/ by Stephanie Burnette
It is a pattern composed of three colors. The first is typically white, the second is a color of a specific saturation, and the third is the marriage of the two as they intersect, creating a color diluted by half. The effect was first created from the combed (or carded) yarn as it intersected on the loom.
The origin of our modern gingham is ginggang or genggang, from Malay meaning “with space between” or “striped,” and likely a French derivation from sea traders guingan. The repeating pattern also occurs on the warp side and even along its selvage. The pattern is both symmetrical and reversable. For a project, there is very little waste using gingham even if turned on the bias. It is a geometric wonderkid.
We like the linear punch it lends to a room, drawing the eye to both its positive and negative space. On a settee or wingback chair, for example, it offers geometry to curved furniture. As drapery, it pulls the eye up allowing a room to appear larger. Replace lampshades with gingham ones in pairs. We like buffalo check gingham, in its large black and white pattern, to perk up living rooms, bedside tables and sideboards.
The pleasing repetition of gingham softens its (often) bold colorways: fuchsia pink and kelly green, neon hues, tomato red and the brightest of cobalt blues. It is the ultimate accessory in a room, so think of injecting it into interiors in even small ways: rainboots on a drainboard in the mudroom, napkins on the breakfast table, a tray on a kitchen island.
Turned on the bias, gingham gets extra adorable. Utilize it for outdoor throw pillows and a slew of wired ribbon for baskets and giftbags. Atop a table, gingham accessories add similar whimsy, a sunny nod to the season of picnics, pollen and warmer days to come.
- Pillow Power
The pillow slip by Caitlin Wilson is a 20”x20” dream for updating a sofa or daybed with petite tassels in contrasting colors. $78 for pillow, $29 for down feather insert, Caitlinwilson.com
- Paris Calling
The woven dining side chair by Williams-Sonoma pays homage to the sidewalk cafes of France. Bent rattan and synthetic wicker combine for a fresh take on classic seat. $295, Williams-Sonoma.com
- No Stain Buffalo
Blue and ivory buffalo plaid get a remake by Ruggable, the machine washable 2-piece high traffic rug system. $199 for 5×7, Ruggable.com
- Pampered Pup
Classic slipcovered luxury for your pup by Serena and Lily with handcrafted Riviera rattan styling. $598, Serenaandlily.com
- Cuddle Up
The Paxton Tufted Loveseat by Serena and Lily includes darling details like casters and turned legs and a deeper than expected seat. $2998, Serenaandlily.com
- Charged and Ready
“Toscana” Italian dinnerware by Sur la Table includes this versatile charger for amp-ing up most any pattern. Also available in dinner and salad plates. $50, Surlatable.com