Combine plaids for visual impact.
Layering patterns of tartan and plaid adds instant texture and obvious visual tension to a room. Jean-Charles de Castelbajac featured daring combinations in his fall/winter 2011/2012 collection. In this cosy living room (pictured right), drapery sporting a classic bright-red tartan forms an arresting backdrop for a wide armless chair covered in a moodier blue-green plaid. A toss pillow picks up on the tones of both main tartans, while a throw featuring large grey and white checks tempers it all. For a less dramatic effect, start with plaid napkin rings for a Celtic-inspired dinner setting (lower left).