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Cosy, winter interior design ideas 2: check mate

Carrying on from yesterday's post ' Pile on the Plaid' we take a look at using checks rather than tartans and plaids. There are a number of options open if you wish to use checks, including a typical country cottage look to a more refined and elegant interior design style.

Gingham fabrics are those which are most associated with country cottages and can be used in all rooms for window blinds, curtains and soft furnishings. As this style of pattern is available in a wide range of colours you won't or shouldn't have any trouble finding a gingham in a colour to suit your décor.

Look for checked curtain fabrics online to use for cushions, throws and upholstery. Lighter colours such as greens and blues will provide a light and airy look to your rooms. Experiment a little and rather than having all your soft furnishings identical, mix and match colours and the size of the checks. You can also team checks with floral or striped fabrics to create an eclectic mix of colours and designs.

Try and keep al the shades and hues of colours within the same spectrum so that they harmonise with each other rather than one particular piece screaming for attention. Don't forget that checked patterns on floors have been around for a long time, if you want to add a touch of retro styling to your home black and white checked floor tiles are ideal for kitchens and bathrooms.

For a modern and contemporary look consider using paler tones to help ground your checked theme. Cheap rugs laid over stone or wooden flooring can also help to ground a theme, especially if you have a large or open-plan living area. Full length curtains will tie the theme together beautifully, the blackout lining will not only provide you with blackout properties it will also help your curtains to hang correctly, in addition to giving your windows another layer of insulation during the winter.

Just because you're using checks doesn't mean you have to go with a ranch, cowboy or country cottage theme. Brightly coloured checked childrens curtains are ideal for teaming with a wide range of colours as well as taking you away from the stereotypical 'blue for boys, pink for girls'. Look for lilac, yellow or greens to enable you to change your colour scheme without having to replace your children's curtains every year!

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