Whether horizontal or vertical, thick or thin, stripes are a timeless classic. Stripes can give any room that bold punch it needs to spruce up the design. Dorothy Draper, the American interior decorator who inspired generations with her 1939 book Decorating is Fun! How to Be Your Own Decorator, declared “the wider the stripe . . . the smarter the effect.” Ms. Draper would know, too — she made the stripe one of her signature motifs.
When considering stripes, color is an important factor to consider based on the look and feel you are trying to achieve. Black and white creates an elegant and sophisticated finish, blue and white presents a more coastal interior and complementary colors like red and green add a sense of vitality into the space.
No matter which variation of the classical stripe you choose, they all create a refreshing alternative to revamping your room. Here are just a few inspirational images to get your mind racing with ideas.
1. Ombre Stripes
Ombre stripes? Who knew? Designer Vern Yip created the look in HGTV Magazine by gradating five color variants to create an interesting alternative to the traditional horizontal stripe. “Stripes ranging from light to dark give a space amazing energy,” Vern Yip says.
2. As a Focal Point
Focal points help bring attention to a specific portion of a room. As Sue Timney demonstrates in her house in Kent, England, these narrow black-and-white stripes create a bold focal point. The thin stripe helps bring attention to other strong elements, like the pop art hanging over the mantel.
Curtains, like these colorful window treatments, are a subtle way to incorporate stripes into your home without having to commit to an entire room or even an entire wall. Narrow vertical stripes fit well in rooms with low ceilings, while broader stripes make the ceiling seem lower. Adding long, striped curtains that touch the floor can also make the room appear taller.
4. On the Ceiling
Adding stripes to the ceiling, like this bedroom from Project Nursery, will draw attention to the often overlooked portion of a room. Depending on the direction of the stripe, it can make any space appear wider or longer. Thin stripes have a bigger impact on the eye, while thick stripes are more relaxing.
5. Ticking Stripes
This preppy stripe, courtesy of HGTV Magazine, is a modest but chic alternative to the bold effect of striping. Ticking the stripes creates a more subtle sequence and is most commonly associated with coastal or nautical design aesthetics.
Use tile to achieve the same dramatic stripe effect in kitchens or bathrooms. Experimenting with contrasting shades (such as black and white) or bold colors (such as bright oranges or dark blues) in more private areas, like this boldly-tiled bathroom, allows you to explore the various effects of stripes away from the public eye. In smaller spaces, horizontal stripes help make the room appear more spacious.
7. Multicolored Vertical Stripes
Courtesy of HGTV Magazine, DIY designer Alison Victoria proclaims that “varying widths and colors help draw your eye upward so the room feels instantly taller.” Get her how-to instructions for this feature wall project. Whether these stripes are painted on an entire wall or just as a partial wall focal point, they are striking either way.