What We Love About Plaid


Tartan. Plaid. Checks… Call it what you will, this cosy woollen creature celebrates tradition and nouveau style.

Here at Zanui, we’ve made it no secret that in winter ‘as-warm-as-humanly-possible‘ is not nearly warm enough. We’re of the mantra that more-is-more when it comes to cosy. Plaid cushions and throws promise to keep you super-snug which makes us an instant convert. Made from wool, mohair and alpaca, these softies are deliciously homely.

Plaid is a favourite with a whole host of celebs, from the Queen to Vivienne Westwood and Mel Gibson (❤️ Braveheart ❤️). Rita Ora and Pharell Williams have been seen stepping out suited head to toe in plaid. And GQ calls it the “elegant rebel of the sartorial world”.

Rita Ora in Moschino Source- balleralertdotcom
Rita Ora in Moschino. Source: balleralert.com.

When it comes to your interiors, plaid adds more than just a warming country-homestead touch. And you don’t have to go all OTT on this look. Ralph Lauren’s Bedford New York residence is p’raps an example of a tad too much. (See below!) But this man is a long-time lover of the checks, so no judgement here.

No. Just a smidge of plaid plays out a treat. Introduce it in wool cushions, alpaca and mohair throws. Prime your bedroom with a plaid quilt cover or host a picnic with gingham napery. Yum!

Rapee Oxford Pink Cushion
A contemporary cosy look courtesy of the Rapee Oxford Pink Cushion paired with a geometric cushion, online at Zanui.

Versatile and adaptable, plaid comes in a wide range of designs and hues. Here are just a few we love, from the classic through to the contemporary.

Mel + his big Braveheart thedailymaildotcodotukWoollen Collection cushions
A rugged yet wistful Mel showcasing traditional tartan worn pinned at the shoulder (source: thedailymail.co.uk). And the Woollen Collection Checkered and Windowpane Wool Cushions. Browse cushions and throws online at Zanui.

Traditional Country Estate

For many people, tartan means the kilt. No surprise really, given it was worn by warring Scottish clans for hundreds of years. Tartan became a symbol of Scottish nationalism, so much so that the English sought to outlaw it to suppress the Scots with the Dress Act of 1746. (I know, right?)

Taken by renowned American photographer Annie Leibovitz at Windsor Castle to celebrate Queen's 90th birthday dailymaildotcodotuk Ralph Lauren's Bedford New York residence, Source-architecturaldigestdotcom
Annie Leibovitz’s photo of the Queen and Prince Philip at Windsor Castle with corgis and Ralph Lauren’s New York residence. Sourced L to R: dailymail.co.uk and architecturaldigest.com.

Plaid has associations with hunting lodges and stately homes, Regency chandeliers and gilt mirrors. But you don’t have to opt into the cliché.

Opt for earthy hues for a touch of traditionalism. Choose khaki greens, creams and browns with red accents.

j elliot HOME Daphne Double Oven Mitt j elliot HOME Daphne Apron j elliot HOME Daphne Oven Mitt j elliot HOME Daphne Pot Holder

We love this j.elliot HOME Daphne apron, oven mitt, and pot holder range. A little bit retro, a little bit kitsch. Such great colours!

St Albans Hampton and Coolmint Mohair Throws
Hampton and Coolmint Mohair Throws from the St Albans collection. Browse throw rugs online at Zanui.

Cosy Coastal Blues

Plaids nod to times past. But if you’re more a forward-thinker, opt for a modern palette instead. Turn tradition on its head with a flash of fresh blue and cool mint checks in your interiors. These colours work well with contemporary and Hamptons-style homes.

St Albans Mohair Nordic Throw RugLinen House Tanner Quilt Cover Set, Blue
St Albans Mohair Nordic Throw Rug and Linen House Tanner Quilt Cover Set, Blue. Browse throw rugs and quilt covers online at Zanui.

Turn down the colour saturation for icy Nordic elegance.

St Albans Mohair Firefly Throw Rug
Mohair Firefly Throw Rug from the St Albans collection online at Zanui.

Fashion-Forward Flair

Givenchy, Alexander McQueen, Dolce & Gabbana, and Vivienne Westwood are just a handful of the fashion folks who’ve fallen prey to plaid’s allure. It’s featured in countless ready-to-wear collections and fashion weeks.

Play plaid off against plaid, lace, appliqué and other textured designs for striking effect. Intersperse with décor accents in complimentary block colours.

1993 Linda Evangelista in Vivienne Westwood pinterestdotcomAlexander McQueen %22The Widows of Culloden%22 Fall:Winter 2006 collection : Savage Beauty Alexander McQueen : Victoria&Albert Museum : via fashioned by love British fashion blog fashionedbylovedotcodotuk
1993 Linda Evangelista in Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen “The Widows of Culloden” Fall/Winter 2006 collection. Sources L to R: pinterest.com and fashionedbylove.co.uk.

Pepper your home with throw rugs in contrasting hot and spicy hues. Bold is beautiful.

Bambury Boston Check Throw, Midnight
Bambury Boston Check Throw, Midnight, available online at Zanui.

Monochrome + Muted Neutrals

Graduated greys lend themselves to chequered designs. Equally, the stark contrast of black and white in the rich textures of mohair, alpaca and wool is pleasing and sophisticated.

Marry Bambury‘s Boston Check Throw in midnight tones with matte black or muted grey neutrals.

St Albans Alpaca Checkers Throw RugSt Albans Flint + Inkwell Mohair Throws
L to R: St Albans Alpaca Checkers Throw RugFlint and Inkwell Mohair Throws, online at Zanui.

St Albans are artisans of cosy chic. They offer a diverse range of mohair, alpaca and wool throw rugs, just perfect for housewarming and winter baby-shower gifts.

St Albans Butterscotch Alpaca Throw
St Albans Butterscotch Alpaca Throw, online at Zanui.

From your napery to your quilt covers, your cushions and throw rugs, plaid adds playful energy to your interiors. How do you use plaid in your home?

Kay is a feature, blog and copywriter. She collects empty jam jars, academic degrees and tawdry dreams in the hopes of turning them into something useful someday. Her work has been published in ACP magazines, ABC fiction, Overland, Brittle Star, Seizure, trade publications and online forums. Her creative writing has won several awards.