country trend is all about comfort and style, mixing a cosy, lived-in feel with contemporary design. The result is a sophisticated look that is welcoming and homely – perfect for creating an elegant, relaxed living room. Modern and country pieces bring out the best in each other in this look.
Introduce black and white for impact. Here checked fabric on bolster and scatter cushions and the café curtain add a Parisian bistro feel to this dining area. Unify with colour and make sure that all the patterns you’re using are made up of complementary colours so that they work together successfully. The monochrome palette of the curtain and decor keeps the look clean and sharp, while just the right amount of pattern and texture adds just the right amount of vibrancy.
When it comes to tartan, more is definitely, well, more! So go ahead and pile it on, but be strict with keeping to a tight palette. This country bedroom has a striking feature wall in reds and taupes behind a statement leather bridle-look headboard. Wallpaper is great for adding instant personality to a space, so if you really love tartan, this is the way to go. Checked bedding and a patchwork quilt complete the cosy Highland look, but be sure to balance the bold with some area of solid colour to give the eye somewhere to rest.