Treat Your Floors to a Touch of Tartan

Tartan patterned carpet in bedroom

You don’t have to be Scottish to love tartan – nor an ex-pat American, for that matter. You can simply be a fan of this centuries old design for its many terrific patterns and bold (or subtle) contrasting shades.

And we do mean centuries old – the first ever tartan dates all the way back to the third century. It was used for home decor then and was only first worn as a kilt around the 16th century. It became ‘trendy’ in the 18th century when local weavers would make their own designs – hence the different varieties.

But back to homes, at Deben Carpets and Flooring we’ve received a lot of enquiries recently about how and when to incorporate tartan flooring in the home. We certainly have a few ideas and here they are right here:

Mix a tartan carpet with glamorous furniture

Made from heavy wool and with a bold colour scheme, tartan can be brought bang-up-to-date and made to look quirky in a bedroom when teamed up with, for instance, a Baroque lacquered head board, a mirrored glass dressing table or shabby chic white bedside table. It’s all about the contrast of textures…

Use your tartan’s main colour for accents

A great way to incorporate a tartan carpet into a room is to pick out its dominant shade and use that as an accent colour for vases, cushions, and plain curtains (patterned would prove too much of a clash). Grey accents would work well with this contemporary-coloured carpet from Whitestone’s extensive tartan range:

Tartan makes an excellent stair runner

It’s all about the lines… and tartan has plenty of them. Vertical lines look great on a staircase, as you can see right (below) with this smart and contemporary tartan stair carpet we fitted recently. The trick is to keep the actual staircase plain. The white painted stairs here pick out the white in this grey tartan:


This stair runner in this next image has less of a contrasting tartan, using far more muted and subtle shades. But it still looks equally as smart and modern; again, the stairs have been painted plain white to show off the tartan better:


Go for a traditional Highland cottage look

Tartan carpets look great when paired with dark wood or light pine furniture to replicate a Scottish country cottage look. Who doesn’t love an old Scottish manor house or castle with its rich tartan carpets, old paintings and big stone fireplace (with a wee nip of whisky nearby to fend off the cold Highland weather?).

Brinton’s Abbeyglen range is named after an old Castle (not Scotland right enough –but Ireland): It’s a bright, ‘warming’ shade:

Tartan carpets: why you should

  • Not only does the wool in tartan carpets make them extremely warm and comfortable to walk on in bare or stocking feet, but they’re also extremely insulating – so you can look forward to lower utility bills.
  • A tartan carpet can be an opportunity to personalise your home by having one in a room or on the staircase to celebrate your ancestry – with each clan family having their own named tartan. Check to see if yours has.
  • Fashion designer Vivienne Westwood is a huge fan of the beauty and boldness of tartan. So why not add some to your flooring for a bit of contemporary chic?

Here at Deben Carpets and Flooring we have an impressive range of bold and muted tartans in a variety of colour schemes. Take a look at our selection today and feel free to give our team a call, tel: 01473 626097. We’d be happy to advise on style, design and manufacture. And we’ll also come lay it for you.

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