We started seeing the checkerboard pattern back in early 2020 as it tentatively began to appear on fashion runways from Milan to New York.
Replacing its more omnipresent sister, gingham, who was riding on the tails of the cottage core and grand millennial tends, checkerboard has slowly made its way over to the home décor and interior world.
With the release of the Queen’s Gambit at the end of 2020, the chess-inspired checkerboard print really came into its own.
The two-toned pattern provided a sophisticated look and could be used in its original monochrome format of black and white or a mix of vibrant colours.
I wrote about interiors inspired by The Queen’s Gambit here.
I love pattern and have always embraced it in my home. Pattern is all around us and prevalent in nature, it helps add depth to a room and provide different accents to what can often be a blank canvas.
However, I have to be honest, I wasn’t so keen on checkerboard.
I prefer patterns that are imperfect and mimic nature. Soft lines and curves where the colours tend to blend into one another.
Checkerboard is the antithesis of this with its harsh lines and clear colour separation. Bur recently, it has slowly grown on me and I can now appreciate how it can be added to our homes.
How to Use Checkerboard in the home
I think the trick is to use it as an accent in your home. Make the checkerboard piece really stand out on its own as a print, rug, a cushion against a single colour sofa or a statement vase.
You can pick out the colour in the print and use it elsewhere in the room to create a cohesive look.
If you want to be more daring and use it on the walls, stick to a smaller room like an office or a bathroom. It can also work really well as a tiling option in the kitchen.
Wallpaper has come a long way in recent years. You can now use wallpaper to create a tiled look on any wall for a fraction of the cost of real tiles. I love this checkerboard design for the kitchen.
My favourite place to see checkerboard print is on the floor. I adore black and white tiles as they make such an impact on a room. They are stylish, eye-catching and timeless.
The perfect place to use checkerboard-style tiles is in the hallway and bathroom.
Create a wow factor with monochrome tiles as you walk into the house and paint your hallway walls a beautiful sage green.
Keep your bathroom neutral with a few pops of colour and add black and white tiles to the floor.
If you don’t have the budget to completely tile your bathroom floor and have wooden floorboards, how about painting a checkerboard pattern onto your floor?
Using chalk paint like Annie Sloan, it is quite simple to do. Start with painting a base neutral colour and once this is dry, use frog tape or masking tape to mark out your squares and paint this a contrasting colour.
If you don’t fancy adding checkerboard to your walls or floors, the print can work just as well as accent pieces. Stick with the classic black and white print or go for eclectic colourful patterns.
Here are a few pieces that caught my eye
- Checkmate Poster, Desenio – a bit of monochrome abstract art
- Set of 4 Black check coaster, Trouva – perfect for placing your cup of tea whilst having a game of chess.
- Checkmate vase, Liberty – no need to add flowers
- Natural Checkerboard throw, Trouva – perfect for snuggling under on these wet and windy summer days!
- Frankie Lavender Plant Pot, Urban Outfitters – just pop in a plant
- Seagrass and water hyacinth basket, John Lewis – a twist on the traditional basket
- Gambit chequered basket, Sunday Living – the perfect place for a Queen to hide all her jewellery
- Large black and white checkered rug, Etsy – big enough for a life sized game of chess
- Chess cushion, Antipodream – pair it with green or turquoise
- Pattered porcelain mug, HM – just add tea
- Aveiro checked gingham duvet cover, La Redoute – keep the rest of your bedroom neutral and let this do the talking
- Pink check small candle, Liberty – at this price get a few
- Pink and rust checkerboard bath mat, Urban Outfitters – paint your bath orange to match
- Brody checkerboard bolster pillow, Urban Outfitters – I love the different colours used in this pillow
- Blue check smiley mug, Liberty – guaranteed to put a smile on your face every morning
- Gotland checked cushion cover, La Redoute – a cushion with texture and pattern
- Portrait check oven gloves, Tori Murphy – a classic design
- Drink Me gingham jug, Liberty – just add Pimms
- Chequer no. 2, Desenio – does what it says on the tin
- Coconut fibre door mat, H&M – wipe your feet
- Tufted checkerboard bath mat, Anthropologie – if you don’t fancy tiling your floor in the bathroom, use this bath mat
- Lilac Lines Spanish tableware, Quince & Cook – get your guests talking with this perfectly pink tableware
- Portrait check apron rose, Tori Murphy – I think it’s high time I started wearing an apron!
- Black Check Table Lamp, Five & Dime – I love this lamp, such a statement piece
- Bloomfield Hills Wing Back Chair, Wayfair – add clashing colours for contrast
- Beija Flor Chess Runner, Cotswold Trading – a great alternative to tiling your hallway
- Heritage Chess Tiles, Porcelain Superstore – a timeless vintage pattern
- Glamorous Check Charcoal Wallpaper, Dunelm – add this wallpaper to a small office or boys room for a grown up feel
- Cream, Brown and Tan Hide Check Stool, Homescapes Online – a quirky addition to any front room
- Checkered Tiles Wallpaper White and Green, Rebel Walls – keep costs down with this fabulous wallpaper for the kitchen
A few check-inspired fashion items
And finally, I couldn’t resist adding these little fashion items to complete your checkered look!
Checkerboard is such a timeless pattern; you won’t regret using it on your walls or floors or buying statement pieces for your home.