Boosting Energy with Iconic Chevron

Photo by Interior Enhancement Group

Thanks, Dering Hall!

Many thanks to the editors at Dering Hall for including one of our luxurious suburban Chicago dining room projects in their photo feature 25 Beautiful Spaces Featuring Chevron Patterns. Check it out and enjoy all the creative ways designers are using this versatile pattern! We chose a tailored chevron fabric from Kravet, for the dining room chairs featured in the article, above. It provides a boost of energy and a feeling of welcoming elegance.

Rich and Textural Fabric

The gray and soft white design is eye-catching but not overwhelming because we chose a solid complementary fabric for the fronts and seats of the chairs. While some chevrons are very simple, this fabric is more complex, not only in the shadings of color but in the narrow, vertical pattern that runs behind the zig-zagging horizontal stripes. The result is rich and textural, and it blends beautifully with the rug because we chose a larger, more free-form, branch and leaf design from DavisandDavisRugs.

custom wine storage in dining room

Custom illuminated wine storage is another sophisticated accent in this elegant dining room.

Chevron Balancing Act

Because chevron is bold and lively, the biggest challenge is balance. It’s a jazzy variation on stripes that creates the illusion of movement, so it’s important to anchor the room with more relaxing elements, as we did above. Mixing the tailored chevron pattern with the organic elements in the room – the agate chandelier, stone fireplace and unusual custom wine cabinet from Wood-Mode  – contributed to the casual-luxe tone our clients wanted as well. As a side note, we were able to fit eight chairs comfortably around the table because we chose a square style that allows for two chairs on each side. Our clients love this two-by-two arrangement because it encourages conversation during dinner parties.

chevron in fashion dress

Italian fashion designers Ottavio and Rosita Missoni revived the classic chevron pattern. Photo courtesy of Saks Fifth Avenue.


A Little Chevron History

People have had a love affair with chevron dating back at least to 1800 B.C., when the pattern was used on ancient Grecian ceramics, pottery and rock carving. The zig-zags were popular on 12th Century heraldry, too, decorating European shields and banners. You can find chevrons on military insignia and high-fashion designs in modern times as well. But the word chevron, whose roots are French and Latin, doesn’t appear until the late 14th century. It derives from the similarity of the pattern to building rafters. The Art Deco movement from 1925 to 1940, with its emphasis on bold, geometric forms, reignited interest in the chevron pattern. That attention was carried forward in 1958, when Italian fashion designers Ottavio and Rosita Missoni revived the classic pattern with a line of knitwear that was the talk of the Milan runways. Today the Missoni fashion house still embraces chevron, as in the classic, calf-length dress above that we discovered at SaksFifthAvenue.

chevron pillows

From Kravet, tiny tangerine throw pillows in chevron mix well with other patterns and colors.

Where to Use Chevron

My team and I think chevron is a timeless look that will never lose its appeal. It is constantly being updated with new colors, fabrics and patterns that run at angles or in a more free-wheeling style.  Chevron can be thick, colorful and bold or delicate, neutral and subtle. It can be blended into a variety of interior design styles and in a wide-range of furnishings. Here are some ideas to consider:

  • Think small. If you’re hesitant to make a big statement with chevron, start with a decorative pillow, such as the petite tangerine rectangles in the photo above from

    Kravet. Notice how easy it is to pair chevron with other patterns? Picture frames and trays are other good ways to introduce chevron in small doses.

chevron pouf missoni

Casual chevron pouf from Missoni.


  • Tone down the energy. This casual pouf from Missoni  combines muted colors with a lively pattern.
  • Floor them. A chevron rug or tile floor makes a dramatic statement but doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Control the impact by going all-out with big, brightly colored styles or choose smaller patterns in softer colors. Either way, pair chevron with more reserved furnishings and let it shine.
  • Deck the walls. Chevron wallpaper or tile backsplash is another way to make an impact in a room. You can choose to do one wall or more, if you’re feeling splashy.
  • Treat your windows. Chevron can be an accent on a chevron cornice board or a focal point as Roman panels or full-length draperies.
  • Brighten a vignette. An accent chair or bench with a chevron upholstered seat can enliven a foyer, a hallway nook or a makeup vanity.

Want to know more? Contact us at 847-705-9569.