Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Style Essential: Stripes

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.

Amanda Nisbet

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.

Mary McDonald

Frank Roop

Mary McDonald

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.

John Oetgen

4. Carry the vertical stripes up the ceiling to create a tented room. A bolder statement to be sure, but this is a wonderful way to highlight slanted ceilings. By taking the stripes up and over the ceiling, you can also create a cozy, cocoon-like effect (even in rooms with higher ceilings). This look is particularly successful in powder rooms, children's rooms and dens, where the playful vibe is most at home.

Leslie Klotz

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.

Marshall Watson

6. Use bold stripes on upholstered pieces to make a big statement. While the general wisdom is to keep larger pieces of furniture pattern-free, stripes on smaller upholstered pieces like accent chairs, benches and settees are a wonderful way to bring in a good dose of pattern that can be easily mixed in with other fabrics on pillows, draperies or rugs.

Sally Steponkus

Steven Gambrel

26 comments:

Erica @ Decorica said...

I'm a big fan of stripes. I love how they can be classic and bold at the same time.

This Photographers Life (Architecture+Interiors) said...

The Toby Fairley room with the blue and white stripes is amazing!!! I love it!

If you have a second, please stop by my blog and enter my contest, "what's your favorite room in your house." The prize is $1200 worth of pearls!

Aesthetic Oiseau said...

AMEN!!!

Mackenzie {Design Darling} said...

i love the amanda nisbet and tobi fairley spaces and i love the trick of extending stripes onto the ceiling — i hadn't thought of that before! you always find the best examples!

Marija said...

Stripes make a huge impact!! My favorite is striped rugs. And I adore striped romans, too. I do not care for striped walls, however. I know, I know, such an unpopular opinion. But I'm not closed minded, I promise, as I did see some today at Diversion Project that I simply adored and I like the navy horizontal stripes above...

Dumbwit Tellher said...

so many amazing examples of how tremendous stripes are for interior design. Looking back I've always incorporated some type of stripes and in this house just the same. Between Ruthie, Mary, Tobi & Robin I'm inspired for a lifetime of stripe devotion.

Hoping your entire trip to the UK was amazing?

Viera said...

Great post. You always present best pictures selection.
X
V

Couture Carrie said...

Fantastically culled images, darling!
Love this post!
Makes me want to repaint my room in bold stripes!

xoxox,
CC

Dayka (Life +Style) said...

i love stripes and know a thing or two about horizontal stripes being a "no-no" in fashion, lol! i've been debating about doing black and white striped drapes in my bedroom, or completely changing everything up and painting again. your photos remind me of why i love stripes!

Susie @ Maddie's Nest said...

I always love that Amanda Nisbet foyer when I see it....and I really love that Oetgen dining room....I hadn't seen it before.

Kate Coveny Hood said...

A couple of my favorite images are in here! I love how thorough you are with your resource documentation - I always find new designers to check out.

I'm a stripes fan too. It's a traditional style that can easily be updated for a more modern look. Loved this.

Janell @ Isabella and Max said...

I've been searching for just the right striped fabric, haven't had a lot of luck but this post makes me know I better keep looking! Janell

Jade @ Flip Flops + Pearls Design said...

You can never go wrong with a stripe! Great post, great tips!

Concrete Jungle said...

Great post...I'm inspired!

MyLittleHappyPlace said...

Oh, how happy, Happy these stripes make me!!

LindsB said...

Huge fan of all things with stripes, I dont think they will ever go out of style!

VictoriaArt said...

Stripes are a joy forever!

Sanity Fair said...

SUCH great style - I love stripes! And those Mary MacDonald options leave me weak at the knees. Charming.
-SF

chair up said...

I am in love with stripes! Thanks so much for this post. I just know I will be referring to it over and over.
I have just finished a chair that I covered in floral and put a stripe on the back...so pleased with the result.
Angex

The Zhush said...

Those tented rooms are amazing! You seriously find the best and the most beautiful examples each and every time! Love coming over here for the eye candy (and the accompanying text could be in design book!)

Kara said...

Oh how I LOVE stripes!!

Karen@StrictlySimpleStyle said...

Stripes are such a classic. Navy and white stripes are my fav.

Laura@JourneyChic said...

Great advice and inspiration as usual! That Waterleaf Interiors room is beautiful, and I love the colors of the stripes in Frank Roop's room.

Hello Lover... said...

I love all of these stripes - I'm just such a chicken!

Fran said...

Love stripes...always will and always have. I love your post! I'm currently thinking of stripes to upholster a chair for my son's room. I was thinking of ticking stripes, but I love your pictures of the bolder, wider stripes! I might have to reconsider.....

Liz @ It's Great To Be Home said...

Oh goodness, I could easily live in a world of stripes. Great inspiration pics!

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