Herringbone Pattern – 5 Ways to Love it | oneplustwo design co


I love herringbone patterns and apparently I am not alone!  (featured image source: Dorsey Designs) Pinterest has tracked herringbone related saves to be up 131% and is listed on their top 100 trends to try in 2018.  (Check out my previous post on other hot design trends for 2018.)  So what exactly is a herringbone pattern and where did it come from?

herringbone pattern via Ted Todd

Believe it or not, the herringbone pattern is far from something new.  It’s actually one of the oldest and most enduring patterns in history.  Herringbone’s roots trace back as far as the Roman Empire and the ancient Egyptians.  The pattern was originally used in things like their road paving systems, in their textiles and jewelry details.  The pattern’s modern name of herringbone, comes quite literally from the herring fish.  It closely resembles the pattern found when examining the fish’s bones.  Strange but true!

herringbone pattern

The herringbone pattern is generally an arrangement of rectangles in a V-shaped zigzag pattern.  It is often called a broken zigzag.  This broken nature of the pattern is what differentiates it from other similar patterns like the chevron.  Although traditionally made with rectangles, herringbone has evolved.  It has grown to include parallelograms and even distorted hexagonal shapes in the arrangement.

herringbone pattern

Alhough not new to home decor, for a while herringbone was mostly seen in fabrics and fashion.  Recently, it has become increasingly popular with some clever design twists and modern adaptations.  I am excited to include the herringbone pattern on the floor of our ensuite reno project which is currently under way.  So if you are looking to find a way to add a little…or a lot…of herringbone to your home, here are a few clever inspirations for you to consider.


herringbone pattern via Lori Langille

Traditionally the herringbone pattern has been found in the floors of home decor.  Having this pattern on your floors, is a great way to add visual interest to a room from the ground up.  Consider the lengths of the material used during installation, as it will influence the overall feel of the design.  Shorter planks, for example, will create more of a focal point on the pattern.  Longer planks, on the other hand, will make the room feel more open and modern.

herringbone pattern via House and Home herringbone pattern via Greige Design


herringbone pattern via Brooke Wagner Design

Taking a step in a slightly different direction, we see a significant trend towards the herringbone pattern on walls.  Kitchens, bathrooms and fireplace surrounds for instance, all have a surge of herringbone related design ideas.  By playing with the scale and colour of the design, you can create a feature on your wall that adds a subtle elegance or makes a real statement to your decor.

herringbone pattern via Coco Cozy

herringbone pattern

via Home Adore

Home Textiles

herringbone pattern via Rugs USA

If committing to a herringbone floor or wall seems like too much, how about a splash of it in your room instead?  There is a growing amount of selection available in major home textile pieces like rugs, drapery and furniture that incorporate the herringbone pattern.  This can give your space a good splash of the pattern, without committing to something that cannot be easily changed in the future.

herringbone pattern via Jennifer Worts herringbone pattern via Restoration Hardware

Decor and Accessories

herringbone pattern via Curioos

For even simpler, low budget options, home decor and accessories are also a great way to add a touch of herringbone style to your home.  Herringbone pattern is available for large scale home decor items like artwork and barn doors.  Additionally it has also found its way into smaller details like toss pillows and wallpaper.  Some of these decor pieces are so easy to switch out, they can change seasonally.

herringbone pattern via Interior Barn Doors herringbone pattern via Craftionary herringbone patternEtsy

Herringbone Pattern – Expect the Unexpected

herringbone pattern via House of Turquoise

Here’s where this recent surge in the herringbone trend has really modernized the pattern.  We see it used increasingly in home design in unexpected ways and in unexpected places.  Designers are using herringbone on ceilings, mixing materials at transitions and blending pops of colour in new and beautiful ways.

herringbone patternHomebut.com herringbone patternWalls and Floors


Do you have a project that you opted for herringbone?  I’d love to hear about, please send me a note in the comments below.

For more design inspiration ideas, follow me on Pinterest!

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