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Straight from the Runway: Folk-Inspired Decor

Patchwork motifs. Unexpected pairings of prints, materials, and tones. Folk is the next home decorating trend.

Call it folk, heritage craft, or the new Americana. One of fall's top global trends got its start in major fashion houses. Just page through Vogue and Vogue Paris, browse Etsy, or think about your friends who've taken up knitting, crocheting, or crafts. Patchwork motifs wowed on the runways of time-honored fashion brands such as Gucci, Valentino, and Dolce & Gabbana. At shows hosted by newer fashion brands like Alexander McQueen, Coach 1941, and Public School, this homage to heritage was hard to deny. But the folk look isn't just big in fashion—it's popping up in the most stylish homes everywhere. Eugénie Trochu of Vogue Paris has defined the modern interpretation of folk style as "mixing and matching unexpected pairings of prints, materials and tones," unrestricted by a specific color palette, pattern, or formula.

Create the Look

One of the best ways to infuse the folklore spirit into interior design is to add a crafty twist to mainstay items. A style traditionally characterized by tales of the past, patchwork quilts, bohemian prints, and countryside elements can be juxtaposed with dissimilar items. Mixing different types of art on a gallery wall, planting graphic pillows side by side, or pairing unexpected fabrics and color combinations make it easy to incorporate the folk trend. Swap out plain plates for something with a little texture or an eye-catching pattern, like in the photo above. Pair them with graphic napkins and a metallic charger plate to curate an eclectic table setting. A burst of color, pattern, and texture will make a statement even in the most bland dining room.

Experiment with a Bath

Choose a wall as an accent. A bathroom can make more of a statement with various patterns and textures. Apply temporary wallpaper from floor to ceiling. The bolder the print, the bigger the impact. A patterned rug or tile with similar colors and scale is the perfect companion for the wallpapered wall. Top off the room with sleek metal accessories, balanced by cozier elements like faux-fur or wood details.

Folk Living

Bring the patchwork motif to life with a surprising combination of colors, designs, and materials throughout a larger living area, like a living room. Layer area rugs—one with more texture and the other with a bold design—on top of each other to create a central focal point. Introduce another pattern with a pillow or accent chair, tied together with a complementary color. Using multiple metals or wood finishes is another trick to achieving this look.

Shop the Look

Leandre Quilt, $78;

19" Maidenhair Planter, $65;

Uttermost Nicola Light Blue Decorative Mirror, $141;

Artemis Blue Area Rug, $41;

Rowan Table Lamp, $319;

Blending Materials and Finishes in the Kitchen

If you want to switch up your kitchen, stick to mixing materials and finishes instead of colors. A patterned backsplash is an easy way to create contrast without overwhelming the space. Opt for a blend of stainless steel appliances, chrome and copper fixtures, and an embellished countertop to try the trend. The key is to combine several styles, bringing together the various elements of each, to form a patchwork style all your own.

Shop the Look

Mozai'k Backsplash, $213;

Black Walnut Butcher Block Countertop, $625;

Stainless Steel Island Range Hood, $1,149;

Hand-Hammered Copper Light Fixture, $130;