Wednesday, August 18

Speaking of plaid...

I mentioned the plaid wallpaper in my last post, of which we still have a relic to treasure. A papered outlet cover, whose origin was a bit of a mystery for a few months until I found a tiny strip of the same paper above one of the office windows. Not to totally diss plaid, it's just really hard to justify wallpapering a room in it, especially in the 80's.

Wiki says: Tartan is a pattern consisting of criss-crossed horizontal and vertical bands in multiple colours. Tartans originated in woven cloth, but now they are used in many other materials. Tartan is particularly associated with Scotland. Scottish kilts almost always have tartan patterns. (Tartan is also known as plaid in North America, but in Scotland, a plaid is a tartan cloth slung over the shoulder or a blanket.)

Tartan is made with alternating bands of coloured (pre-dyed) threads woven as both warp and weft at right angles to each other. The weft is woven in a simple twill, two over - two under the warp, advancing one thread each pass. This forms visible diagonal lines where different colours cross, which give the appearance of new colours blended from the original ones. The resulting blocks of colour repeat vertically and horizontally in a distinctive pattern of squares and lines known as a sett.

I'm all for a nice tartan, used well of course. Here are a few great examples of when tartan works.

Gorgeous. I'm not sure I should even put anything after this one. A classic Eames chair and ottoman, with a shift from the typical leather upholstery. It's a design nerd's dream.

Vintage cool. This old school thermos is available online at or possibly in your gramma's attic. Perfect for carrying peppermint cocoa on a winter sledding adventure.

The pillow in the foreground is similar to the wallpaper that once graced our office walls. Very cute in a pillow, but I still shudder when I think about it as wallpaper.

This striking lampshade works when paired with a cut crystal lamp and crisp white paint. I love the little Greyhound statue, it's a great element in this little vignette.

You know I love my flats. Enough said.

A girl can never have enough shoes. These give plaid a little street cred.

And to close, a sweet example of how plaids, paired with stripes, can be very nicely executed. This classic settee is brought down to earth with a navy pinstripe upholstery. The plaids make it even more cozy.

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