Tartan is timeless. Instantly recognisable, it’s a pattern that appears to trend year on year – and it doesn’t have to be strictly limited to the festive period or Scottish clans! While most of us will think of bright, bold tartan, such as the quintessential red Stuart variant, you can find tartans in all manners of colour and design. When used in your home correctly, it can be warm and welcoming, and aesthetically pleasing to the eye.
Whether you’re looking to make a real statement in your home, or after something a little more subtle to add a splash of personality to your already existing décor, read on as give you some of our top tartan tips!
#1 Accents are key
Perhaps you’re not daring enough to go all-out with a tartan carpet, or even a feature wall, but by adding small touches here and there, you can fully embrace the pattern. In the living room, for example, a statement arm chair or even something as simple as some scatter cushions or a cosy throw are great ways of sprucing up the room – without going too OTT. You could even add accessories like a patterned plant pot, a Scottie Dog door stop, or even tie bouquets of dried flowers and grasses with tartan ribbon.
#2 Consider the check size
The straight lines on a tartan fabric are a great way of drawing the eye in, and the linear design can also give the illusion of height or space – particularly with a larger check.
If you’re looking for something rustic, or evocative of a country house retreat, go for a smaller check. While, if you’re wanting a more contemporary feel, a larger check works best. Consider this in your bedroom – a luxury bed linen in a tartan pattern is a great way of creating a stylish visual, while keeping it simple. Alternatively, a contrast of a crisp white duvet with matching tartan scatter cushions and blanket work well together.
#3 Think beyond fabrics
While it’s easy to make a statement with a pattern like tartan – think a patterned carpet or large rug, a feature wall, or even an item of furniture – you don’t need to ‘go hard or go home’ to fully embrace the trend. If you think beyond furnishings and fabrics, you can incorporate tartan in so many other ways. A mosaic tile is a great way to open up a small room, like a cloakroom, Or, as Lucy from Kaleidoscope suggests:
“You can also update your dining collections by investing in tartan crockery or tableware.”
#4 Limit your colour palette
Even the more subdued hues of tartan can be pretty full-on, so it’s always best to keep it simple. The last thing you want is to busy a room with so many colours, patterns and textures. It’s always best to colour match the tartan weave with already existing paintwork or furnishings to create a cohesive design to your living space.
If you want to make a statement, a bold red is the best way to go. However, if you’re new to the tartan trend, you may want to consider darker colours – such as greens, blues and greys. Natural shades like beige and brown are also a great way to complement your current look without becoming too overpowering.
#5 A temporary trend
Perhaps you’re not looking for a permanent change like a brand-new tartan carpet or a patterned wallpaper. A tartan-print duvet is a great addition to a bedroom; while a roller blind can transform any room, but particularly a smaller office space. Things like throws and scatter cushions can also add a temporary touch of tartan – and while many associate the trend with Christmas, these items are perfect for the winter months to create a cosy feel to a living room.