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Five reasons we love checks and stripes

Five reasons we love checks and stripes

You will notice from many of our interior design projects and from our new NiX fabric collection, that here at Nicola Harding & Co. we love the versatility and comforting character of checked and striped fabrics.

“For me, checks and stripes are a brilliant way of adding depth and pattern in a really easy-to-use way,” says Nix. “You can layer them on top of each other or you can use them alongside more detailed or complicated patterns to create a sense of contrast.”

The familiarity and ubiquity of these iconic fabrics speaks to their timeless appeal, which is why we wanted to include our own versions in the collection.

Read on for five key reasons why we think you’ll love these patterns.


Traditional or modern, vibrant or muted, intense or minimal, checks and stripes can contribute significantly to the character of an interior. They have a timeless quality that speaks of a bygone era, while their simplicity ensures they can easily complement a contemporary scheme.

This versatility means you can opt for a bold pattern in strong statement colours, or choose a more subtle design that will provide a textural backdrop and allow other features to stand out.

Checks and stripes are perfect for layering and are a great way to introduce colour that complements other features within a room. They are straightforward, familiar and suitable for styles ranging from cottage-core to modern maximalism

“Checks and stripes are almost more like a texture than a pattern,” suggests Nix. “They disappear quietly into the background and provide a great understory that allows other elements within an interior scheme to stand out.”


The linearity and repetition that gives checked and striped patterns their distinctive character provides a sense of order that is soothing and easy on the eye. Human beings have a visual preference for symmetry and repetition that these designs fulfil through their ordered, geometric structure.

Unlike busier, more complex patterns such as florals, this simplicity enables them to blend in or stand out, depending on which colours you opt for and how bold the pattern is. You can dial up a room’s personality by creating contrast, such as combining a striped bedhead with checked cushions, or keep things more low-key using complementary colours and patterns.


Our checked and striped designs are inspired by Nix’s love of vintage utilitarian fabrics, including classic ticking stripes, pinstripes and checks that can be traced back through the history of British interior design.

“I think checks and stripes have a wonderful nostalgic quality,” Nix points out. “They have a really relaxed and familiar feel so on a sort of subliminal level there is something comforting about them.”

Traditionally, these fabrics would have been used as durable lining materials in back-of-house areas such as pantries, sculleries or nurseries. We believe they deserve to be elevated to a higher status and celebrated as heroes of domestic life. That’s why our fabric collection features several modern interpretations that allow checked and striped patterns to take centre stage within an interior scheme.


Our checked and striped fabrics stay true to their utilitarian roots, while recognising that these products may now be prominently used in important living spaces. This echoes the trend towards more relaxed and informal home interiors, where simple and sturdy fabrics are applied to everything from sofa upholstery to drapery, duvet covers and bed skirts.

We produce our cotton and linen fabrics using hardwearing natural fibres that create surfaces with built-in character. This means you don’t need to be too precious about the kids jumping on them or the dog sitting on them. They can simply be bundled into a washing machine and will come out ready to be used over and over again.


At Nicola Harding & Co. we are passionate about using colour and pattern to bring character to interiors. We designed our checked and striped fabrics to allow you to play with colour and apply your own personality to a space.

Each design features several colours or hues that add depth and texture to a scheme through their different combinations, patterns and proportions. Examples include the multi-stripe Regatta design that recalls a classic boating stripe, and the timeless Ticking Stripe fabric that adds a sense of easy ambience to the interior. Checkmate is a cheerful check fabric that layers vibrant blue or berry pink tones, while the Well Plaid design evokes classic country interiors.

These fabrics can be used for upholstery or drapery, and we’ve also created a collection of cushions that offer a fun way to bring a splash of colour or pattern to a room on a smaller scale. However you use them, we hope you have as much fun with our checked and striped designs as we had making them.

Nicola Harding & Co

About Nicola Harding & Co.

Nicola Harding & Co is a London-based interior design studio that creates places, not spaces. Rich in atmosphere, our interiors are refined and reassuringly familiar, reflecting and serving the people that use them.

About Nicola Harding & Co