This week in the continuing series about working with pattern in home decorating, it’s all about stripes. This is the workhorse pattern – the one that goes with any style and is available in every color. Classic or modern, whimsical or formal, every home should have a little stripe showing up!
Why Use Stripes in Your Home
As an interior designer, I frequently turn to stripes to pull a room together. Stripes can be subtle, tone-on-tone for a formal, easy-to-live-with look or multi-colored and designed to blend with any color scheme. Tone on tone stripes are great for adding a little visual interest without overwhelming a room with pattern. Multi colored stripes are great for pulling together multiple colors in a scheme.
Where to Use Stripes in Your Home
Where, as in what room? Every single room could benefit from a stripe. Where, as in specifically where to place a stripe? Anywhere is fair game: on the walls, drapes, area rug, furniture or art.
This elegant stripe picks up and reinforces all the colors in the patterned rug and drapes.
An accent chair adds a spark when dressed in a wide stripe. (notice the pattern on the floor too) Generally, wide stripes (2″ or more) are a great companion to smaller, busy floral or curvy patterns because they offer relief from the density of the smaller pattern. Adding a narrow stripe with a small, busy pattern increases the feeling of activity. Use a narrow ticking stripe (1/2″ or so) with larger but still dense florals. Large, open florals or curvy geometrics (with lots of background space between blossoms or curvy elements) can handle wide stripes as well, but the most successful rooms will also have a pattern of much smaller scale – checks or a small, tight plaid, or small polka dots.
Another accent chair with a more modern twist….it’s also in very wide stripes that are a perfect complement to the much narrower stripes on the floor.
Stripes on the wall are not uncommon, but this treatment of using quite wide stripes and carrying them to the ceiling is very unusual. And this tiny space is the better for it! (again look at the mix of pattern on the floor) I love the spark of the yellow desk in an otherwise monochromatic room.
A striped bedspread or duvet cover bring the same advantages to the bedroom: uniting disparate colors from around the room, adding a tailored look, and working equally well in a formal or casual style. The bright citrus colors in the duvet above play perfectly with the wallpaper pattern – similar colors (though not exactly since the wallpaper has lots of blue) and nice wide stripes to go with the wide open spaces in the wallpaper.
Sometimes the stripe needs to play second fiddle, as in this entry. The wallpaper is very dominating and the scale of the chairs is small, consequently the stripe is narrow. A wider stripe could work with the wallpaper but would overwhelm the delicate nature of the chairs.
A stripe on a pillow can do wonders in a room.
Release your inner whimsical self and boldly paint an exterior door with stripes. (hint: this might work better in tropical climes for a gate or pool house)
Stripes on the Floor
Stripes serve a purpose on the floor as well. They will add a bold, graphic statement in the room. But, even more importantly, they will add visual width (or length) to the space. Your eye will follow the length of the stripe and the room will appear larger. It’s a good tool for a small room.
A bold stripe on the floor brings a modern flair to a somewhat traditional room.
Stripes are Fabulous Outdoors
All the reasons that stripes work so well inside also apply to the outdoors. In fact, you may be more comfortable playing with stripes outside because it’s so much more common to find great awning stripes on cushions. Using your new-found knowledge, be sure to mix things up and throw in a floral or other geometric (in a different scale) to make your patio the most stylish on the block.
Usually outdoor fabrics are in tropical or earthy colors but this sun porch shows you can have fun with black and white and the outdoors. A bold mix of patterns – dots, stripes, plaid, toile (wallpaper), checks, etc. Lots of white and the scale of the prints help the room succeed.
Even a small deck or patio can be made lively and appealing with a little touch of imagination, color, and STRIPES!
Use Stripes in Your Home
I hope all this stripe eye candy will inspire you to add stripes in your rooms. Whether on just a pillow or boldly on walls or floors, a stripe could be just what you need to freshen your outlook. Cindy also did a post about stripes quite a while ago that you might enjoy. So, are you a stripey kind of person? Tell me what you think…..leave a quick comment below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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