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Chevron and Herringbone in Modern Home Design

Using Chevron and Herringbone Patterns in Modern Home Design

In the world of home design, patterns can play a pivotal role in setting the tone and style of a space. Chevron and herringbone, two patterns rich in history and visual impact, are particularly notable for their versatility and dynamic presence. In this blog, we’ll discuss chevron and herringbone design patterns, their origins, their differences, and why they remain a popular choice among homeowners and designers alike.


I always chuckle a bit when someone asks if these patterns are too trendy right now. Both chevron and herringbone patterns have a storied history, dating back to ancient times. The herringbone pattern, resembling the skeleton of a herring fish, has been used in Italian and French architecture for centuries, evident in the roads of the Roman Empire and later in the parquet flooring of grand European chateaus. Chevron, on the other hand, can be distinguished by its V-shaped pattern, a style that became prominent in 17th century France and has been synonymous with luxury and opulence ever since.

Understanding the Difference

Although often used interchangeably, chevron and herringbone are distinct in their layout and visual impact:

A chic and tranquil bathroom corner is depicted, characterized by its sophisticated tile work and serene ambiance. On the left wall, a striking herringbone pattern of matte grey tiles adds a dynamic and modern touch to the decor. This textured wall contrasts beautifully with the adjacent wall, which features simpler, light grey subway tiles laid in a traditional brick pattern, enhancing the room's depth and dimension. A narrow recessed shelf, framed by a sleek black border, provides a decorative niche, showcasing a tasteful arrangement of bathroom accessories including a spherical nautical-themed decor piece and a couple of vases with lush greenery, adding a touch of organic vibrancy to the space. The corner is further accentuated by the presence of a white bathtub, with its pristine edge visible, inviting relaxation. A large window with white trim on the right side floods the space with natural light and frames a view of verdant trees, reinforcing the bathroom's serene and refreshing atmosphere. The thoughtful design choices suggest a harmonious blend of functionality and style, creating an elegant retreat within the home.

Herringbone: This pattern is created by placing rectangles in a staggered zigzag pattern, where each rectangle is aligned with the end of the rectangle beside it, forming a broken zigzag pattern. Featuring: Renovation Rekindle S2E6: Same Space, Different Place.

This kitchen portrays a contemporary design featuring a large window that bathes the room in natural light, offering a view of lush greenery outside. The window trim and framing are painted white, matching the walls and creating a fresh and clean aesthetic. Below the window, the backsplash is adorned with grey chevron tiles, contributing a touch of elegance and texture to the space. On the windowsill, there are two rectangular planters with vibrant green plants, adding a pop of color and life to the scene. The countertop, boasting a marble-like finish, extends seamlessly to a deep, under-mount sink with a modern stainless-steel faucet, indicating functionality paired with style. The presence of electrical outlets on the backsplash suggests convenience for kitchen appliances, while the absence of visible clutter indicates a minimalist and tidy space, likely designed to appeal to those who appreciate a blend of modern design and natural elements in their living environment.

Chevron: This pattern is created when angle-cut pieces meet at perfect points creating a continuous zigzag design. This seamless alignment is visually striking and often gives the illusion of a more open space.

Why Choose Chevron and Herringbone?

Unlike some trends that have come and gone, chevron and herringbone patterns have stood the test of time. When incorporating chevron or herringbone patterns into your home, consider the following tips:

  • Flexibility: These patterns can be executed in a variety of materials, including wood, tile, and fabric, allowing for creative flexibility in design choices.
  • Material Size: The size of the material can drastically affect the overall look. Larger pieces can modernize a space, whereas smaller pieces can offer a more classic and detailed appearance.
  • Direction of the Pattern: The direction in which the pattern runs can influence the perception of space in a room. Running the pattern along the longest dimension of the room can create an illusion of length.
  • Color Palette: While these patterns can stand out in neutral tones, using bold colors can turn them into a striking design statement.

These patterns aren’t just for tile! We custom-carved a chevron pattern into these wood panels for the back of this mudroom bench (featured in our Nature-Inspired Home Tour). 

Multi-Color Herringbone

These showers are both examples of multi-colored herringbone tiles. One with lighter grays and light green hues (from the Boy’s Bathroom Project), and the other with more bold charcoals and light grays (from Renovation Rekindle S1E8: Rebuilding an Abandoned Home).

Double Herringbone Tile

Something fun about these patterns is how creative you can get. Above, we chose a double herringbone pattern, which almost gives the illusion of a basket-weave pattern. This bold pattern and rich shade contrasts very well with the white grout and cabinetry. Featured in Renovation Rekindle S1E8: Rebuilding an Abandoned Home.

Chevron and herringbone are more than just trendy patterns; they’re enduring design elements that offer a beautiful timeless charm. Whether you’re renovating an old space or building a new home, it’s worth considering incorporating these patterns into your design.

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