Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Picking the Right Stripe for Your Home

Do you love or loathe stripes? I absolutely love them but how do you know which stripe is right for your style of living. The width, colour and direction of a stripe can completely change the feeling of a space.

Traditional cottage to uber-modern apartment, stripes can enhance any space. They can add an appearance of height or length to a small space or make a large room feel cosier. Stripes can look modern or traditional depending on the direction, width and colour of the stripe so it is important you know the look you are trying to achieve.

When choosing a stripe, think about the following tips...

  • Wide stripes are more modern than narrow or medium stripes which suit traditionally styled rooms
  • Horizontal stripes have a more contemporary/modern feel
  • Vertical stripes can be used on a wall to make a low ceiling feel further away from you. This only applies to medium and narrow stripes, wide stripes can have the opposite effect in a small space such as a powder room 
  • Use light coloured tones for more relaxed areas; sand and white, pale blue or light grey
  • Dark stripes are less restful and you may tire of them
  • Diagonal stripes will waken up an area and give it an ultra modern look (be minimalist with its use, this look can also date quickly and can be tiring on the eyes
  • Any shade of blue and white stripe is perfect for coastal style rooms
  • Beige and white, pale grey and white or blue and white are also great coastal shades especially if you are seeking a Hamptons look
  • A horizontal stripe in a short hallway will make it seem visually longer
  • Think of the use of a room before choosing your favoured stripe. You can soften a masculine black and white striped wall by carefully choosing furniture and decorative peices... (see image 4)
  • Think rugs, cushions or curtains for striped accents
  • Upholster a chair in stripes, remember narrow for a more traditional look or wide vertical or horizontal for a more modern approach. A combination of wide and narrow stripes tends to look a little more traditional
A picture speaks a thousand words so lets explore some images to see what effect stripes have on these spaces...

2. Traditional - narrow black and white stripes  are more feminine than wide black and white stripes. Narrow stripes can look busier
3. Diagonal stripes are contemporary and vibrant but can be tiring on the eye
4. Although black and white stripes can feel masculine, the curves of the French style chair and sheepskin rug, help soften the look and add a feminine touch
5. Traditional stripes

7. Contemporary horizontal stripes
6. Coastal/Hamptons stripes - Photography by John Downs - see more of this gorgeous Queensland home here
8. Navy + white = coastal
9. Wide, blue and white horizontal stripes have a nautical feel
10. Upholster a chair
11. Horizontal stripes can make a short hallway appear longer. I would advise against using them at the ends of the hallway. Horizontal equates to a modern look
12. A mix of colours and widths for a classic yet fun look for in this child's room
13. Use stripes for a feature wall such as behind a bed
14. Introduce a striped rug, in narrow or wide stripes. This rug has the perfect width stripes for this room. Narrow stripes would make the room appear busier and smaller

Image sources: 1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8|9|10|11|12|13|14

Do you love stripes, do you have them in your home or maybe stripes are not your thing, either way I would love to hear your comments.

For much more inspiration with stripes, please check out my Pinterest board...


  1. I love a good stripe - I think I prefer very subtle ones though - soft blues and greys. I love how it adds structure.

    1. I agree about the comment re "structure" and personally I favour soft blues and greys too :)


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