Designers Say Denim Is the Trendy Neutral You Need to Try

Take inspiration from your favorite pair of jeans and use denim to add a cool and casual feel to your space.

<p>Courtesy of Chelius House of Design / Jessica Alexandra</p>

Courtesy of Chelius House of Design / Jessica Alexandra

Like a good pair of jeans, denim home decor can bring an effortlessly cool and casual feel to any space. While the material might initially make you think of classic '90s style, its durability and versatility translates well into modern home decor. "Denim is a surprising new material, which is making a shift from the runways to home decor," says interior designer Desiree Burns. When used thoughtfully, denim material exudes comfort and creates a lived-in aesthetic.

If you're considering incorporating denim into your own home, there are endless possibilities. Dip your toes in this new trend with a deep indigo armchair pillow, or go all in with a worn denim sectional made for relaxed lounging. We've enlisted industry experts to give their takes on how to incorporate this new home decor trend in practical and stylish ways.

Related: How Fashion Trends Influence Our Decor and Interior Design

<p>Courtesy of Ellie Mroz</p>

Courtesy of Ellie Mroz

Denim Is Approachable and Durable

"It's no surprise that denim in fashion has been around as a staple forever," says interior designer Erin Chelius. She feels that bringing the material into the home space adds "a timeless and casual element, which adds warmth and texture."

Denim is typically made from 100% cotton and woven with multiple yarns for a sturdy yet soft texture. Although it has a laid back appearance, its tight structure makes it a durable and practical material that can withstand frequent use in a high traffic area such as a family room.

Interior designer Ellie Mroz has used denim in multiple projects and explains how the material lends itself well to a layered design while being a functional choice. "Denim or denim-inspired furnishings and decor bring in that effortlessly cool, West Coast vibe that works with our layered aesthetic. It's already broken in, which makes it approachable and sensible for clients with young children", she says.

<p>Courtesy of Ellie Mroz / Laura Moss Photography</p>

Courtesy of Ellie Mroz / Laura Moss Photography

It Pairs Well with Other Materials

Like a pair of blue jeans that you can dress up with a nice blouse or dress down with a casual tee, denim pairs well with a wide mix of materials, textures, patterns, and styles. Although it can be used to inject a pop of color, it can just as easily act as a neutral. Interior designer Christina Kim says, "It's a great base fabric for layers of prints and wears incredibly well since it's 100% cotton and only gets softer over time."

Layer denim with varying shades of blue, classic neutrals, and crisp white for a fresh and clean look. When using it as a base fabric, such as sofa upholstery, accessorize it with an assortment of patterned pillows, mixing striped, ikat, and paisley prints to create a relaxed but interesting seating area. Bring in light wood tones and rattan accents for a cool and comfortable way to complete the room.

Denim Creates a Casual-Yet-Timeless Aesthetic

Commenting on the fabric's timeless appeal, Kim says, "I like denim as a fabric in the home for the casual, easy vibe it brings. It makes me think of well-worn Ralph Lauren interiors that are down to earth in classic American style." While denim may have found its home decor origins in ranch-style homes, it has permeated into high-end interior design as Mroz points out. "Denim continues to evoke casual living even through its integration into high-end decor, making it a go-to look for livable, luxury interiors," she says.

<p>Christopher Dibble</p>

Christopher Dibble

It's a Sustainable Choice

Sustainability has been a much discussed topic in both the fashion and interior design industries in recent years. If you're looking for fun ways to recycle no-longer worn denim, turn it into a stylish home accent. Because denim fabric is so durable, it lends itself well to DIY projects. Thrift stores often have an abundance of denim clothing items, which can easily be turned into pillows, patchwork rugs, and more.

Try your hand at making stitched denim coasters, a small runner rug made from varying washes of jeans, or a unique lampshade constructed from woven pieces of denim. Repurposing a pair of jeans that no longer fits or give new life to a thrifted denim skirt with a crafty home decor project that will last for years.

Related: How to Turn Your Old Jeans into a Cozy (and Durable) DIY Dog Bed

<p>Courtesy of Chelius House of Design / Jessica Alexandra</p>

Courtesy of Chelius House of Design / Jessica Alexandra

How to Incorporate Denim Home Decor Into Your Space

If you're not quite ready to commit to denim on a large-scale or expensive item such as a sofa, take inspiration from Chelius and upholster a window seat cushion or wall-mounted banquette seat back in denim. It's an easy way to create a welcoming feel. "The denim fabric we used on our client's kitchen window seat provides coziness to their space, and layered with a patterned pillow creates the perfect seating nook," Chelius says.

For a more subtle pop of denim, Burns recommends going the decorative accent route. "I always suggest trying trends in smaller items you could easily switch out in the future once the trend has passed, such as in throw pillows," she says. The denim home decor trend also provides a great opportunity for getting crafty and creative and repurposing old pairs of jeans.

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