Design Trend: Quatrefoils

The title of my post is a bit of misnomer as quatrefoils aren’t so much a design trend, as a design staple. But I’m loving them lately so they are absolutely trending for me.

Quatrefoil designs

Here’s Wikipedia’s fancy definition of a quatrefoil:

In art, architecture and traditional Christian symbolism, the quatrefoil is a type of decorative framework consisting of a symmetrical shape which forms the overall outline of four partially overlapping circles of the same diameter. The word quatrefoil means “four leaves”, from Latin quattuor, four, plus folium, a leaf and applies to general four-lobed shapes in various contexts.

Now you know! This timeless and elegant design has it’s roots dating back to Medieval times and served as a staple in Gothic Architecture. You can use this classic shape in your own decor to add a touch of sophistication and elegance. Here are some great finds to get you started:

Quatrefoil patterned furniture and home decor accessories | Chicago ReDesign

Indoor/Outdoor Rug | Wallpaper | Pillows | Candle Holders | Bed Frame

Another fun fact from Wikipedia:

The barbed quatrefoil is a quatrefoil pierced at the angles by the points of an inscribed square, which gives an image akin to an heraldic rose, which is termed “barbed” due to the stylised thorns which project at the intersection of each pair of petals. The earliest example of the barbed quatrefoil appears on the south transept buttresses of 1260 in the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris

Quatrefoil patterned furniture and home decor accessories | Chicago ReDesign

Mirror | Table Lamp | Pendant Lamp | 3-pc Wall Decor | Side Table

Quatrefoil patterned furniture and home decor accessories | Chicago ReDesign

Mosaic Tile | Mother-of-pearl Wall Decor | Pendant Lamp | Bedding Set | Mirrored Cabinet

What do you think? Do you love this pattern as much as I do?


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9 thoughts on “Design Trend: Quatrefoils

  1. essenziale-hd

    Totally love it too! very elegant! And it is very easy to combine different items as the patterns remains similar – for example, these two cushions look great together. Thanks for the information about these symbols too, to be honest, I didn’t even know they have such a deep meaning 🙂

    1. Chicago ReDesign Post author

      Thanks Anna! It’s funny – I’m sure we glanced over quatrefoils in my architectural history courses at college but I had forgotten all the symbolism behind them as well. So it was fun writing this post and rediscovering all the history behind the shape!

  2. Eclectic Medicine Design House

    Thanks Taryn, A) I didn’t even know there was a name for these shapes – now I know and b) I can’t get enough of these patterns……I especially love this shape for tiles.

      1. Chicago ReDesign Post author

        hahaha. I soooo wish it was that easy. Unfortunately it’s more of a fantasy right now but someday… 🙂 (And then of course I’ll share pics!!)

  3. Pingback: Refresh for Less! 8 Design Ideas for Dressing Up Your Walls and Floors with Paint | Chicago ReDesign

  4. Pam Faulkner

    Taryn, great post. It’s interesting that classic patterns litke lattice, trellis, Chinese Chippendale and now quatrefoil have been “rediscovered”. I love how they add a needed graphic element in a room that is truly transitional. I don’t think I ever knew the part about the barbed quatrefoil. Love learning something new from your posts.

    1. Chicago ReDesign Post author

      Thanks Pam! I agree, quatrefoils are great for adding an interesting graphic element that when used in repetition, not only ties a room together but draws your eye around the room. And the constant learning is what drives me to keep blogging… I truly enjoy all the new discoveries I’ve made!


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