Today’s Hottest Design Trend That’s Been Here Since Antiquity!

If any of you have been reading laurel home for a while, you’ll know that I’m insanely obsessed with anything having to do with a Greek Key Pattern. It’s like close encounters of the Greek Key kind.

living room bronxville New York



Greek Key rug. Greek Key pillow. And Greek Key-esque sofa trim. I love it all. Someone once said it looks like Jackie Kennedy Onassis (may she rest in peace) should be lounging here. haha! I dunno.

A Jewish Hungarian girl from Evansville Indiana who grew up in a blah, nothing 50’s ranch that looks freakishly the same as it did 50 years ago is hardly cut from the same cloth as our Jackie O.

Still… we weren’t complete peasants.

Somewhere in the deep recesses of my obsessed brain, I remember this stately dwelling near the shores of the Ohio River.

Screen Shot 2015-06-03 at 5.32.52 PM

When my grandparents came down twice a year from Chicago, my grandmother would take me to this grand old hotel built in the 1920’s. The Hotel McCurdy. I have always gravatated to this era.

Today, I’m going to share with you lots of wonderful ways to use Greek patterns along with some fabulous resources and links to some cool tutorials.

I’ve been using Greek Key drapery trim since 2002— at least! The recent installation of this dining room prompted me to write about the classical Greek Key pattern which also just happens to be the hottest design trend!


above and below, interior design and photo by Laurel Bern (the clients owned the table, chairs, sideboard, lighting and silver. We did everything else.)


Here’s a closeup. duh.

terrat elms jamaica plain residence-9_hottest_design_trendTerrat Elms Interiors

Incredible living room with a double layer of elegant trim on the draperies. The grasscloth looks to be by Phillip Jeffries. Love his stuff!

denhamsSet of three reconstituted garden urns from Denhams

I’ll take them all. Now, if only I had a garden!


THE bathroom  we did last year with the Greek Key border. For more of this bathroom click here.


In my travels, I found some gorgeous dresses with Greek Key patterns. Hmmm… maybe there is such a thing as reincarnation. I’ll take either of these!


How chic is that dress!

met-museum-greek-key-dressMetropolitan Museum of Art – Dress, American (!) cotton and wool, circa 1862

The Greek Key design persisted into the 20th century


This is the Princess  Helen or Elena (later queen) of  Romania.
It’s supposed to be a tiara. What’s funny is that over the years, the tiara got pushed further and further up her head.

Greek_Key_Tiara_Helenyou can also read about the history of the Greek Key Tiara here


1st-dibs-the-high-boyPair of Mid-Century Greek Key lamps from 1st Dibs

photo-lee-kleinhelter-lonny-greek-key-vintage-tumblerPhoto: Lee Kleinhelter for Lonny

vintage tumblers. You can find a lot of great vintage items like this on Etsy. All of the vendors on there take a heavy dose of nice pills and the prices are usually very reasonable.

AnikPearson_AliceBlack_emily_gilbert_photography_alice_black_interiors_hottest_design_trendAlice Black Interiors

photo: Emily Gilbert

Achingly pretty!

mary-richer-fuller-Greek-Key-Trim-Washi-Tape-Desk-5_hottest_design_trendMay Richer Fuller Be

May gives a step by step tutorial on how she made this awesome top on this desk with washi tape. (whatever that is)

circa-who-hollywood-regency-greek-key-outdoor-chairs_hottest_design_trendFabulous vintage outdoor Greek chairs from Circa Who

Sorry, they are no longer available. Circa Who is a fabulous resource in beautiful West Palm Beach, Florida. Problem is, their stuff is sooooo fabulous, that it doesn’t hang around for very long. But if you like mid-century and/or Hollywood Regency, you’ll be in pig heaven either in their store or website.

lonny-greek-key_hottest_design_trendImage via Lonny

They don’t credit the source but it also looks like it might be from Circa Who.

Donna Dotan Photography Inc._hottest_design_trend_rob_stuart_interior_designinterior design: Rob Stuart

photo: Donna Dotan

How fabulous are those pillows? Wonderful colors. Love the painted legs on these charming chairs.


This is a waaaay cool company called O’verlays.  What are they? They’re lightweight, synthetic decorative panels that come in zillions of patterns. AND, if they don’t have what you’re looking for, they can make a custom design. I did that once for a door. I sent in a drawing and they produced the overlay very quickly.
I could see using them on the apron of a table too! Did I mention that you can paint them?

NEH - Honey Colllins, Manchester, MA Residence _photo_Bruce_Buck_hottest_design_trend

Fabulous Design by Honey Collins using Schumacher grasscloth. I found another example where it was also done on the ceiling. Love that! Photo: Bruce Buck

the-renovated-home-greek-key-blue-and-white-bathroom-hottest-design-trendThe Renovated Home

lonny-may-2015-greek-key-hottest-design-trend-roman-shades-greek-key-rug-bhdm-design-new-jersey-house-neo-traditional-living-roomBHDM Design via Lonny

How sick are those fiddle leaf trees? They make the room! Love the layered rugs.


 From a trip to see my son Cale and his lovely girlfriend Maureen in Boston, a year ago. That’s Jasmine resting on the fabulous old floor of the home they were tending to.

Well, that’s it for now with the Greek Key. Oh, I’m sure that it’ll be back!


I’m a classical girl!



14 Responses

  1. Laurel,
    Please stop blogging. Just when I think I’ve decided on some design themes for decorating my new house, you go and post more fabulous design ideas like these greek key designs. Stop. Fraking stop. Please.

    I LOVE your blog and the advice you provide for idiots like me!

    1. Hi Lisa,
      I know! The first one really made me laugh, the way it’s kind of dangling. Then someone must’ve said, “Dear, if you’re going to wear the damned thing on your forehead, you’ll need some coordinating diamond encrusted straps to hold it up.” lol

  2. Love this post Laurel! I love the Greek key pattern too, but recently I had forgotten about it. Thank you for the reminder. It’s one of those patterns that always looks good.

  3. I am thoroughly in agreement with the other comments. This is a beautiful post. The picture of your face on the column is brilliant and funny and charming. Bravo!

    I bet you also love Thibaut’s Malay Ikat!

    1. Hi Beth,

      haha! Yes, I do! And thank you about the caryatid. I crack myself up too! Just this morning, I found a Greek Key pattern with laurel running through it.

  4. Thoroughly enjoyed today’s post. The picture of your face on the statue made me laugh so much I had to copy my husband. He”s a 1st gen Greek Canadian. We live in Guelph, Ontario. We loved our trips to Boston,Cape cod, Salem, Williamsburg, and Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello. Our all-time favourite museum is the Isabella Stewart Gardener and those beautiful masterpieces by John Singer Sargeant. I drove my family crazy until we did the mansion tours in Newport. As for today’s post, my husband was a bit irked when I brought home a beautiful ivory arm chair for the living room with an all over Greek key pattern. I love anything in a classical style and when my mother and father in law brought back various cups and saucers with gold decorative borders in Greek key patterns after visiting family in Greece, I put them in my curio cabinet in my dining room. I think they are beautiful. My mother in law always goes into the dining room when she visits and I think it makes her smile to see that I display them. I grew up thinking how exotic and wonderful anything Greek and Roman was coming from parents with British ancestry. We always make less of our own background influences so I suppose that’s why my husband doesn’t want too much Greek references around. It’s too identifiable with his heritage and he grew up with it. I don’t care. I think it’s fabulous!!!!

    Love all your posts. They have been so much help when it has come to convincing my husband about decorating!! Saved us from so many arguments that all I have to say now is Laurel says this….. And he agrees! Wonderful!
    Thank you!

    1. Kelly,

      Thank you, thank you for this amazing comment. There is so much behind the scenes crapola going on with this blog. I haven’t written about it because it’s a big farking mess! But suffice it to say that it’s people like you who make it all worthwhile and keep me from saying, okay, you win.

      but if they we win, we all lose. So, I’m hanging in there and if need be, I’ll get a lawyer. Yes, it’s that bad.

  5. This was a very enjoyable post with a wealth of great ideas. You’ve shown that greek key has never gone out of style, with your examples from today and vintage from a variety of eras.

    When we completely remodeled our gross old living room in the mid 90s we added an anaglypta border at the top of the chimney breast, greek key design, trimmed with narrow white molding below and abutting added crown above. Below that the fireplace surround down to the mantel is wrapped in beveled glass. Twenty years later I still love it. At the time we also had a black and white greek key design dhurrie rug in the room but it hasn\’t survived a succession of many dogs and cats, and I was never able to find another.

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Hi, I’m Laurel, and Laurel Home is the website and blog for Laurel Bern Interiors.
I’ve been creating new-traditional interiors since 1988. The blog is where I share all.

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