7 Graphic Patterns For Home Decor You Don’t Know the Names Of—But Will Now!

Patterns you don't know the name of.

Graphic patterns, whether used for a wall or an accent, can make or break a room’s interior design, but so many people shy away from incorporating them. There’s no reason to be intimidated—many graphic patterns are actually of ancient origin and have a long history of use—some for thousands of years. Here’s a primer featuring 7 on trend graphic patterns for you to consider adding to your home—and now you’ll know exactly what you’re talking about when you hear the buzzwords! 


Damask pattern.

Image: Cutting Edge Stencils

Damask originally comes from Damascus (Syria) and its origins are rich, woven textiles. The defining characteristics of the damask pattern is that it features a reversible (mirrored) decoratively ornate focal point. Two-color contrast damasks are the most popular. Damask is very ornate and can be used when you want to add some drama, so it should be the star of any room that incorporates it, so be careful with damask as it can overpower a room.

Faux Bois

The faux bois pattern.

Image: Sew Gracious

Faux bois is French for “fake wood” and it attempts to depict the graininess of real wood. Faux bois is part of the trompe-l’oeil family—designs meant to fool the eye. It can be used to create a wood-paneled look via wallpaper , used on faux bois throw pillows and textiles, and more. Faux bois can be a great way to incorporate a pattern in your home decor but have it present as a neutral. It’s also a pattern that lends itself to both casual (urban cabin!) and more sophisticated interiors.


The quatrefoil pattern.

Image: designed beginnings

The word quatrefoil means “four leaves” in Latin and it describes a symmetrical shape made up of circular and overlapping segments. It has its roots in Christian symbolism and can take the form of a single quatrefoil shape or in a repeat pattern of quatrefoils (like the wallpaper shown above). The quatrefoil is also a common theme in Moroccan-style patterns.


The chevron pattern.


The chevron pattern is a bold, geometric inverted v-shaped pattern that can be traced back to ancient times. It’s seen some recent popularity in the home design world and can be used on walls, furniture, accessories and more. It does well in both modern and contemporarily decorated homes, and works as a dynamic pattern without getting too fussy.

Greek Key

The Greek key pattern.

Image: FestiveHomeDecor

The Greek key pattern also comes to us from the ancient world. It consists of a continuous line that folds into itself to create blocks. It’s often used as a border for curtains or molding, but can be used more comprehensively in smaller doses too (like the pillows, above). It’s also a bold, geometric pattern like chevron (also above, shown with ikat, in the middle, as well).


The ikat pattern.

Image: toni marie designs

Ikat is a pre-Columbian resist dyeing and weaving technique that is still utilized today. The prints that technique produces can be described as exotic by some, and do offer a lot of variation, although the most popular features repeat patterns of jagged or blurred oval-like shapes. It can be used to add a bit of bohemia or looseness to your graphic pattern decor.


Houndstooth pattern.

Image: Antiquated Revolution

Houndstooth makes one think of Sherlock Holmes, although it has its beginnings in Scotland. It’s a variation of the checked pattern and features skewed or broken checks. It’s a traditional menswear fabric pattern and subsequently imbibes a more masculine or distinguished  feel to rooms that include it. It can be more stately, but also used in fresher, modern ways as well, depending on the room and furniture style that accompanies it.

Top Image: Pat Print by Amy

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Jen Wallace

Jen Wallace shares her indie life by writing about making, creating, cooking, learning, playing, decorating, and pretty much anything else that strikes her fancy from indie biz tips to the modern history of the American hemline.