The use of stripes in home decor is usually considered appropriate for people with a more adventurous approach to decorating. Whether this is strictly true or not, we don’t know. We do know that there are only a few women with figures fabulous enough to wear stripes, so maybe we should proceed with the same caution when dressing our homes too.
With a little thought, stripes don’t have to be over-powering, and they can look quite sophisticated in small doses. If you take time to visit bars in top-end hotels, you will see stripes discreetly winking at you from their comfy sofas. Using stripes this way, to blend in with, and enhance your existing decor rather than dominating it, is a more sophisticated approach that will suit most rooms.
When you do find the right room to include stripes in, you will tune in to a range of striped patterns on sofas, curtains, scatter cushions, throws, crockery and artwork. Any one of these items can be used to create a unique interior, without you committing to a whole room of striped walls. For example, painting a couple of prominent parallel lines on your wall, or around your door-way will have a more artistic effect than an entire room slapped full of striped wallpaper. You could even try wallpapering (or painting) one accent wall with stripes to create a focal point. Painting stripes will require patience and a steady hand!
Consider the colour and design of other pieces in your room as these should dictate how, and indeed if, you use stripes. Stripes will be visually striking if the furniture and other accessories in the room are plain or made of single blocks of colour. This is especially true if you wish to include thick, bold multi-coloured stripes. A single striped scatter cushion in a prominent place will have more impact than a set of striped cushions. Your striped accessories may also be grouped with floral patterns and prints. The key is to stick to a limited colour palette so that each item is working in harmony. Your social life will be in ruins if you trigger epileptic episodes in your house-guests.
The size of your stripes is also something to consider. If you are planning to display artwork that features bold stripes in contrasting colours, then combine this with neutral walls. This will draw the eye towards your artwork and make it a focal point.
Vertical stripes are popular for curtains and can create a different mood to your room once they are drawn. We have seen home renovation shows design whole rooms of hand-painted horizontal stripes to ill-effect. It might be fun to live in a jack-in-the-box for the day, but could you really rest with all those stripes closing in on you?
The thought that stripes are only to be used by the more adventurous among us is not true. If you take a moment to consider: the size of your room, the size of the striped object you wish to include and the colour palette of your entire room, you will be on your way to creating a harmonious design scheme. A little planning and restraint can go a long way.