Stripes are like a classic Chanel…Never out of style, always in season, and eternally glamorous. As a modernist, I love all things clean, crisp, and simple, so I am obviously not afraid to show my stripes. Verticals, horizontals, chevrons…just line ‘em up!
I recently ran across this dress. I mean…dyyyyyyying! It needs to get in my closet. Immediately.
I generally love juxtaposing the polished, ladylike lines with more unexpected, rugged pieces. I also like pairing stripes with other bold patterns and colors. I use the parallels to promote order, providing an enveloping and grounding effect to my outfit.
Utilizing stripes in a home, however, takes a little more gumption.
Stripes create intriguing visual tension and contrast, serving as a room’s instant focal point. Horizontal stripes can fool the eye, allowing narrow spaces to suddenly look wider. Vertical stripes exude confidence, creating illusions of height and palatialness. Large bold stripes need to be balanced with a more neutral color palette and simple décor. Smaller stripes can support bright colors and can be paired with other patterns and prints. A mélange of appropriately scaled and proportioned striped pieces and statements in a room can infuse the space with a lively rhythm of controlled chaos. Alternatively, one spectacular, dramatic striped wall or rug can act as an exclamation point in a room…!
Still a little risk averse? Consider these fool-proof tips for decorating with stripes, as featured in Real Simple magazine:
- Use high-contrast stripes in unexpected spots. For powder rooms and foyers (spaces where people don’t linger), strong stripes can be charming. “I love a brilliant stripe in a closet,” says Darryl Carter, a designer in Washington, D.C. “It’s like the lining on a fine coat.”
- Match the size of the stripes to the size of the room. In general, the larger the space, the wider wall stripes should be, because thin stripes in a big expanse can look like mere texture from far away. And in a small room broad, bold stripes can feel jarring.
- Blend striped, floral, and solid accessories. A foolproof recipe for throw pillows: Put together three or four designs that are clearly distinct but share a palette. Try a wide stripe, a narrow stripe, a dainty paisley, and a solid. The effect is cohesive, with just enough randomness to feel homey.