Tuesday, June 22, 2010
As most of you know, I'm a huge fan of using pattern in interior spaces and one of my favorite patterns to use are simple stripes. Sure, bold zig zags or suzanis are wonderful, but stripes are timeless, and a wonderful partner to florals, polka dots, ikats -- and yes, zig zags and suzanis, too. In addition to their ability to seamlessly work with almost any other pattern and in any decor style, stripes have that almost magical ability to create illusions of space (either vertical or horizontal) and architectural interest in even the plainest and boxiest of room.
What follows are a half dozen simple tricks and ideas for working stripes into your own home:
1. Use horizontal stripes to widen narrow rooms. While I try to avoid horizontal stripes in fashion, horizontal stripes on your walls are a wonderful way to make a narrow room like wider. Try this in a hallway, mudroom or in an awkward shot-gun style bedroom.
2. Use stripes of varying widths and colors for a fun, fresh accent wall. Three to five colors and widths seem to be the sweet spot for this project as too many colors/widths make it difficult to see any pattern and can create too much visual noise.
3. Use vertical stripes to elongate a room visually. As with vertical stripes in fashion, vertical stripes on your walls emphasizes height rather than width. Use wherever you want to highlight high ceilings (or beautiful crown moldings) or to create the illusion of higher ceilings in low-slung rooms. If you want a more playful room, try wider stripes, which lend a more circus- or cabana-like feel to a space. If you'd rather go for a subtler, more sophisticated vibe, try narrower stripes.
5. Striped, flatweave rugs add a touch of casual elegance to any space. I really love a flatweave cotton rug in the summertime (or, if you're like me and live in a warmer climate, yearound). There's just something so casual and fresh about them. This look is ideal in beach houses, cottages and coastal interiors, but it is also a wonderful way to make just about any space feel a bit more casual and dressed down. If you like the look of exposed floors, painted stripes like those in the breakfast nook by Tobi Fairley in the last photo below are a wonderful option as well.