You may already love plaids for your shabby chic or cottage style designs. If you've used them before, you know they can help balance those overstuffed cushions and feminine frills. They add structure and a masculine vibe. Including a plaid couch or ottoman is one of the fastest ways to cancel out girlie elements if you think your decor is getting a little frilly. You can modernize that vase of white cabbage roses by putting it on a plaid tablecloth or next to a plaid chair. For added movement and interest, pair plaids with dotted or checked fabrics, too. You'll like the energy they create.