Do you know the old Superman bit? “Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s Superman!” That’s kind of how we feel about paisley upholstery fabrics. Look at furniture all around the world! It’s a tadpole! It’s a teardrop! It’s a mango! No, it’s paisley!
It’s a strange but strangely satisfying pattern. At once, abstract and familiar — albeit a bit trippy. And so universally relatable that it’s downright timeless and finds itself at home throughout the ages in all kinds of design and fashion styles.
So we thought it was worth devoting some time to. That’s what we’ll be doing today. Just for fun and out of curiosity, we’ll first explore a bit about the origins and history of paisley.
Then we’ll look at design styles really well-suited to be built centrally around paisley. And finally, we’ll look at how you can use paisley upholstery in pretty much any design style you see fit to add interest and impact to your home or office interior.
A Brief History Of Paisley — aka, Paisley, You Look Great For Your Age!
Let’s get right to it: Persia. That’s the best guess of where it all started for paisley. In Ancient Persia (like early AD ancient), roughly in the same neighborhood as modern-day Iran-Pakistan-India.
What is the pattern supposed to be? Precisely speaking? *insert shrug* It’s not clear whether the initial intention was a fruit shape or teardrop or kidney or something else altogether. What is clear is that various colorful renditions of the basic underlying pattern have found their way into both fashion and furnishings pretty much ever since. In short, humans really seem to like it.
Over the centuries, it became associated with royalty and elevated style and was often formal and regal. And then it re-emerged in the 20th century as both opulent and bohemian, suited for luxury and every day. And it became something more accessible and far more versatile in its applicability.
And that’s where it finds itself today. Perched at the intersection of chic and quirky, of classic and contemporary. Symbolizing nothing and all kinds of things. And still enchanting and intriguing the heck out of us.
3 Home Design Vibes To Give Your Home A Paisley-Powered New Look
Interestingly, as long, storied, and varied a history as paisley has, it’s not locked into one sort of official “Paisley Interior Design Style.” There are, however, a few kinds of design vibes we’d like to highlight that particularly lend themselves to using paisley patterned fabrics.
For starters, boho — whether boho chic or full-on bohemian. Also often identified with the psychedelic styles of the 60s, if you’re taking your home boho, adding a mix of bold and playful patterns is encouraged. Like Tiki Pheonix, with its golden yellows and deep peaches. Or maybe a groovy blue and burgundy paisley. The idea is playful and energetic.
Paisley also happens to be something “hippies” and “preppies” agree on. So paisley is right at home in traditional design as well. Like a roll-arm sofa decked out in a regal merlot paisley. Or a dining room offering elevated elegance with traditional upholstered dining room chairs and window drapes in a calming and dignified sea glass floral paisley print.
You use the pattern throughout the space, including wallpaper and all or most of the furniture. Creating a unique experience and feeling and also allowing accents like photos, artwork, and greenery to really be showcased in contrast. There’s room here to give it a more contemporary edge, too. Try a more clean and high-contrast paisley like a Raven black and white print fit for a crackling modern creative space.
The essential idea with these three style examples is to simply say, “Yes, you can.” If you love paisley, regardless of where you land on the style spectrum, there’s a way for you to bring paisley — and lots of it — into your home or office.
Simple Ways You Can Use Paisley To Fit Your Home’s Design Style Now
Or not. Perhaps you’d prefer not to pick a peck of paisley for your home interior, but a pop of paisley feels lovely and like it might be just your style. Great! That’s totally doable. That’s right. We’re looking at you, decorative accents, and accent pieces.
Take a reading chair in an otherwise neutral space and give it some paisley pizazz without overwhelming the design scheme with a soft teal Capri pattern. Or make it stand out with a gorgeous sapphire blue woven paisley fabric.
And you can, of course, add paisley to virtually any design style through throw pillow accents. Take white or otherwise light monochromatic furniture and add a subtle and uplifting paisley pattern in a leaf green — also a trending color, btw. Keep a contemporary look intact but add some unique floral and paisley patterned pillows in Larkspur blue, purple, and brown. Or add an uplifting — and a bit beachy — accent to your home office with curtains in a lagoon aqua paisley pattern.
Getting the idea? A little goes a long way. And you pretty much can’t do it wrong. (It is your space, after all.)
What Was Old Is New Again: Time To Bring The Power Of Paisley Home
There’s a reason paisley has been around for nearly two thousand years. (Also, that’s still amazing even after writing this.) It’s familiar enough to evoke and ground and abstract enough to inspire. It can be a countless number of color patterns. And whether you want to build your whole look around it or just offer a few accents here and there, it somehow just works.
So if our little celebration of the power of paisley have you drifting into paisley upholstery dreams, we’ve got you covered. With everything from design experts to custom slipcovers and a wide selection of paisley and many more patterns, we love to help you make your design dreams come true. Give us a call today.