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From Mugs to Wall Stencils, How to Do Polka Dots in the Home


From Mugs to Wall Stencils, How to Do Polka Dots in the Home


Whether they’re on clothing, homeware or decorating the walls, polka dots never seem to go out of fashion. In the home, the enduring pattern can liven up a room.

Whether it’s polka dot mugs and glassware to whole flecked walls, embracing polka dots in your home decor can create a cheerful and inviting space.


What are polka dots?


Polka dots are a classic pattern comprising evenly spaced and uniform dots. The colour of the dots and background colour vary, but are usually in contrast to one another: e.g. white dots on a black or brightly coloured background or vice versa.


Polka dots are usually viewed as an informal and fun pattern, but that’s not to say they can’t look stylish when used in the right way. 


Where did the polka dot pattern originate?


The 19th century European dance – ‘the polka’ (originating from the Czech, půlka, meaning ‘little step’) – inspired the polka dot pattern. 


The dance was hugely popular across Europe and America during the mid-1800s. Soon, a craze of products featuring small decorative dots – representing the ‘little steps’ of the dance – took hold.

Various products were manufactured with the little dots, and the polka dot pattern was born. 

How to embrace polka dots in the home


Polka dot decor can sometimes be difficult to pull off as the pattern can appear childish. This is fine of course if you’re decorating a child’s bedroom or play area, but read on to find out how to use the pattern in a more sophisticated sense. 


  1. In the kitchen, choose splatters of polka dots on mugs, plates and other kitchenware


For subtly, embrace hints of the pattern on specific homewares and buy corresponding items with matching polka dot patterns.

Our cute, double-walled polka dot mugs are a perfect example (what’s a double-walled mug? Find out here).

Match the mugs with our glass storage and biscuit jars featuring flecks of tiny black dots. Get your polka dot fix without being too garish. 

  1. Avoid large dots and bold primary colours


The larger the dot in the polka dot pattern, the more it veers towards kid’s playroom and away from gorgeous, rustic living quarters. The same is true for the use of primary colours. 


Opt for either small, uniform pinpricks or more artsy designs – as on our glass black polka dot mug. Also choose muted tones or pastels which will complement – rather than pile on top of – an already-busy pattern. 


  1. Embrace black and white polka dots for soft furnishings


Black dots on white or vice versa is a classic pattern seen everywhere from chic 1950s-style shift dresses to ermine fur in heraldry (think: the linings of royal coronation cloaks). 


Adopt this beautifully regal pattern on soft furnishings like cushions, curtains or bed linen – and your lounge or bedroom will be fit for a king. 


  1. Make a statement on the wall


An entire room splattered with polka dot wallpaper might be a touch headache-inducing.

However, one feature wall boasting a pretty polka dot pattern evokes lightness, cheeriness and fun.

Or if a feature wall seems too much, instead be more imaginative with your polka dots and put your own spin on the style.

Stencil a smattering of dots onto specific sections of the wall – for example, to look as though they’re cascading from the corners or gradually rising and dispersing from the skirting boards. 

For more gift or home decor inspiration, follow us on Instagram @pretty_little_home

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