Trendy tartan

PA Photo/Handout
PA Photo/Handout

Scotland has been making the headlines lately and interior designers are determinedly wooing us over to Highland decor style, with its characteristic plaids.

The majority of the leading home collections feature, at the very least, a touch of tartan on furniture and accessories.

While the pattern can still be found in traditional guises, it’s also been re-energised with fresh, modern colour palettes, making it suitable for any setting, whether you’re aiming for the fashionable rustic hunting lodge, emulating a grand, period interior, or just fancy a cheeky nod to the current passion for plaid.

“An ideal antidote to dark evenings and chilly mornings, tartans have long been a firm autumn/winter favourite, and this season they’re well and truly back in vogue,” confirms Ian Bisatt, design director for furniture company, Multiyork.

“From classic Highland tartan, showcasing a traditional mix of blues, greens and reds, to bold blanket weaves in pretty pastel shades, the choice of styles has never been so wide-ranging.

“In part, the popularity of this heritage fabric can be linked to our renewed love-affair with traditional craftsmanship and natural materials, along with key seasonal trends, such as ‘woodland’ and ‘country-style’.”

Tartan upholstery once conjured images of fusty hotels full of gloomy wood panelling and dusty stag heads, but the modern take on the design is anything but drab, and can easily be given a starring role in contemporary, as well as traditional or period homes, to add richness and drama.

“A sofa or armchair in a rich plaid is the perfect way to introduce both pattern and colour into an interior scheme,” suggests Bisatt.

Plaid fabrics, which pick up on a room’s existing palette, make for a beautifully classic look, or for a more muted effect, add decorative cushions or a cashmere tartan throw.

Choose colours which lie opposite each other on the colour wheel, such as a dark blue and mustard yellow, for a stronger visual statement.”

Work the Scottish lodge look with tartan fabric upholstery and faux animal trophies, or opt for a more eclectic approach, using accessories to liven up a scheme.

However, if all that rich colour and pattern has you running for the hills there’s a solution: simply flirt with this look. Opt for a combination of a neutral colour palette, fine checks and less vibrant tartans.

“Traditional heritage fabrics feature in the top autumn collections, and tartan’s leading the way as one of the hottest textiles around,” says Kate Mooney, founder of Occa-Home.

“Tartans needn’t be garish, and you can subtly hint at the look with checks in soft browns and greys, mossy greens or washed-out blues.”