Plaid Fever Warms Up Winter

You would think a girl who went to a Catholic high school dressed in a plaid skirt every single day for four years would shudder every time she saw a tartan. But while things like algebra and American revolutionary battle dates have long since faded into the mist (sorry, Sisters!), one thing from high school has stayed with me: A deep and abiding love of plaid. And, this simple equation: winter decorating + plaid accents = a home that’s rich and beautiful. Here are four ways to wear a bit of plaid in your décor this winter: 

1. Add Plaid to Your Furnishings

Looking for a piece of furniture to warm up your den? Or make that man cave not only masculine but also stylish? Consider adding a sofa, chair or ottoman upholstered in plaid. If you are redecorating a room and need some inspiration, consider starting with a plaid. These timeless patterns are packed full of wonderful colors you can use as a jumping off point for the entire room. Let the palette inspire your wall color, window treatments, furnishings and accents. Pair your plaid pieces with a bouquet of equally decadent winter fabrics: velvet, paisley, houndstooth check, tweed and herringbones for a warm winter hug.

Because plaid is such a classic pattern, steeped in history, folks sometimes think it will only work in traditional homes. False! It’s time to let plaid out of the box and allow it to work its magic in transitional and modern homes, too. I love this bright red plaid pillow on this transitional chair. Where can you add a plaid pillow or two to your furniture?


2. Play with Plaid Accents

These vintage inspired metal baskets make it easy to add a punch of plaid to any spot in your home. They come in three sizes and can be stacked together or used separately. And, I have to tell you, they are a blast to decorate with! We are putting them into holiday mantel displays, stacked one on top of another. We are working them into bookcase displays to add a little pop of color and pattern. We’re putting them next to bedsides, a great spot to store your reading glasses for the night.

Giving gifts this holiday season? Use one of these tins to hold yummies for your neighbors or coworkers. Or fill them full of luxurious bath products for your friends.

Plaid paper tip towels are a great touch in your powder room. They are attention-grabbing and pretty and, most importantly, you don’t have to launder them!

I like to pick interesting napkins to use when I entertain. These plaid cocktail napkins are going home with me this year (don’t worry – I ordered plenty so there are lots at Nell Hill’s for you, too!).

If you want just a hint on plaid in your décor, weave in some plaid ribbon, like we did in this woodland mantel display.


3. Layer Plaid into Your Bedding

Despite being hundreds of years old, plaid is still cool and plays well in the sandbox with every other fabric we throw at it at Nell Hill’s. This bed is proof: a kilt-worthy tartan is mixing it up with a chartreus chevron. On this bed, the story is all about plaid, with a few more contemporary patterns kicked in to add a bit of zip. But you could easily reverse the story, and dot a plaid pillow or two into a contemporary bedding ensemble.

I love toile, especially this pattern, which has covered several different chairs in my home through the years. We paired this earthy and lovely plaid with the toile in a custom duvet (flip it over and the bed is reborn), then sprinkled in accent pillows that give a shout-out to the mm-mm good red and navy in the fabric.

If you have a bed saturated with solids, adding a highly opinionated fabric like plaid will give it some personality.

When we create custom bedding at Nell Hill’s, we usually strive to straddle the line between feminine and masculine, nothing too foo-foo or he-man. This bed is a brilliant example of how you can strike a balance using fabrics, and make everyone happy. The tan and black plaid duvet, finished with black buttons, the solid black quilt and black and white ticking pillows are decidedly guy friendly. The toile pillows add a dusting of softness and femininity without being overly girly.


4. A Menu of Plaid on the Dining Table

When I set my table at home, you know plaid was front and center! Here’s a shot of my dining room set for company. My white and gold dishes and silver serving pieces radiate on this gorgeous plaid table square. Want to make a topper for your table? Get a yard and a half of plaid fabric and hem. If you want to get fancy, use a 1-inch accent trim.  If you’re not a sewer, just iron the edges under. Done!

When I set a dining table for winter entertaining, almost always, my mind goes to plaid. So I was over the moon when Spode came out with this sensational line of plaid inspired dishes.We are using them over and over again on our dining tables at Nell Hill’s, continuously reinterpreting them by pairing them with different dishes, table linens and centerpieces. I love the plaid table cloth on this table!

Next Week … Your mantel is one of the most important, yet most intimidating, spots to decorate for the holidays. I’ll have lots of sensational mantel looks to inspire you.