Mood changers: chevrons, herringbones, versailles, and randomness.

Chevrons, herringbones, versailles, basket weaves–patterns. They’re everywhere! We’ve been talking about this trend of patterns and asking: what is it that makes people attracted to them? It turns out there are studies that look at our brain’s reactions and our emotional reactions to patterns. We see patterns even where there are no patterns.

So what is it about patterns that keep us coming back for more? We know they allow us to simplify daily life. Patterns can be calming and comfortable. Or intense and exciting. Here are the top patterns we’re seeing today (and why they’re attractive):

1): Chevrons and herringbones: The repetition and symmetry of these patterns in natural or monochromatic tones evokes the calming and harmonious. The angles inherent in herringbone and chevron give the surface a gentle movement, allowing the eye to travel up and down in a soothing manner.

Chevron pre-panelized reclaimed mixed hardwoods.

Natural wood tones offer more monochromatic consistency.


Custom finished to a deep, consistent tone for The Douglas in Vancouver.


2): Chevrons and herringbones—2.0: These patterns are flexible; they can be dragooned into eliciting excitement of the unexpected by incorporating various finishes that randomize or define the pattern.


Jered and Roblyn shared our custom mix of herringbone flooring and paneling at a few national trade shows.


Combining our Raked texture with opaque color tones on reclaimed oak brings new dimension, movement, and vibrancy to the chevron pattern.

Herringbone in reclaimed mixed hardwoods with original surfaces.


3): Versailles: Larger, pre-panelized Versailles-inspired designs in neutral shades create a repeating pattern in a way we expect, but offer more visually interesting and dynamic surfaces than their unembellished counterparts.

Each reclaimed oak piece was hand fitted to this Versailles pattern for a NYC apartment.


4): Slat walls and Shiplap: The symmetrical and repeating lines create a soothing rhythm for the eye as well as defining spaces. Traveling up and over multiple planes, with varying space between boards, allows the slats to feel as though they are marching or moving.

Crisp and clean lines with even spacing soothe the mind.


Shiplap celebrates sharp and even lines similar to slat walls, but without the spacing between planks.


5): Slat walls 2.0 and Block walls: Intensity and energy–easily achieved with non-repeating patterns like the trendy slat wall and block walls.

Our perceptions and expectations influence our emotions, so breaking an expectation, like eliminating any specific pattern plus showcasing a mixture of original surfaces, wooden slat walls draw attention and keep the energy going. Photo by Cleary O’Farrell.


The multi-sized, dimensional slats of this wall add moment and interest to a singular toned reclaimed Douglas fir wall.

Have you ever glided your hand across a multi-dimensional wall? (Or observed a child attempting to climb it?!) The unexpected variation in depths and textures is a break in pattern, it piques our curiosity and grabs attention. This end block wall feature lives in Village Gate, an urban-like-mall in Rochester NY.


6): Basket Weave: These small Shou Sugi Ban Color Char “tiles”, an experiment from our finishing shop, were set out for our team to rearrange whenever the urge struck. Basketweave patterns turned up with regularity. As basket weaving was one of the widest crafts of early human civilization, it isn’t terribly surprising that our team found their Zen moments creating the repeating ‘weave’:

When color tiles were added, the team’s mixes of tones and textures became more lively and dimensional:

We know we’re naturally programmed to memorize and seek patterns as way to organize and understand the world around us (including finding faces in randomness*). In design patterns can help achieve the predictable and calm or push to the dissonant and intriguing. What’s next? How do wood patterns fit your design palette? We can pre-panelize your desired pattern or provide all the right pieces to put it together on-site. Let us know how we can best help make your vision a reality.

*Apophenia is the human tendency to visualize patterns out of randomness–like seeing animals in cloud formations. Pareidolia is a type of apophenia specific to our tendency to see faces everywhere–in rock formations, or a plate of food…or in the surface of a plank of wood.


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