Zigzag design trend moves with the times
There's a bold new movement in interior design, and there's nothing straightforward about it. It goes by many names -- herringbone, flame stitch, egg hatch, chevron -- and it's a much more exciting way to lead the eye from point A to point B than the predictable straight line. --KRISTIN TAVEIRA, Special to Newsday
Interior trends are often inspired by the fashion world, so anyone who saw the Missoni spring line should have seen this coming: Zigzag patterns have raced from the runway to the home, showing up in everything from architectural accents to fabric and floor coverings. For instance, a showstopping chevron in shades of blue made a splash in the dining room of the 2012 Hampton Designer Showhouse in Water Mill.
"I'm seeing it used in lots of different ways," says one of the room's designers, Austin Handler of Mabley Handler in Water Mill. "When you use a zigzag, your eye goes right to it." (July 16, 2012)
Zigzag takes a tried-and-true look to the next level, designer Austin Handler explains. "Geometric prints have been popular the last few years," designer Austin Handler says. "What's nice about zigzag and chevron patterns is they're in the same realm as geometric prints, but they add a little more movement and excitement in the room, where a regular geometric pattern can feel one-dimensional."
This Kings Point living room by Roslyn architect and designer Sussan Lari features a hardwood floor laid in a herringbone pattern.
Click through to see five ways the zigzag zeitgeist is spreading through home interiors.
1. A PATTERN WITH PUNCH. A chair in black, white and gray flame stitch and a white pillow with black zigzags make an almost audible pop against the serene and sophisticated grays of this 2012 Hampton Designer Showhouse space by Old Town Crossing, a Southampton showroom and design center.
"It's a great way to make a bold statement in a room," says Handler. "But be careful how you use it, because if you're using other patterns with it, they can clash very easily," he cautions. "It's best to let that be the feature in the room." (July 16, 2012)
For similar seating, try the Zigzag Armless Settee, with 100 percent cotton upholstery in a gray and white chevron pattern ($499.99 at target.com).
2. DRESS IT UP OR DOWN. The multitalented zigzag rug is equally at home in formal or relaxed settings. A bold black and white rug dresses up a casual space on designer Margreet Cevasco's Sea Cliff porch.
Meanwhile, the same playful pattern in neutral shades can keep grown-up rooms from taking themselves too seriously, says designer Austin Handler.
"It prevents them from being the Thanksgiving and Christmas room," he says. In this East Hampton dining room, right, "the furniture choices are quite elegant, and by adding the sisal rug, we made it a little more casual," he says. "It's adding that Hamptons layer to ensure the rooms don't end up feeling too formal and out of reach."
3. MAKING WAVES IN THE BATH. Herringbone tile work creates depth and dimension within the sleek shower design in this Brookville bath by Roslyn architect and designer Sussan Lari. If you don't want to commit to tile, a vibrant fabric is a fun, less permanent way to play with the look.
Beachy blues in wavy patterns punch up this designer show house bath by Southampton and Manhattan designer Carole Reed. The wiggly lines share the stage with geometric patterns for a cutting-edge look.
"This was 2011, but I was already seeing the kinetic trend of zigzag and herringbone," Reed says.
4. ELEGANT FLOORING. In this Kings Point home by Roslyn architect Sussan Lari, the expanse of herringbone-patterned hardwood flooring makes a dramatic statement with staying power.
"There's a real craft in laying beautiful wood floors and any kind of inlay," says Port Washington designer Keith Baltimore. "The craft of it makes it extremely opulent." (Sept. 13, 2012)
If you love the look but only have the budget for a limited area, make it count by splurging on the foyer, Baltimore advises. He designed this Sands Point foyer.
"You can never make a second first impression," he says. "The idea of any foyer is supposed to let you say, 'Wow, I can't wait to see what else is in the house.' It's the foreword of the book."
5. ALL ABOUT THE DETAILS. Don't overlook the little things: Small spaces provide unique opportunities for architectural accents.
"The distinctive herringbone-pattern fireboxes that adorn palaces and castles throughout Europe" were the inspiration behind this hearth design in the Southampton residence, says designer Carole Reed. "We split warm red brick to create this pattern."
Reed used a similar pattern in white tile for the backsplash.
"I was looking to mirror the herringbone that we had laid in the hardwood floor details at the entrance to each room and the hearth details," Reed says. "These sorts of details, however small, make a home feel authentic and warm."