How to Decorate With Plaid in Every Room of the House

Timeless, festive and inviting. Plaid is back, and we couldn’t be more pleased. Perfect for the holidays, we’re giving you some ways to incorporate the nostalgic pattern into your home.

From neutrals to metallics and pops of colour, this pattern invasion offers something for everyone to play with in your homes. With easy updates like pillow covers and throws to statement-making duvets and wallpaper, there are so many ways to infuse the comfort and cheer of plaid into every room of your home.

Check out our favourite ways to throw your home an unforgettable plaid party…just don’t forget our invite!

History of Plaid

Sporting crisscrossing stripes in a range of colours, tartan is an instantly recognisable pattern. It comes with a rich history, too. Though it got its start all the way back in the 6th century, the historical tartan pattern is no longer limited to Scottish kilts and bagpipes.

Plaid has a rich style history and has been around for ages. And even though it has undergone many interpretations, this Scottish classic is the sole perennial fashion trend that will never get old.

tartan and plaid throughout the years

Plaid is an iconic pattern that people seem to either love or hate. But plaid seems to be stealing the spotlight, as the world seems to be going mad for plaid and the pattern is showing up everywhere. And because we tend to spend a lot more time inside during the colder months, you might as well make the best of it.

clueless' cher and dion wearing plaid clothing

Tartan has migrated from kilts and clothing to use in a domestic setting, and while rooms that incorporated tartan used to look a little heavy or ‘ski chalet’, today’s interiors use tartan in original, thoughtful ways. Today, with thousands of colour combinations and patterns to choose from, it’s a bold and versatile statement for the season.

So why not fall in love with tartan and bring it into your home? It’s time for a Highland fling.

Top 3 Factors To Remember Before Anything Else


plaid cushions

The easiest way to tap into this trend is by adding just a hint of tartan to your interior. Accent pieces are key. Tartan cushions, throws or even a statement chair will bring your look bang up to date without it looking like a kilt factory exploded in your home.


plaid tartan living room

Pick colours that complement your current look. Bright and bold plaids are great for making a statement but be careful, they won’t work for every interior. Beige and brown prints will add that Scottish style to your home without overpowering your current look.

Mix It Up

plaid tartan couch in a living room

Already have pattern in your home? Don’t worry you can still make this trend work for you. Choose a plaid that is a different scale to the other pattern in your look – too many small patterns will give you a headache. Pick colours that complement each other and incorporate light neutrals so that the eye isn’t overwhelmed.

Now that we got the basics worked out let’s see how plaid looks on the walls, windows and furnishings.

Deck The Walls With Plaid

tartan plaid wallpaper

Textiles aren’t the only way to add plaid to your home. Let your tartan wallpaper call the design shots in a room by teaming it with pieces that pick up on its key colours. Transitional tartan wallpapers in various tones refresh any space and create a bold look in place of boring, white walls.

Although traditional tartans feature strong blues, greens and reds, there are plenty of contemporary takes on this classic colour scheme. Try tartan in soft grey or beige, as on this wallpaper, to reference the pattern, but in a subtle way that’s easy to live with.

Tartan Tiles

tartan plaid tiles

Green, red, or navy plaid not your thing? Not to worry! These muted tartan shower tiles add a distinctly masculine feel to this master bath. Paired with neutral cabinetry and simple hardware, it’s a statement without being over the top.

Wonderful tartan tiles are actually a mosaic tile design, carefully laid to reproduce the classic Scottish favourite. It’s a clever, witty way to bring colour and pattern into this bathroom.

Understated Elegance

tartan plaid accessories

We know commitment is tough. If you’re not looking for a permanent change but are mad about plaid, pillows, rugs and window treatments are the perfect temporary touch.

It’s confined to a cushion, but the tartan fabric in the above images add some welcome pattern and seems to unite all the other elements in the room, from the throw to the artwork and soft upholstery.

Flannel Flooring

tartan plaid ted baker designer rug

A tartan rug is not to everyone’s taste, but used confidently and teamed with surprising, exciting furniture and accessories, it can look a wee bit marvellous. Here, the tartan underfoot takes on a glamorous feel, combined with boudoir-style staircase and an elegant table. The plaster walls add a gritty contrast, for a room that’s bold and super sure of itself.

Also, don’t be afraid to add plaid to the heart of your home. Upgrade those checkerboard kitchen floors with a muted plaid. When you’re going for such a bold pattern in the kitchen, keep the rest of the space muted.

Plush Plaid

tartan plaid living room chairs

Grab the softest blanket you can find and sink into this slouchy sofa. Both stylish and cosy, checked chairs are the perfect accessory for your home. If you’re more into a subtle touch, sit a check chair alongside a structured sofa to give your space a playful mid-century modern feel.

Upholstery in a tartan fabric looks stylish, bringing a whiff of country-house chic to a room, but without dominating the scheme.

Cosy Comfort

tartan plaid bedroom sheet

Does it get any better than a comfy bed paired with flannel? Complementary plaid bedding fronting a matching orange wall makes for a seriously cosy bedroom look, especially with the addition of thick-pile rugs or fur throws.

So simple, but so effective, this tartan bed sheet transforms this bedroom. It makes the plain white duvet cover come alive and brings warmth and character to the simple scheme.

Exterior Plaid Accents

tartan plaid outdoors

Don’t limit plaid to just the interior of your home. Plaid-woven throws and pillows make a statement in an otherwise minimalist outdoor space, and even a simple tartan doormat gives guests with a warm welcome.

Plaid In Different Rooms

The Living Room

Layering is key to any living space, both in height and texture. Throw pillows and blankets are a simple way to introduce new visuals into your home. During the holidays, classic red and green patterns can accent a solid-colour sofa without being too overpowering. Neutral shades are appropriate year-round for a lodge-like feel. For a look that’s rustic and chic, combine plaid and faux fur throws.

red living room couch with tartan plaid cushions

The Bedroom

Evocative of a quaint and cosy cabin retreat, a plaid duvet cover can transform your bedroom. Larger-faced patterns, like buffalo plaid, feel more contemporary, while rustic decor calls for smaller check. An element of surprise is also great in any design scheme. Try a solid duvet and plaid sheets for a dynamic visual when you turn down the bed.

monochrome bedroom with tartan plaid flooring

The Kitchen

With subtle touches of tartan, interiors can feel complete without looking too thematic. Plaid accessories bring a cohesive aesthetic to the design of your kitchen or dining room. Light and airy patterns are perfect for a country-style kitchen, while dark wood and rich colours lend themselves to a dramatic dining space. The kitchen is a place to DIY: We love handmade tartan coasters and table linens paired with natural materials like live-edge wood chargers.

yellow kitchen tartan plaid chairs

Plaid With Other Styles

Tartan can make friends with all kinds of styles and designs for a fresh, exciting result. The room’s below are great examples of its versatility.

The one thing you must remember when decorating with plaid is that like a lot of bold looks it is sometimes best not to mix with other busy patterns. Some prints that work well with plaid are stripes, checkers and other small-scale patterns.

tartan plaid wallpaper

tartan plaid wallpaper

tartan plaid throw

tartan plaid bed sheets

tartan plaid headboard

tartan plaid curtains


Style is meant to be explored and played with, so break the rules and take your plaid game to the next level! While pattern-on-pattern adds personality, it can get a bit overwhelming, so style solid colours and varying texture to balance it out.

Are you a fan of tartan? How do you incorporate plaid into your home decor? Share your thoughts in the comments below. We’d love to know your ideas!

Updated August 2021

Mad For Plaid: Creative Ways To Decorate With The Tartan Trend
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Mad For Plaid: Creative Ways To Decorate With The Tartan Trend
Mad for plaid? It’s no secret that plaid is the hottest trend this season. Discover creative ways to refresh your home with the classic tartan trend.
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The Rug Seller
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