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Zig Zags, Chevron, Stripes and Ikat {Tired, Trendy or Timeless}

by | Apr 23, 2012 | Color, Creative Inspiration & Projects, Decorating Inspiration, Details, Pattern

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Zig Zags, Chevron, Stripes and Ikat {Tired, Trendy or Timeless}

Tommy Smythe Living Room

You know what? I have always loved stripes, and any sort of chevron, zig zag, or Ikat pattern.

When my girls were young, like 15 years ago, their rooms had both striped walls and a zig zag carpet! I was a wild and crazy decorating mom. Heh heh. And in our kitchen in that same house, we had Ikat curtains (you can find that story on my curtain post). It wasn’t in vogue to decorate that way at the time, I just was in love with pattern. 

For quite awhile now, chevron, stripes and Ikat have been very trendy, of course, but they are basically just classic patterns that can endure for years — if you love them. Right? That is how I feel about them, they can ebb and flow with the times if you are careful how you use them. I mean, these patterns have been around for centuries, so I’d say they have stood the test of time!

Zig Zags, Chevron, Stripes and Ikat {Tired, Trendy or Timeless}

No need to fear a trend that has actually been around forever. People’s whims and tastes come and go, and retailers would like us to move on once we all catch on to the trend. But when you find a style you love you can make it work in moderation, regardless of what everyone else is doing at the time. Timeless and classic are always in style.

But yes, it can be quite humorous and even annoying to discerning creative people to see chevron on EVERYTHING right now. Kind of like the “put a bird on it” video. If you put a Chevron on it, it is probably going to be a big hit on Pinterest. Am I right? If that is your goal, of course. Ha!

I think that is what gets annoying to trend-avoiders more than the pattern itself, is just the sense that you don’t always have to really be creative or innovative to get noticed, you just have to use what is “in.” That “overdone” factor can make creative people not want to use it at all. 

I’m going to give stripes, chevron, zig zags and Ikat a little grace because I really do like them. Still.

Zig Zags, Chevron, Stripes and Ikat {Tired, Trendy or Timeless}

Yellow and white striped shower curtain via West Elm

So, I’m kind of in love with that yellow and white striped shower curtain.  That might just have to come live with me.

Zig Zags, Chevron, Stripes and Ikat {Tired, Trendy or Timeless}

A more subtle pattern, striped napkins via Pottery Barn

Zig Zags, Chevron, Stripes and Ikat {Tired, Trendy or Timeless}

The Land of Nod Zig Zag Baskets

Zig Zags, Chevron, Stripes and Ikat {Tired, Trendy or Timeless}

West Elm poufs

I saw these poufs at West Elm and really loved them quite a lot for the big bold statement they make. Especially love that red and white striped pouf. Kind of nautical and fun, perfect for summer.

Zig Zags, Chevron, Stripes and Ikat {Tired, Trendy or Timeless}

Dash and Albert Striped Rugs

Dash & Albert rugs are my all time favorite area rug. I have one in my kitchen and it just makes me happy. My big goal coming up soon is to replace our carpet (eh hem, dogs have ruined it) so mark my words, there will be more Dash & Albert rugs in my house — as soon as I have more hardwood to put them on.

Zig Zags, Chevron, Stripes and Ikat {Tired, Trendy or Timeless}

Zig Zag Bath Mat

Zig Zags, Chevron, Stripes and Ikat {Tired, Trendy or Timeless}Color Blocking via Martha Stewart

And then, of course, we have the trend of the moment. Color blocking. Thoughts? Love it? Not sure?

So, tell me. Let’s talk about this topic of trends.

Does it drive you crazy to see the same trendy patterns over and over again on everything? Or do you want to have fun with and give a little grace for what is trendy at the moment, but still something that can endure?


  1. Shelley

    I think they have all become classics -especially the stripes. I couldn’t live without them in my home or wardrobe! I am also a big fan of those Dash and Albert rugs. I don’t think I have seen one I don’t absolutely love! I also love the color blocking. It is so nice to see so much color. My home has a lot of earth tones and neutrals so the color blocking is very appealing to me now because it is different from what I have. I also love wearing bright colors! Anyway, that’s my 2 cents! Enjoy your week!

  2. kelly at talk of the house

    I am a trend resister by nature, and your paragraph above about the trend avoider is so true for me. I think stripes will universally stay in style forever, but the zigzag and Ikat I see as trendy because they are put on everything in sight – and I tire of them (maybe because they seem to be more bold than just a stripe.) Anyway, if people have the money to constantly change with the trends, then I see nothing wrong with that, but for those of us who have to live with things for awhile, trying to follow trends can be expensive. As far as color-blocking, been doing it for years. I love color with neutrals (just like Shelley above) and it works well. I, for one, am glad to see rooms with color in them…the gray and all white movement leaves something to be desired. Color is a whole lot warmer and seems filled with more “life” to me.
    You asked…and I am never afraid to give an opinion! :)

  3. Heather

    As a certified trend avoider also, I am mildly amused to see everyone jumping on the chevron bandwagon. In a year or two when chevron is a thing of the past, these pieces will look old and tired. And then things will need to be replaced with the latest trend. In my opinion (you asked), it’s better to stick to the classics – stripes will always be in style. As for colour blocking, done subtly I think it works. Too much and you’ve on that trend train again.

  4. michelle

    Melissa, I’m so glad you said this. I do like stripes but what I’ve always loved is not in vogue right now. I love cabbage rose pattern or paisley or toile. Anything that could qualify as english country or french country. Sometimes it’s a little disheartening but the thought of the ever-changing styles is mind boggling and could be very expensive. I will just stick with what I like and not worry about trends, even if it doesn’t end up on pinterest. LOL!
    thanks, Michelle

    • Jessica

      I still love roses, etc., too! I am not a trendy person, but it was easier to get things I loved when the cottage/shabby chic type decorating was more “in”. Ha

  5. Kelley

    I decorate, sew with, use, choose what I love. Don’t typically follow the trends, although I do like several of the ideas you’ve shared.

    And, ahem, but am I the first one to notice and be brave enough to tell you there’s a frog in your header? *ribbet* Sorry!

  6. Franki Parde

    My personal philosophy has always been “trends with a twist”…I somehow can’t help “tweaking” things to give it my flavor though. franki

  7. teresa

    I use Stripes…but sparingly ….color blocking I have done off and on for years. {I may use a little of that in my home…but mostly in my clothes} I’m not a big fan of “chevron” pattern….not sure why, I don’t think I’ve ever had that pattern in my home.
    Have a wonderful day

  8. Fairfield House

    Good Morning Melissa!
    I have always loved stripes. We use Dash and Albert rugs throughout the Fairfield House. I do not follow trends. I’d rather surround myself with things that matter to us.
    Your Friend,

  9. Angela

    Does it drive me crazy??? A little. Personally, I haven’t done anything with Chevron because EVERYONE else is doing it and I feel like I want to be original, even if it is cute. What I’ve been seeing EVERYWHERE is Washi tape. Washi tape this, washi tape, that. It’s a little too much for me. I don’t loose sleep over it or anything but, it is a little extreme. :)

  10. Karen

    I rarely follow trends with any urgency. First of all, I can’t afford to change major pieces every 2 or 3 years, but secondly, and most importantly, I like to use what I love. I enjoy updating a room as much as the next person (who is interested in this sort of thing), but some of these “authorities” say such mean things if a room has a pattern they deem no longer “in”. I have to ignore that kind of approach. Thank you for always being reasonable, helpful and informative without being judgmental.

  11. Lisa celebrate CREATIVITY

    I love to browse and study trends (Chevron included) but I’m generally just too fearful to jump on any bandwagon.

    I generally gravitate toward decor elements that I think have a “universal appeal” as opposed to anything that is too highly customized or overly trendy.

    Somewhere in the back of my mind I think I must be thinking about re-sale potential-lol. That probably makes me a safe but boring decorator.

    Love your photo selections, as usual. Enjoy your day!

  12. Diane at Longaberger Lifestyle

    Love your take on trends. I tend to take the long view. If I can see myself living with something for a long time….it’s always a yes…especially when major mulah is involved. Basically my home is about personal expression and family hand-me-downs filled with sentimental memories. I’m happy to see color blocking…it’s fun…especially for those of us who love color in our lives.

  13. Robyn

    I decorate to the beat of my own drummer….great if it is in style but that doesn’t dictate what I do at all! I love hearing when company comes….”Your home is always so homey no matter where you live!” I love decorating and looking at the newest catalogs but I don’t follow trends.

  14. Barbara

    In general I think they are all classic or timeless. What’s trendy right now isn’t so much zig zag or chevron, but the super wide chevron. So while the elements themselves are timeless, the treatment of them is what’s trendy. So if you love those elements and in particular this treatment of them, go crazy with it. Personally I love stripes, but I’m more of a pinstripe, subtle Swedish treatment stripe fan. So while stripes are hot, I don’t go crazy with the big wide stripes.

    If people fill their homes with what they love, who cares if it’s trendy? When it’s no longer trendy in 10 years they’ll still love it and that’s what really matters.

  15. antiquechase

    TImeless.. as long as I like it. I love stripes and Ikat. Color blocking too. Chevron is trendy and timeless, no?

  16. Jill Flory

    If I love it I’ll use it when it’s in but I am really trying to only buy things that I will hopefully ALWAYS love. And yes, it does bug me that EVERYTHING has chevron on it! If I use it, it will be in very small doses!

  17. Debbie

    HI Mellisa, great article. I don’t ride the waves of trends much…it takes me too far out to sea! Hahahaha…I don’t do modern because I live in a farmhouse…but I do agree with one of your other commenters…used sparingly stripes makes a statement rather than overwhelm the room. And yes! Decorate with what you love not what is a trend.
    Remember Hawaii shirts for men…I hid my hubby’s!

  18. Briana

    Great discussion. So, hmm.. I think there is a balance. It’s kind of like in fashion, where the idea of wearing a million trends all together is faux pas. I think having a balance of classic pieces, mixed with trends, 1 or 2– and only subtle trends like mixing chevron with metallic for example, will clean up the look a bit.

    Also similar to fashion, I think we can afford to play around with trendy accessories like pillows and throw rugs, so that we can trade them out once the trend is no longer a trend.

  19. Sunny

    With the exception of Ikat, I am a big fan. I will never stop loving stripes regardless of what is in style or not. I do enjoy some trends, but what I find is tat I love seeing he trendy stuff that I have always liked. Like stripes and chevron. I have always liked it so I enjoying seeing it different applications.

  20. kristin

    Stripes will always be one of my favorites! I like adding “trends” in small amounts like pillows that I can afford. LOL..Wonderful post.

  21. Susan

    Love the stripes!! Chevron, not so much. I planning to order my first A&D rug soon…in fact, I’ve picked out that pattern on the stairs. STRIPES. Forever and ever, amen.

  22. living with lindsay

    Obviously, I’m a huge chevy fan. Hugey hugey hugeness. They are delicious.

    But, I try to bring it in on pieces like throw pillows or a wall that can be simply painted over if/when I tire of it. I probably wouldn’t buy a chair covered in chevron or something like that.

    You gotta go with what you love, and if you love stripes, chevron, and ikat, who cares what anyone else thinks! You’ve got to make your home “you.” Don’t worry about trying to do something that no one else has ever done – go with what inspires you instead.

  23. Pam

    I love all those patterns too. The room photos you show are such nice examples because the “pattern” isn’t what you first see when you look at the room and I think that’s how to use those in the right way.

  24. Shauna

    Still loving the stripes and zig zags. I think I’ve always done some sort of color blocking in my designs, so I don’t see it so much as a trend. Perhaps in fashion it’s a little more obvious in my book and I’m really liking the look.

  25. Jen

    I had been avoiding chevron for years even though I loved it, bc I don’t want to be too trendy. But finally I broke down. I bought a small 5 x 7 rug for my office, and 2 pillows for our living room. But now I don’t have that urge anymore. I don’t want to go overboard, but I still like it. It’s a balance I think.

  26. Flower Patch Farmgirl

    I am bothered by Ikat. I have no explanation.

    But I’m stripes ALL THE WAY! Always have been, always will be.

    In a perfect world, things would be striped, gingham or mod eyelet. SwooN!

  27. kimber

    Not that you would ever know it by looking at my house, I tend to lean more toward the classics. I don’t know if it’s because we have a limited income and trendy = redecorating more often, or if I just am more conservative. I may be the only person who is NOT a fan of chevron or ikat. I love it in other people’s homes, but it’s just not for me.

  28. Elizabeth

    I have always loved stripes and chevron (ikat I can take or leave), so I’m actually happy they’re becoming trendy because I can actually FIND things with stripes or chevron patterns now! I am by nature a trend-resister, but as my decorating and taste mature I’m realizing it does no good to me to resist something simply because it’s a trend – what’s the point in not loving something just because others have decided to love it too? I have always been a fan of the (now) much-maligned “Keep Calm & Carry On” poster and I have the traditional red framed in my kitchen. When it got too big for it’s britches I thought about taking it down, but it makes me happy and looks great in my house. I’ll just let people think I’m a trendy hanger-on :) P.S. – love your blog!

  29. Bernadette

    I think you make a good case for something be tired and trendy (see it all over, it is the hot trend) and even tired and timeless (it is so timeless, it is the go to for the masses). And like life, history just repeats itself so timeless could mean that it is really just a trend that occurs over and over again.

    All in all. I LOVE me some stripes. Ikat is a new fave for me (although I love anything generally “ethnic” in pattern) and chevron never really caught my vibe. Yet. All said, I LOVE when someone can make an old something new – so for instance, new bold colors for Ikat…and making chevron rings that you can wear…and stripes in a different direction or slant. Just skew the idea a TINY bit.


  30. Vidya Sudarsan

    Nice article! How can even live without zig-zags and stripes!? I like them on the wall too..
    Vidya Sudarsan

  31. Erin

    I am new to your blog and what a breath of fresh air you are! I’ve only been a homeowner for 10 years but I feel like I’ve been “burned” with trends. My living room was Asian theme with red walls. Then it looked dated. So I faux-painted everything, then that looked dated. Now I buy all my furniture in neutral colors and shapes, and play up colors with the walls (can always be repainted) and patterns with the accessories (can always be changed out.) That strategy seems to work well for me. But, since I refused to get rid of the Asian end tables and was too lazy to repaint one of the faux-painted walls, now I call my style “eclectic” and it’s all good!! Lol!


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