A Passion for Herringbone

I have long been a fan of this age old pattern and am now starting to see it everywhere in design. Herringbone is essentially an arrangement of rectangles into shapes that resemble the skeleton of a fish. Hence the name "herring-bone"! It is also sometimes called a chevron pattern.  While they look very similar, there is a difference. Herringbone has a break at reversal so that it resembles an interrupted zigzag. The rectangle arrangements are interlaced. Chevron, on the other hand, is a repeated pattern of inverted V shapes that seemingly connect along a straight line. Within these rules are variations. Can you spot them?

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Source: Apartment therapy

Source: Apartment therapy

I love the look of a herringbone tile pattern. You can create your own herringbone pattern using rectangular tiles or if you're less ambitious you can buy smaller herringbone mosaics that usually come in 12x12 sheets and make tilling much faster and easier. Depending on how you lay out the tiles or by choosing a light or dark grout you can have some very different looks. 

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Herringbone also looks beautiful in hardwood flooring. Some of the most sophisticated homes I have been in have herringbone floors. It might have something to do with the hours of labour and large sums of money they require! Today some engineered flooring companies now offer herringbone options which look almost as good as the real deal.

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Small and large scale herringbone is popping up on fabrics and upholstery everywhere too... I love the subtle look of soft herringbone on a sofa or the bold chevron on wallpaper and pillows. Notice how the chevron is more modern than the more traditional herringbone pattern.

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Some more great spaces full of herringbone & chevron to inspire:

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