It’s that time again—time for polka dots to make their decennial resurgence from the depths of forgotten fashion. Jumping onto the 2018 runways like a super chic case of Chickenpox, this simple geometric pattern was deemed ready-to-wear by the likes of Valentino, Dice Kayek and just about everyone in between. Pulling inspiration from some of our favorite runway and street styles, we’ve found 7 variations on this fashionable theme that work just as well, if not better, in your home.
Iconic Black & White
From Lucy Ricardo to Blonde Ambition-era Madonna, black-and-white polka dots are as iconic as the women who made them chic. There’s something about the simplicity of perfect circles coupled with high contrast black-and-whites that makes this classic look especially appealing. To bring this style home, pepper your polka dots into a design scheme with minimal—or zero—color.
If you like polka dots but want to avoid “Minnie Mouse” vibes, veer away from perfect circles. Splotchy, imperfect Dalmatian-style spots, like those found in this framed Caitlin McGauley print, are a great unexpected variation on this theme.
While this aesthetic shares a minimal approach with our black-and-white look, the results are quite different. Bringing in neutral tones takes polka dots from bold and poppy to mellow and accessible. To achieve this subdued look, stick with a strict color palette of natural, warm tones.
The restrained use of pattern in this entryway by Interior Junkie reminds us of Coco Chanel’s famous quote, “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take at least one thing off.” You really only need two or three dots to make a pattern, which is why these simple circular hooks qualify.
No need to sequester your spots to the two-toned color world. Polka dots are basically synonymous with fun, so mix it up with some color. If you don’t know where to begin, choose a color scheme inspired by a piece you love. Here, Gina Ciancio from Style Curator drew inspiration for her delightfully-dotted bedroom from the hues in the colorblock parrot print above her bed.
Again, polka dots = FUN, so we had to bring additional patterns to the party. If your polka-dotted paraphernalia is bordering on rockabilly, layering in plaids, stripes, florals, etc., is a great way to modernize things (just maybe steer clear of skulls and cherries). There are really no rules when it comes to this look, but sticking to a cohesive color palette is always a safe bet.
Rounded shapes and a poppy pastel color palette are the perfect complement to this unconventional polka dot rug from Deadgood. Using furniture and playful shapes with rounded edges to mimic your polka dot pattern is likely to yield satisfying results.
Add some glam to your space by way of glittery golden polka dots. All you need to recreate this wall treatment from Oh Joy!‘s Modernism House guest bedroom makeover is some gold paint and a circular stencil.
While this lamp by Studio x Viaduct in Copenhagen is minimal in design, its high-contrast large black-and-white pattern creates an unexpected pop amongst natural woods and neutral hues.
Whether or not polka dots are your thing, fashion is a great place to look for inspiration when your home needs an update. What other fashion trends do you think translate well to home design?