How to design with Stripes?

The paradox of choice has always been a struggle for me with designing a room from the ground up. The choices are endless. But there is one style that seems to overcome the fickleness of trends: Stripes. Crisp, classic, and refined, stripes add that certain ‘something’ to your design. I find myself brewing over all the possibilities these lines add to a space either painted on the walls, dressing a seat or pillow, or fitted somewhere in a small space you wouldn’t expect. Of course, decorating with stripes can be tricky. It always helps to have a designer beside you to help you keep these lines clean.

Here are a few helpful tips to keep your home looking fresh with stripes.

Art deco meets modern in this chic yet sophisticated master bedroom.  Instead of painting these stripes on the walls, this designer installed battens on the walls for added texture. This also eliminates the daunting task of painting the stripes yourself.

Be creative with your stripes but realize the visual tension that occurs when using one band of color next to another.  Avoid using colors that clash. This does not mean keep your color palette boring, as you see here in this Kid’s room. The playroom is the perfect room to have fun with stripes and use bright and neutral tones to create a harmonious look.

This hand-painted vanity room has such a soft French touch with the wall covering in soft lavender and white. It is the perfect backdrop for the Jonathan Adler mirror and playful glass chandelier. Overall the design gives tribute to the old French style while incorporating a modern style.

Love this soft bedroom nook. Traditionally stripes are used to broaden a small space but these thick yellow stripes turn this space into an intimate cozy area. Love how the designer cornered off the daybed with curtains and a hanging chandelier.
Be intentional about which direction you want your stripes to run. For instance, these long nautical navy stripes give length to this small hall space. By wrapping the stripes around the corners it gives the hallway some personality.
Counteract striped walls or funiture with several less busy design elements. This will give your eyes a rest from the “excitement” of the stripes. What makes these vertical stripes work is the subtle curtains and simple palette with accents of black and green.
I love how the upholstered couch lines up with the wall covering here. A good tip: Break up the stripes with large eye catching pieces like this sunburst mirror. The continuing stripes in the chair adds fluidity in the room while the accessories prevent it from looking too matchy-matchy.
Even more coordinated is this wall and chair relationship. It’s elegant AND knitchy.

Yes, some may say stripes may not be a daring or bold choice when it comes to pattern, especially since you can find it splattered all over every Pottery Barn or Restoration Hardware magazine. But there isn’t anything quite as peaceful and refines as soft gray and white stripe. Here’s a look at how stripes dress up the seats of the house.

The yellow, gray, and white color palette is lovely in this traditional setting. The fact remains, stripes are a very classic pattern and work well with a pair of chairs.  But too much of a strong pattern can overpower a room so try and keep your upholstered stripes simple.

Love the casual feel of this living room. The rustic brown and white stripes has a very Cape Cod cottage feel along with weathered wood mirror and sun like chandelier.
What a fun idea for your vanity or kids room. You can find these “Ooh La La Armchair” chairs at PBTeen.

Including just a hint of these clean stripes in an unexpected area, like a closet or a niche space, to make a statement. This gives you an opportunity to add some whimsy and mystery about your house.

Another great example of an unexpected place to paint stripes. These large think stripes have such a bold presence as they fan out onto the door and into the next room.

Typically, a drapery panel is generally made from fabric that has vertically-oriented stripes to draw the eye up, and create the illusion of more height in the room. But if your space already has existing high ceiling, then its a perfect opportunity to break the rules. The design here was risky but earnestly paid off with black diagonal stripes contrasting with the coral horizontal lines on the walls. What makes this look work? The consistency in the width of the stripe and the zig-zag of the curtains.

Blend in drapes with the walls by mimicking the stripes of the wall with custom curtains. Sometimes all a room need is one single stripe to add sophistication.

Absolutely LOVE these sparkling tile stripes. Instead of adding the stripes with color or fabric, these mosaic stripes add texture to the bathroom walls, and a lot of femininity and luxury.

Striped rugs are the practical choice for the modern home but here the designer accentuated the outdoor patio by alternating bands of blue and white.

Stripes are a great way to draw your eye around the room. This brightly colored runner guides your eye up the stairs and brings a level of interest to something typically overlooked.

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