Paisley Takes a Turn for the Mod
Get ready for a new twist on a traditional favorite, as classic paisley patterns venture into modern and contemporary territory
Houzz Contributor. Fresh out of journalism school, I fell into decorating media and immediately discovered a new passion. An Atlanta native, I spent several years as an editor for Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles magazine before making the leap to national publications and websites such as Houzz, Better Homes and Gardens and Southern Accents. I live in Birmingham, Alabama, with my husband and son, who’ve gotten used to coming home and finding the furniture rearranged. When I'm not dragging case goods across the floor, I enjoy good food and wine, college football, music of all kinds, and traveling.
Houzz Contributor. Fresh out of journalism school, I fell into decorating... More »
Paisley, that preppy mainstay of wingback chairs and Ralph Lauren ads, is practically synonymous with traditional decor. But choose the right version, and it feels equally at home in contemporary quarters. And there's good reason to do so: The undulating teardrop-shaped pattern, born in the Middle East and Asia, lends a sense of energy and motion that few other motifs can match. These spaces showcase paisley at its modern peak.
A colorful paisley accent wall adds a sense of buzz and excitement to this tween girl's bedroom. The large scale and pared-down style of the pattern push it into modern territory; a smaller, swirlier print would have looked too formal.
Here's the same room from another angle. The interplay of traditional (wing-style chair, gingham fabric) and contemporary (shag rug, floor pouf) comes together beautifully in the wall treatment.
Pulling out individual paisley shapes and stenciling them on a shade at random highlights their unique form. The shade functions as art for the room as much as it screens the view.
Textured paisley fabric softens the blocky lines of these armchairs. The pattern is spaced loosely enough to offset the traditional motif.
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See more of this Texas home
What is it about paisley and pink that makes them go so well together? This tone-on-tone wall treatment downplays the delicacy of the pattern and gives it a blockier, humbler spin.
A hint of pale paisley in the pillows adds visual texture and keeps this bedroom from feeling too plain.
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Think beyond fabric — mosaics in other materials are every bit as arresting. This artisan-crafted tile kitchen backsplash, a refreshing twist on the conventional backsplash approach, grows more interesting the longer you look at it. And how gorgeous is that bombastic swirl at the edge of the cabinetry?
In a more understated but no less engaging approach, a neutral paisley motif lends a hint of character to this custom shower.
Brilliant fuchsia, lime and orange mingle in this paisley fabric. With a different palette and plaid or polka dots instead of stripes, this triple bedroom might have veered toward preppy. But the color scheme and the simplicity of the room's other elements keep it fresh.
Ideabook published on Dec. 2, 2012.
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