Seems the design world is having a mad love affair with fretwork. But what exactly is it? Fretwork is a design element characterized by interlaced designs that range from simple, straight lines to elaborately curved and ornamental motifs. Traditionally, fretwork was seen in metal and wood designs where it was cutout using a saw like a jigsaw or fretsaw. Thomas Chippendale, the famous 18th century English cabinetmaker, popularized fretwork in his furniture designs, which were distributed and copied throughout England and America. Inspired by Chinese metalwork and woodwork, these designs are often called Chinese Chippendale. In metal and wood there are two types of fretwork: open and blind. Open has an open space between the carving; blind is raised but is solid and not pierced.
Today's designers have embraced the fabulousness of fretwork. It can be found on furnishings, fabrics, light fixtures, rugs and home décor accessories in both bold and subtle colorways and patterns.
Circawho (via)These antique illustrations of Chippendale chairs show a variety of fretwork patterns on the backs and legs. A combination of straight lines, interlocking elements and curves have inspired countless fretwork patterns throughout the years.
Designed to the Nines (via)Fretwork and glass cabinet doors have been around since the mid 18th century. This is a modern interpretation in white that feels anything but antique especially with the recessed lights illuminating the beautiful pattern.
House Fabric (via)
This Chippendale fretwork pattern is a simple graphic patterned fabric that would be great on upholstered furniture, curtains, linens or pillows. Pair this with a chandelier to highlight the beautiful pattern of this fretwork.
Simplified Bee (via)
Love the subtle fretwork pattern on this tile. The elegant geometric pattern is sophisticated without being bold.
Crafting a Green World (via)
The elaborate fretwork pattern on this green and white area fabric recalls Victorian ironwork.
Simplified Bee (via)
Like the tile above, tonal wallpaper with a fretwork pattern feels sophisticated. There are so many variations of fretwork patterns.
Nesting Newbies (via)
Love this fretwork rug by Emily Todhunter for The Rug Company. Like all fretwork patterns it has an interlocking geometry.
The Light Archive (via)
Gorgeous fretwork patterned tile from Popham designs. This patterned tile would look amazing in an entry or bathroom.
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