The Classic Checkerboard Pattern Is Making a Modern Comeback

Checkerboard is a classic pattern that has a long tradition in design. The design is timeless and transcends fashion as a timeless style element. Recently, the grid with high contrast, resembling a chessboard, is back on the radar, with textiles, paint, wallpaper, and ceramics. We talked to design experts to discover why checkerboard patterns are trendy and how to incorporate them into our homes.

The History of the Checkerboard Pattern

Checked patterns such as gingham, plaid, or buffalo checks have been the most popular element in interior decor for a long time. Checkerboard flooring was trendy in this Renaissance phase in Europe,e of the most famous examples is the checked marble floor in black and white of the Grand Trianon in the Palace of Versailles in France. Then, fast forward to the 1920s, and ceramic tile or linoleum in black and white became the most popular flooring choice in bathrooms and kitchens of American homes.

In recent years, checkered black and white floors, especially Linoleum floors, have gone out of style because solid-colored hardwood flooring has gained popularity. However, the re-emergence of checkerboard patterns alters the trend in some places.

Today, the high-contrast style is a striking feature of various design elements, providing a modern and classic aesthetic.

Why Is Checkerboard Trending Right Now?

“The current resurgence of the checkerboard motif is another great example of how fashion trends trickle down into interiors,” says Emerson Jones, senior manager of merchandising for Spoonflower. “Over the last several years, we’ve witnessed Gen Z reviving fashions of the 90s and early 2000s. Checkerboard is the most common motif associated with skate shoes or studded belts. This time the checkerboard is reinvented with fresh colors and then twisted or warped to create an edgier version of the square grid.” she says.

Checkerboard patterns are an old-fashioned design element that has been utilized in interiors and designs for many centuries. “It feels like a safe and nostalgic choice at a time when there is so much uncertainty in the world,” Jones declares. Stripes and plaids are also timeless classics, however, to the point that they are often used as a form of a solid color within the space. “Checkerboards as well as Polka dots, appear more playful and less snooty. They bring a sense of excitement, whimsy, and visual appeal without becoming too complicated or overwhelming,” she says.

How to Decorate Using Checkerboard

Cheers are a relatively easy pattern to create compared to other designs, making them even more sought-after, given the recent surge in DIY home decor for beginners. “It’s an easy motif for beginners to take on and execute well,” Jones states. This timeless, versatile design is well-suited to various aesthetics, including modern, paired-back style to a bold and contemporary look, so it’s not tricky for DIYers who are just starting to make a mistake.

Checkered Tiles

“Checks are an elegant and timeless design as well as “timeless” or “classic” are the two most requested looks clients ask for when designing their space,” says Melissa Charlillo, Arizona Tile showroom assistant manager. “Checkerboard tiles elevate a space, adding interest, depth, and dimension without making it feel busy like a printed tile pattern can.” In addition, the fact that they are timeless implies that they are likely to adjust to the changes in decor in time, which makes them an ideal long-term investment.

According to Charlillo, the most favored tiles to use checkerboards are in the the kitchen and the laundry room floors. “They make a drab space feel fun,” especially when you play with colors that aren’t the standard black-and-white combination. Another widespread use for the checkerboard tile can be found in the main entrance area with white and black marble tiles. “We also like to encourage the use of the checkerboard pattern on the patio to make a statement on an outdoor living area, such as a terrazzo textured white with a terrazzo textured black tile,” Charlillo suggests.

However, don’t limit your checkers to just the floor. “Checkerboard looks great as a backsplash in the kitchen with a smaller square format and lighter tones, like white with a light gray, for example.” If you cannot afford the expense to purchase new tiles but want the quickest and most cost-effective method to update the look of your area, Jones suggests opting for a stick-on wallpaper option to hide your backsplash and give a unique look to the room.

Painted Checkered Floors

“Checks are a happy, familiar pattern that works everywhere from tiny cottages to mansions,” says Alison Kandler, interior designer decorator, designer, and creator Alison Kandler Interior Design. Alison Kandler Interior Design. “Checks visually expand a small space and add instant charm to a large space.”

One of Kandler’s favorite applications of the pattern is painted check flooring, which is part of her distinctive style. She also regularly includes it in children’s rooms and large kitchens or family rooms. In contrast to tiles, painting hardwood can mean the colors are limitless, and she can alter it however she’d like. “It also instantly takes on a beachy, causal feel, which I love,” she states. “You want to walk barefoot on them, unlike with tile, which is cold and hard.”

Checkered Soft Furnishings

While checkerboard flooring is perhaps the most famous application of the pattern, it ,is also gaining popularity in soft furnishings such as curtains, furniture with upholstered upholstery, towels, rugs,, and even bed linens. The trend started with soft checkerboard rugs that gave an homage to the classic checkered floor style without having to invest the time, cash, or effort into installing tiles.

Jones suggests stepping away from traditional patterns and settling for checkerboard patterns to embellish a chair in a living space or bedroom. “A neutral, deconstructed check is perfect if your style is modern or minimalist, while a bolder checkerboard collage pattern is a great fit for eclectic styles and more whimsical spaces,” she states.

Pair Checkerboards with other prints

“Pair an oversized checkerboard print with other simple motifs, such as statement stripes in bold hues, to create a color-blocked look,” Jones suggests. “You might also try layering the traditional checkerboard design with the retro floral check. We especially love a check-on-checks strategy for an energetic bedding set, however this concept can also be used for other soft furnishings such as pillows, throws, as well as curtains.”

Monochrome Color Palette

Checkerboard prints are usually available in 2-tone, as well as a unichromatic palette ofmonochr, makings it an ideal pattern to mix and layering in bedrooms or living spaces. However, don’t be limited to the standard checked design of black and white. The motif that is used with a bright color is an easy method to inject color into a space without feeling overpowering.