Stripes – thick stripes, thin stripes, circus stripes, jailhouse stripes… Stripes never go out of fashion. Some people write them off as being too classic, or shy away from them because they're too loud, but in reality, they don't have to be either. It's all about how you use them, the tones or textures that make up the stripe, and the width of the bands. Very thin stripes can be 'barely there'; broad bands will make an impact. A large room papered in broad stripes might be overwhelming, but go for thin stripes in two different shades of the same colour and the effect will be refined and cool. On the other side of the coin, a small room – say a bathroom or a powder room – done out in wide, contrasting stripes will be bold and fun. We've rounded up some of our favourite stripe effects here on homify – take a look, and be inspired to get some stripes in your life!
Let's start out bold, with this striking blue and white striped wall. As we mentioned in the introduction, wide, contrasting stripes are probably too much for a large room, but they really work in smaller spaces. The vertical struts of the banister are echoed in the white stripes on the wall, creating a pleasing coherence that's boldly interrupted by the blue. Usefully for a staircase, the eye is drawn down or up (depending on whether you're at the foot or the head of the stairs), and the regularity of the repeating verticals creates a slightly hypnotic effect.
Blue again, but something altogether more subdued. This is a great example of what can be done with stripes made up of two tones of the same colour. The stripes break up the colour block nicely - an all teal wall in this setting would be all wrong – but there's no major contrast to disturb the eye.
Gentler again is this mix of dusky pinks. The thin stripes create a bit of textural interest but are 'barely there' in terms of contrast. Notable here is the mix of horizontal and vertical stripes, with verticals on the full-height walls and horizontal stripes on the half-height ones. Mixing stripes like this is an interesting way to create zones in a room using nothing more than subtle hints.
Red walls in a room can run the risk of creating a claustrophobic space, but the designer's choice here to go with two red tones in a stripe effect helps give the impression of spaciousness. Not for the faint hearted, but a good example of how breaking up a colour block keeps it from being overbearing.
The gold leaf stripes in this bathroom break up the taupe walls to give visual and textural interest. They give this room a little bit of decadence, and a whole lot of elegance.
Stripes don't have to be all about colour. Creating stripes with texture can make for a luscious and striking effect. This Chocolat wall by Dofine Wall and Flooring does just that.
We couldn't do a piece on stripes and not give a mention to the classic iteration of the pattern – the Breton stripe long associated with the maritime. The light blue and white stripes on this Sailboat bed by the Baby Cot Shop, counterintuitively create a really soft effect overall; far from being bold they're gentle and relaxing.
If we haven't convinced you of the merits of covering your walls, or one wall, with stripes, take a test drive with soft furnishings. This Arlette Cushion by Anne B. Handmade in a classic jailhouse stripe of black and white would fit into any colour scheme.
Stripes don't just have to be parallel lines on the vertical or horizontal – diagonal stripes are just as much fun. These herringbone effect cushions and pillows from Lovely Home Idea are available in a range of colours, and will give a little bit of pep to a couch or a bed.