Tartans are trending. The timeless look that we have come to know and love goes in and out of vogue. It's back in! Recently on my radar are the brighter colorations. These tartans have a fresh twist and they offer a contemporary room a touch of tradition (that ironically then makes it transitional.) That feels just right, right now!
All tartans are plaids but not all plaids are considered a tartan. A plaid pattern meets at right angles. With tartans, the horizontal and vertical angles are equal, creating a grid that sometimes create a blend of color saturation at said intersection of line.
I love Scot Meecham Wood's new collection of Scottish milled 100% wool plaids. They have long been a signature look of his.
What specifically appeals to me right now is how fresh tartan looks amongst a somewhat more contemporary design scheme. A traditional, classic, say, Ralph Lauren inspired interior always looks cozy and handsome, but tartan taken out of that context becomes more of a focal point, and less of a supporting player. Regardless, it does support other patterns and designs marvelously.
Carpets are following suit. These by Rosenfeld Carpet are kind of eye popping in their unusual color ways.
Decorator's Best has a great sampling of plaid fabrics for your perusing pleasure, should you be interested in incorporating this look into your interior project.
If brights aren't quite right for you, neutrals are always a no brainer : )