The chevron pattern is invading homes—here’s how to get the look
Putting the V in “living room”
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With apologies to polka dots and stripes, there’s no more recognizable pattern than chevron. The high-voltage, geometric print of inverted Vs that form an uninterrupted zigzag pattern has held our attention for centuries, becoming a household word in fashion and décor.
Mention chevron, and it conjures up images of everything from Byzantine architecture to ancient Greek pottery, Missoni fashions (a name synonymous with chevron since the high-end house debuted its print in 1953) to Charlie Brown’s t-shirt. Not to be confused with herringbone—a staggered zigzag that resembles overlapping fish bones—the name “chevron” was borrowed from French for “rafter” due to its resemblance to the rafters of a shallow roof.
Jean Guy Testut, director of collection at Roche Bobois, says, “The Chevron design is a dynamic pattern that has become a modern-day classic, so it fits with virtually any décor from traditional to contemporary.”
The Paris-headquartered furniture and home accessories company celebrates chevron with a collection of collaboration pieces boasting Missoni’s signature zigzag motif on everything from pillows to its famous Mah Jong sofa. Testut says, “To us, it’s not a trend, but an integral part of today’s design vocabulary.”
Living Spaces designer and manager of production design Jessica Harris agrees. “Whether you introduce [chevron] to your interior space through a fun accent cushion, décor, accessories, flooring, or a striking feature wall, it is a pattern that never fails to make a statement on its own. It’s known for its ability to create the illusion of movement, complement both classic and contemporary design styles, and add energy to any space.”
Here are a few ways to add chevron into your home décor. With these tips, you’ll be on the path—albeit a zigzag one—to a gorgeous interior.
Start small and monochromatic
If you’re nervous about incorporating a bold pattern, start small. This is the beauty of chevron. It doesn’t rely on color to make an impact. It relies on shapes, so it easily blends into your interior without too much thought.
Jessica Neuman, principal of New York-based Numi Interior Design, suggests monochromatic chevron as an excellent way to effectively add character to a space without being too overwhelming. Try it in textured wood or marble, she says. It’s even a great way to introduce the pattern within a sofa, when you don’t want to go full-on chevron just yet.
- Get the Miranda Kerr by Universal Furniture’s Brentwood Sofa at Bellacor for $2,410
- Get the White Chevron Ceramic Table Lamp at Living Spaces for $110
Use chevron as a base
Creating a foundation with chevron through textiles (hello, rugs) or wood flooring is also a great way to add a graphic point of interest in any room, explains Harris.
“Chevron as flooring supports fluidity in the space and helps add length due to its arrow design. Chevron textiles, such as rugs, paired with more neutral-toned furniture allows the furniture to pop and really stand out as a ‘statement’ piece in the room,” Harris says.
Neuman says that a chevron pattern through wood paneling on walls or a ceiling can display the print in a subtle yet eye-catching way that adds dimension and edge. If wood isn’t your thing, opt for infinite tile and marble floor applications.
“Playing with the scale of this pattern can also be a lot of fun,” adds Neuman. “It’s a way to add an element of color with contrasting lines of chevron.”
Harris suggests committing to just one wall when you want to do a wall covering like wallpaper or tile, to avoid having it overwhelm the space. She likens it to creating a statement piece of artwork.
“This pattern will help create movement within the space, carrying your eye either from left to right or from floor to ceiling,” she says.
- Get the Graham & Brown Herringbone Wood Peel and Stick Wallpaper in Light Gray at Burke Decor for $45
- Get the Belvedere Oak Wide Plank Laminate Flooring at The Home Depot for $74.97
- Get the Armand Chevron Handmade Tufted Wool Forest Green and Beige Area Rug at Wayfair for $223.99
Mix and match chevron textiles, from pillows to throws
“When it comes to textiles and fabric, the possibilities are endless,” says Neuman. “The most iconic, and my favorite way, to add chevron is using classic Missoni fabric from upholstery to accessories, like throw blankets. Missoni does chevron like no other.”
Testut suggests, “Consider using the print on throw pillows or a small ottoman to add a lively accent to your living room, or go bold with an all-over print on your large-scale upholstered pieces.”
And, don’t forget pillows—just a few placed atop a sofa brings the piece to life with vibrant Vs.
- Get the Vashon Cushion at Roche Bobois for $125
- Get the Missoni Aron Throw at Bloomingdale’s for $640
Combine chevron with complementing patterns
Small décor pieces can have a big impact, especially when you employ the excitement of chevron, according to Harris. Think vases, picture frames, and art objects—small touches that add pops of the design element. It can even fit into your current patterns, provided they’re in the same color family.
Harris says, “What I love about chevron is that you can pretty much mix, match, and layer with almost any pattern.”
There’s a definite a-ha moment when placing chevron next to complementing florals or polka dots.
Or, take a simpler approach and let the pattern do all the talking.
Testut says, “While at Roche Bobois, the Missoni Home chevron print is typically mixed with other patterns, we always encourage clients to combine it with solid fabrics to not only keep it as the primary focus but also to let it breathe amongst the other patterns.”
Regardless of how you choose to display chevron, it’s a welcomed addition that can create a unique effect in several areas of your living space.
“Like a good stripe,” adds Harris, “chevron can be a staple pattern in any home.”
- Get the Vancleave Cushion at Roche Bobois for $215
- Get the Adra Vase at Crate & Barrel for $49.95
- Get the Teal and White Chevron Framed Art Print
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.