West Elm’s New Collaboration Is the SoCal Take on Cottagecore
A pattern-mixing pro’s tips for pulling off gingham in 2021.
Published May 6, 2021 11:23 AM
Heather Taylor might be a third-generation Angeleno, but the textile designer and owner of Heather Taylor Home doesn’t subscribe to the typical Southern California, mid-century modern style. Her signature gingham and striped prints exude Laura Ashley vibes with a laid-back twist—for proof, look no further than her Laurel Canyon family home. “The conundrum of the house was to infuse old-world charm into this modern shell in a way that honors what it is,” she told us in our Winter 2020 issue.
Lucky for all of us, she’s bringing her L.A.-meets-the-Cotswolds aesthetic to the masses with a just-launched collaboration with West Elm that spans 100-plus products, from throw blankets to table runners to weatherproof cushions. Ahead, a look at our favorite pieces from the Heather Taylor Home for West Elm collection and Taylor’s tips for mixing and matching patterns like a pro.
Break the Ice Over Dinner
For those who are new to decorating with gingham, the designer says the best way to dip your toe in is with tabletop staples. “Napkins are the perfect starter piece,” she says, noting the sage-hued ones pair seamlessly with any style of dishware and placemats. Their easy look and affordable price tag ($25 for a set of four) mean you’ll actually use them every single meal.
Play Up Proportions
When it comes to picking pieces that work together, it’s all about choosing a variety of scales. “It’s a way to keep these classic prints feeling fresh and new,” notes Taylor (or in other words, not grandma-y). The designer points out that a larger gingham print looks best on pillows and quilts, while a more delicate take on the pattern is ideal for a table runner. And don’t be afraid to break up the repetition with some florals and stripes: If things are complementary colors (think: sunny yellow with deep berry), then they’ll automatically look cohesive.
Get Inspired by the Outdoors
Taylor’s color-combining method of the moment? Pairing traditional blue and green with unexpected nutmeg and marigold. “Colors from nature have a very soothing effect,” she explains. The bathroom is the perfect place to experiment with new shades (you’re the only one who really sees it), so have fun with your shower curtain. Whoever said it had to be white?
Throw a Low-Key Picnic, Sans Table
Backyard picnics are a regular warm-weather activity at Taylor’s home, which she shares with her husband, Alex de Cordoba, and their two daughters, Scarlett (6) and Marigold (3). For a solid foundation, she’ll throw down blankets and lots of pillows to make it look welcoming. Then her new West Elm indoor-outdoor floor cushions come in handy. “I approach my outdoor styling similar to layering tables, so between the floor cushions and blankets, everyone will feel comfortable,” she says. Top it off with a rattan tray, bud vase, and fresh lemonade and—voilà!—summer done right.