Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you.
What is block print?
Block print is everywhere! It’s been around for centuries but has gained popularity in recent years. You’ll see it applied on clothing fabric and expressed all over the home. From the drapes you hang to the rugs you walk on and everything in between, it’s a great way to add dimension to your decor.
But what exactly is it? Block printing is an art form that originated in China and has been widely used in Asian culture for centuries. It was all done by hand using carved wooden blocks and dye. A single intricate design is repeated over and over into a pattern. Traditional motifs are nature inspired – like flowers or trees – but modern examples use geometric styles as well.
Authentic block printing is still alive and well. However, the process is slow and not conducive to mass-producing items like home decor and clothing textiles. Manufacturers create patterns by printing, weaving, or embroidering them into fabrics that mimic their hand-made counterparts. Despite the different methods, the results will have the same look.
Why use block print in your home decor?
When building the foundation of your design, start with a few core materials and colors. Once you select the base pieces, add different materials and patterns to create a layered and visually interesting look.
It doesn’t matter if you have a neutral aesthetic or if your style is out of the box and bold. Adding block print decor will tie your color palette together with style.
Add a floral quilt to a bedroom for a vintage touch or a geometric throw pillow to your modern living room. The possibilities are endless, but I’m going to share a few of my favorite ways to incorporate block print decor into your home.
This is an easy one! Already have patterns in your decor? No problem! Block print is a universal pattern for decor – it goes with everything! In my daughter’s big girl room, I used feminine block print bedding. It’s the perfect vintage element of the vintage modern design. The quilt and shams remind me of an English cottage and it blends seamlessly with the furniture and decor.
Juliet’s big girl room is a great example of how to mix patterns. The rug, bedding, drapes, and wallpaper (more on that below) all have a pattern, but the color tones work together to create a curated look.
Examples from my primary bedroom – even during the holidays!
Block print bedding ideas
Tap the images to get yours!
Block print throw pillows and blankets
If you’ve been here a while, you know I’m a neutral aesthetic fan. High-quality furniture pieces – like my West Elm velvet sofas – and a hand-knotted rug are the foundations of my living room design. They allow me to bring in smaller items with complementary colors and patterns.
Block print throw pillow and blanket ideas
Tap the images to shop!
Throw pillows and blankets are inexpensive in comparison and easy to swap out when you want to make a change. It’s amazing what a huge impact these small items can have on the look and feel of your space!
Here are examples of block print pillows in my living room. They are part of past collections and are no longer available, but you can see how the patterns and colors complement my other decor. Sharing links for other available pieces in both images:
Block print table linens
Adding patterned accents to a classic white kitchen or patio lounge area is a breeze. But I love the way this fabric creates such a festive vibe in my outdoor entertaining area. For my patio dining table, I paired a block print tablecloth with floral napkins then brought in woven chargers and vintage-looking hobnail glasses.
You can use patterned napkins with a solid tablecloth, but the pattern of a block print tablecloth hides any spills that are bound to happen, especially when you dine outdoors.
Wallpaper and drapes
As I mentioned earlier, I used block print wallpaper in my daughter’s bedroom. Actually, I’ve used it twice! In my post about neutral wallpaper you can see the Serena & Lily wallpaper I hung just a few years ago. I recently removed it and put up new wallpaper with a floral motif in a traditionally repeated pattern that provided that vintage modern style everyone is after these days.
I have a tutorial that explains everything you need to know about hanging wallpaper, but if you are looking for a simple way to add patterns to your walls, block print curtains are the way to go. My Two Pages x Stefana Silber drapes are an impeccable choice. They are available in a few different colors and the motif creates a soft pattern that is stunning in any room.
A common design dilemma is how to decorate a big blank wall. You can do this by hanging pattered drapes or wallpaper, but another option is wall art. If you have an eclectic wall gallery, adding block print art in the mix will be a piece of cake! Tap the images below to check out these options:
Block print rugs are all rage these days! Just about every designer has one in their lineup and weather-proof options add a unique look to your outdoor spaces. As with other mediums, the pattern is created by stamping the pattern on the surface or it can be woven into the fibers. It depends on the manufacturer and the materials used to make the rug.
Block print rug ideas
tap to get yours
I have a block print rug in my entryway and even though it has a bold pattern and border, the color scheme lends itself to a neutral look.