On the Right Lines: How to Decorate With Stripes

It’s time to earn your stripes. This bold, modern decor trend can work wonders for your home if applied in the right way, and we’re here to help you stay on the right lines.

Stripes can be elegant or wild, traditional or modern, bright or muted. They can be used anywhere and in any way, whether you choose striped carpets, rugs, walls, bedding, ornaments or wall art. And, so long as you abide by a few important rules, you’ll finish up with something truly special and far more interesting than what you had before.

So here are our top tips on how to decorate with stripes, just in time for your spring DIY home makeover:

1. Start small

If you’re not used to decorating with stripes it can be a little daunting at first, so start small. Try adding striped accents like lamp shades, cushions, wall art or ornaments to begin with, to give you chance to get used to this bold new style. Then move on to smaller rooms if you’re still afraid to commit to larger spaces; hallways and bathrooms are great guinea pigs for first-time stripes. And remember, there’s always the feature wall option for when an entire room just seems like far too much.

decorating with stripes pillowImage credit: Cate St Hill

2. Choose Your Stripe Style

The type of stripe greatly affects the final result, so choose carefully. Here are the main stripe types and how to use them to their full potential:

Vertical Stripes – If you’re looking for a traditional effect then vertical stripes are the way to go. These are the most commonly used style for walls, and are great for creating the illusion of height in a low-ceilinged room.

decorating with vertical stripesImage credit: What’s On Rock / Pinterest

Horizontal Stripes – These are great for widening a room, and are regarded as a more modern, playful style than vertical stripes. Whatever you do, don’t be tempted to mix horizontal and vertical stripes in the same room or you’ll cancel out the effects you were going for in the first place.

decorating with horizontal stripesImage credit: DanaDecals / Etsy

Wide Stripes – Only use wider stripes on your walls if you’re working with larger rooms. If you use wide stripes in very small rooms you risk losing the impact of this punchy design element.

Narrow Stripes – As you can imagine, our advice here is the exact opposite of the above. Reserve narrow stripes for smaller rooms, as they can make bigger areas look too busy and cluttered.

Mixed Width Stripes  – Mixing skinny and wide stripes is a great idea for children’s playrooms or games rooms, as this is the most playful and adventurous way to style with stripes.

decorating with mixed stripesImage credit: My Home Rocks

3. Be Clever With Colours

When working with stripes you need to choose colours that complement each other or that come from the same colour family, rather than clashing colours. For example, alternating red and pink would clash and create a cluttered, distracting effect, whereas two similar shades of blue would create a soft, classic look.

Another great colour tip to bear in mind involves room size. Reserving the louder, bolder colours for smaller rooms is best, as these tend not to be rooms that you spend prolonged periods of time in, so the brightness wouldn’t become overwhelming.

decorating with stripesImage credit: John Lewis

4. Take to the floor

If you’d rather not put stripes on your walls you can try decorating with striped carpets, rugs and striped stair carpets instead. Striped carpet runners and rugs are great for adding a bold, graphic element to any room, especially if you don’t want to cover too large an area, and they can also serve to widen and lengthen the appearance of a space.

Striped stair carpets and runners are also excellent decorative tools for modernising and streamlining your staircase, and are a fun and easy way to add small splashes of colour mixed with classic, neutral tones.

carpet runner stripesrunrug.com- Contra Brown Hall Runner

5. Don’t Get Too Busy

When decorating with stripes it’s important to maintain a sense of balance. For example, if you’ve gone for striped walls, avoid using striped or patterned furniture. Plain, solid furniture will help balance out the look and keep your room from looking too busy. And likewise with the floor; if you’ve chosen a striped carpet, avoid adding stripes to your walls and ceilings or you risk creating a compressed, boxed-in effect.

stripe carpetImage credit: Coastal Style

Warming to the idea of stripes in your home? Starting working from the floor upwards with our collections of striped carpet runners and striped stair runners and embrace this timeless trend in your home.

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