Tays & Co. Design Studios’ Guide to Plaid

Laura Tays, founder and principal designer of Tays & Co. Design Studios, shares her tips and tricks for incorporating plaid into your home

Photos by Spacecrafting  

Laura Tays, founder and principal designer of Tays & Co. Design Studios, is a jack of all trades. She has an eagle eye for detail, an innate ability to design cutting-edge spaces, and can anticipate an up-and-coming “it” element before it goes mainstream. In this case, we’re talking plaid.

“While perusing your favorite media platforms, you’ve likely come across plaid being used more often in home design,” explains Tays. “I love to use plaid because it is a classic and timeless pattern, which I find to be an important factor when designing spaces to stand the test of time versus becoming too trendy. Plaid doesn’t have to be the same boring thing—like a classic button-up shirt—you always think of.” Here, Tays shares three ideas for using plaid in fresh, unexpected ways.

1. Shatter Expectations

“Typically, when we think of plaid, we think of fabric and the softness that comes with a snuggly flannel, but that same feeling can come from traditionally hard materials like tile,” Tays says. “Recently, in our Gull Lake project, we installed a beautiful cream-colored plaid tile that looks like carpet in the laundry room. The tile in this inviting space adds a layer of softness by using texture that mimics carpet—all while allowing the protection we expect in a moisture-prone space.”

2. Switch It Up

“Another fun way to use plaid in your space is with wallpaper,” she adds. “Think about finding plaid patterns that aren’t consistently spaced with crisscrossed, horizontal, and vertical bands. Try to branch out with patterns where the horizontal and vertical lines are not-so-evenly spaced or uniformly sized. Or, maybe the lines are thin and soft versus chunky and bold. This will offer a fresh take on a classic look.”

3. Start Small

“If a permanent plaid in your home feels a little too risky or bold for you, an easy way to dip your toes into this timeless pattern is to use plaid through curtains, pillows, throw blankets, and bedding,” Tays continues. “To keep more current and not too ‘country,’ try selecting subtle plaids in neutral colors. This softer palette works well in a variety of home styles.”

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