When we transformed this Manhattan co-op, we wanted the bedroom to feel classic, yet casual — two words that are pretty much the definition of gingham. So when our designers, who are fantastically talented at uncovering diamonds in the rough, unearthed these gingham pillowcases at Ikea, they knew it was the perfect addition to this soothing gray bedroom.
A Little Gingham History: Although the gingham we know and love is a decidedly checked pattern, it actually got its start as a striped pattern in the 17th century. In fact, the name originates from the Malay adjective genggang which means striped. But it was when the fabric was woven into that trademark check in the 18th that gingham’s popularity surged. Since that moment, it’s nearly always been a staple in the closet and in the home. You can recognize gingham by its made up of horizontal and vertical stripes of the same color on a white background with even checks.
The pattern has a long list of celebrity endorsers. Katherine Hepburn wore a gingham dress in The Philadelphia Story, Judy Garland’s Dorothy wore a blue gingham dress throughout the Wizard of Oz and Marilyn Monroe wore gingham capri pants on the set of Niagara. Of course gingham isn’t just for the ladies, Sean Connery as James Bond, wears a blue and white gingham check shirt with his swimming trunks in From Russia with Love, and again in Thunderball.
Gingham is so ubiquitous that it has spawned entire Instagram accounts: “ThatJcrewGinghamShirt” documents men (and a few women) sporting the same J.Crew gingham button-down. Our designers like to say that if you like it in your closet, there’s a good chance you’ll like it in your home. Here are a few of our favorite ways to bring a little gingham into your life.
If you want to start slowly incorporating some gingham into your home, take a page from our designers and snap up these Ikea pillowcases and duvet cover.
Round Gingham Tray
Add a stylish touch to a picnic lunch or cheese plate with this round gingham serving tray made by Japan-based Fog Linen.
Also by Fog Linen, these gingham coasters in black or navy check add a little pattern to the table.
Gingham Throw Pillow
Add pattern to your bed or sofa with this gingham throw pillow.
Gingham Pie Server
Made in Paris these French tart servers are guaranteed to make your desserts taste that much sweeter.
Gingham Side Chair
If you’re ready to make a bolder pattern statement, this sweet Sarah Accent Chair, Dark Gray Gingham is a great way to do that.
Create a cozy reading nook at the foot of a bed or in a living room corner with this Gingham Dixon Bench.