Decorating, gingham style
Fresh, pretty and welcoming: the allure of gingham translates perfectly into relaxed country style. Gingham shirts and bandanas personify life on the range. At home, cottage and country kitchens display gingham curtains and table linens with cheerful abandon. This well-loved pattern is a design staple that will continue to please wherever it shows up.
Gingham fabrics are inexpensive and readily available in palettes of yellow, blue, red, green and black, making it easy to sew up curtains, pillows, bed linens and upholstery. This jaunty pattern also decorates crockery, glassware, cutlery and numerous accessories from lampshades and carpets to thumbtacks!
If you’re taken with the design, it may be tempting to decorate the walls in gingham. That’s exactly what I did in this guest bedroom. The homeowner was surprised and elated with the results. Who knew gingham walls would be such a hit?
There are gingham wallpapers available, but I wanted the unique texture that can only be created with paint, and I was able to choose the size of the pattern and the colour of the checks. There is a bit of work to this project, but once you have all the measuring and taping in place, it’s fun to see the results as they unfold.
I used a bright off-white base coat and light green-coloured glaze in a satin sheen. If the checks were a solid colour, the pattern would have looked too heavy. By using a coloured glaze and breaking up the colour even more by pulling through it with a bristle brush, the pattern becomes translucent, light and airy.
Decide on the width of your gingham stripes and mark off the horizontal lines with a chalk line. You will be painting alternate stripes, so tape off the outside of the stripes you will be painting. (Tip: when you finish taping, the stripes to be painted will look wider. To be safe, mark an X on the stripes not to be painted).
Mix a coloured glaze, one part water-based paint, one part water, three parts water-based glazing liquid. Roll the coloured glaze onto alternate stripes. While the glaze is still wet, using a stiff bristle brush, drag along the length of the painted stripes horizontally only, to give the effect of a cloth weave. Let dry overnight.
Measure and tape off vertical stripes the same way you did the horizontal stripes. Fill in alternate vertical stripes using the same technique, this time dragging the bristle brush through vertically.
These breezy gingham walls suit a painted wood floor. For added detail, why not stencil a soft, leafy image on the floorboards at the corners of the room? Lacy curtains, white linens and sheers emphasize the summery appeal in a space that functions as a guest room or a place for you to escape. Sheer luxury.
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