We're Spotting This Pattern Everywhere—And We Love It

Checkerboard is here to stay

Entryway with checkerboard pattern neutral runner.

Photo: Light & Dwell / Illustration: The Spruce

In terms of classic patterns, gingham and related checkerboard patterns are tried and true—and they're once again resurging and making a major comeback as a decor trend. In fact, recent Pinterest data shows that searches for “checkerboard pattern” were up 160% throughout 2022, with results spanning beauty, clothing, and home décor. 

In an effort to figure out why this pattern has such staying power, we turned to the experts to ask for their tips, tricks, and insights. 

Meet the Expert

  • 01 of 09

    It Works Everywhere

    Chic neutral checkerboard curtains in farmhouse style living room.

    Ashley Montgomery Design

    As Sam Tannehill of Sam Tannehill Designs tells us, gingham and checkerboard work literally everywhere. As she notes, the pattern is a timeless staple and has really come back into the spotlight.

    “I have found checkerboard patterns in incredible tiling in homes and restaurants, on the decking around a pool, in the fabric on sofas and chairs, and the patterns in the rug,” Tannehill notes.

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  • 02 of 09

    It’s Relaxed and Unfussy

    Relaxed rustic living room with subtle brown checkerboard rug.

    Becca Interiors

    Part of the reason gingham works everywhere, according to Melanie Hay of Melanie Hay Design Studio, is because of how streamlined it is. She notes that this pattern is clean and tailored in nature, which makes it quite versatile—checkerboard pairs wonderfully with other patterns and textures, such as florals and stripes.

    “Gingham is definitely having a moment right now,” Hay says. “It has a casual, charming feel, and every room needs a little relaxed element to make it feel comfortable and liveable.”

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  • 03 of 09

    It's Fun to Play with Scale

    Fun office space with large black and white checkerboard rug.

    Arbor & Co.

    Hay agrees that mixing checkerboard with other patterns is a breeze—and if you play with the scale, it can be fun.

    “Vary the scale as well as the shapes of your coordinating patterns,” Hay says. “If the gingham you select is a larger checkerboard, then pair it with smaller scale patterns, such as a hand block printed floral or ticking stripe."


    Hay notes that you can also mix gingham with gingham—just make sure that you vary the scale of each pattern to keep it from looking too matchy-matchy.

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  • 04 of 09

    It’s Particularly Perfect for Summer

    Outdoor summer dinner party with gingham napkins.

    Rikki Snyder

    As designer Jennifer Hunter points out, there’s something particularly special about gingham or checked print in the summer.

    “Gingham is the essence of summer and is reminiscent of a checkered picnic blanket,” she tells us. “It comes in a variety of playful colors that can brighten any room and create a summertime feel.”

    If you’re looking to create a breezy feel with your checkerboard pattern, Hunter suggests going light. “I always love working with pastel gingham patterns—particularly light blues or neutrals,” she says.

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  • 05 of 09

    It’s a Great Neutral Base

    Grey checkerboard wallpaper in bathroom.

    Blakely Interior Design

    One of the great things about checkerboard is that, in the right colorway, it adds interest while also functioning as a neutral.

    “I consider checkerboard equivalent to how you would use stripes in a room,” Hunter says. “You can use it for accents in a space or in a bigger way like wallpaper or upholstery.”

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  • 06 of 09

    It’s Easy to Mix

    checkerboard kitchen rug in mauve kitchen

    Naked Kitchens

    Pattern mixing is divisive, but Tannehill advises that mixing patterns with a checkerboard print shouldn’t be as tricky as it sounds.

    "Pay attention to the color scheme in the room, and work that into the design," she says. "Complementary colors in the patterns will help keep things cohesive and entertaining to the eye.”

    If you’re looking for inspo, Tannehill has lots of tips. “I love a checkerboard marble tile, a checkered natural color area rug, and fabric," she gushes. "I also love a checkerboard tile around a pool and into the pool. Honestly, it's a great pattern to incorporate into all styles of design.”  

    Hunter agrees. “I prefer to pair a neutral-colored gingham with an oversized floral in a blue/green palette,” she says. “The juxtaposition of the floral and the geometric makes for a really fun design.”

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  • 07 of 09

    It Works with a Huge Array of Aesthetics

    Entryway with brown and cream checkerboard runner.

    Light & Dwell

    As Mark Feldman of Riverbend Home notes, gingham or checkerboard fit with many popular design aesthetics.

    Gingham or checkerboard is a timeless staple when it comes to home décor,“ Feldman says. “You can find it in farmhouse, coastal, picnic-core, and other types of aesthetics. You’ll find gingham in all kinds of décor, from table settings and holiday decorations to pet accessories.” 

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  • 08 of 09

    You’re Not Limited to Fabrics

    eclectic small kitchen with leaf pattern wallpaper, hexagon tile backsplash, black and white checkered floor.

    K Shan Design

    “Gingham has a ton of potential applications, but one of my favorite ways to use the pattern is through tile,” Hay says. “You can create a gingham pattern by combining square tiles in varying tones and colors in a grid formation, it's a great way to add a charming, classic touch to a shower enclosure or an entry floor."

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  • 09 of 09

    It's Best to Keep it Classic

    Checkerboard neutral throw pillow on couch.

    Pure Salt Interiors

    If you’re still on the fence, Hay has one final tip. “I don't think you necessarily have to avoid gingham in any situation, but it does tend to have a more classic vibe, so I would be careful using it in highly minimal modern interiors,” she says.