Gray stripes are a neutral backdrop for pops of neon. By Kerrie Kelly Design Lab.
They aren’t just for adding some patriotic flare this Fourth of July. Stripes are both playful and classic and — with the right accessories — can up a room’s elegance or provide a casual feel year-round.
Take for example, stripes painted across the walls of a converted garage space by Kerrie Kelly of Kerrie Kelly Design Lab. Swathes of beige in a darker and lighter tone are neutral without being too formal for the neon accessories throughout the room.
Besides adding interest to a space, stripes are often used to alter the perception of a room, explains designer Dan Benedict of Benedict August.
“For example, if a room is too short, you can add vertical stripes to make it seem taller,” he said. “It’s not always for correcting problems, but enhancing a feature.”
Ready to get striped? Here are a few ways to incorporate the look into your home.
“Striped wallcoverings are easy to come by and perfect for sprucing up even a small space like a powder bath,” said Kelly.
Horizontal gray stripes pick up the gray in the marble sink top. By Kerrie Kelly Design Lab.
You can also use strips to make a fun bold statement in an entertainment space.
A white table and orange chairs balance the rainbow of colors in the wallpaper. By Axis Mundi Design.
While a potentially more exact process than a wall-covering, painted stripes will give you more control over the width and direction of the stripes. They’re also more affordable.
“Don’t be afraid to run the stripes vertically or horizontally,” said Kelly. “Horizontal stripes can add visual spaciousness to a smaller room.”
Gray stripes in a garage-converted living room. By Kerrie Kelly Design Lab.
And, stripes aren’t just for playful spaces.
“Obviously a stripe is fun, but if you have a more sophisticated space, you could have two stripes that were similar in color, like tone on tone,” explained Benedict.
Worried that stripes will be too bold for a space? Benedict suggests painting stripes in the same hue but alternating sheens, such as matte and gloss.
“A matte paint versus a gloss adds texture and dimension to a room, but it’s not the first thing you notice when you walk into a room. It affects you on a subconscious level,” he said.
On the ceiling
Striped walls or floors can be bold, but for the biggest statement, consider striping the ceiling.
Varying stripes are fun on the ceiling of this nursery.
“When you think about it, a ceiling is a big portion of the room that’s ignored,” said Benedict.
He and his team painted the ceiling of a nursery with stripes of different widths in a punchy green shade.
“We thought [painting the ceiling] would be like a canopy overhead,” he explained. “What’s fun is the stripes are all different. The room already has a lot of symmetry and the stripes are a way to mix it up.”
If painting or using wall coverings is too big of a stripe investment, consider adding striped pillows or throws, or using a striped fabric to recover a seat cushion or small chair.
Bold black-and-white striped cushions are an easy way to update a space. By Laura Coburn of CoCo Designs.
Or, try a rug. Kelly says stripes “underfoot” is her favorite way to incorporate the look into a space.
“A striped area rug can anchor a space and add personality,” she said.
Her trick for long-lasting rugs in a high-traffic area?
“Check out indoor/outdoor rugs for your indoor spaces — the durability and color vibrancy works like a charm,” Kelly said.
Stripes on the exterior? Why not? Design by Dyna Contracting.
“I can’t think of any space you shouldn’t use stripes,” said Benedict. “Stripes have a lot of longevity, depending on how you do it. As long as everything looks great together, it will last a long time.”
Get more home-design inspiration on Zillow Digs.