Decorators and designers may debate the various values of plains and patterns, but classic and contemporary stylists alike can agree on one thing; the power of stripes. They work across all periods and properties, and add instant depth and excitement to a scheme. The optical effects they bring can magically transform a room’s sense of proportion. We’ve got nine ways for you to bring their winning ways home.
Vertical stripes on blinds can enhance the height of your windows making the most of a design feature such as floor-to-ceiling windows and doors. Mixing striped roller blinds with solid coloured blinds is a great way to break up very long expanses; three solid blinds here could feel too blocky, three striped blinds too busy. This combination is unexpected and confident whilst also solving a design conundrum.
If you’re lucky enough to enjoy a home with period detailing yet have more minimalist taste, stripes are a great way to bring the best of the two together. Sticking to a limited palette, using graphic lines at the window and leaving the rest of the room simple and spare ensures the room feels contemporary but still highlights historic features.
Go To Ground
Runners and rugs are a great way to add a bold striped edge to a design. A rug can also bring the focus to one part of a room, such as a seating area to draw people in. Such a rug, carpet or striped runner is also a great way to use stripes in a small room, as on the wall the effect can get lost or seem overwhelming. If the window is small, use a narrower stripe to keep it in proportion.
Warp And Weft
There are more ways to get a striped blind than a simple print. Striped fabrics can be created with weave and a mixture of threads. This is the minimalist’s approach to striped fabrics, where subtle interest replaces bold bands. Try choosing a fabric that includes a shimmering metallic thread, as in the evening they will create a glamorous, exclusive feel when they reflect back the soft lamplight.
If you like the orderly feel of stripes but have a space that already has many linear shapes, such as a hallway or stairwell, then try a ‘broken line’ striped fabric design. This gives you the overall regularity of a stripe but doesn’t feel quite so graphic, such as the watercolour feel of this Duette pattern.
Tricking The Eye
Horizontal stripes can be used to create the illusion of wider windows, a useful visual trick when windows are unusually shaped or very small. In a small room, like this attic suite, keeping the colour palette simple has helped extend the wall up into the ceiling space increasing the sense of height. Using Twist window blinds that have an interesting woven fabric quality ties in the earthiness of the floor and the natural wool blanket, giving it a simple, cosy homestead feel.
Quietly Does It
A subtle change in tone over a blind, can create a much gentler sense of stripe. This works beautifully with room schemes where there are other patterns featured, such as floral fabrics or checked curtains. Making some patterns more muted and others more boldly drawn makes the design feel more cohesive, rather than each fabric fighting for attention.
Take It Outside
If you like your stripes traditional then a classic awning will add some pretty country style to your home. Stripes can work not only to stop the expanse from seeming too solid, but as the perfect foil to the irregular and variable shapes of flowers and foliage. For extra vintage credit, add in a scalloped edge bringing some English country garden flair to even the most modern outdoor space. The persuasive power of stripes.
If using stripes in design has given you a passion for pattern try our Graphic interiors ideas.