Make Your Mark

Wake up your space with the power of stripes.
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Stripes variety
Stripes blend with a variety of colors and work on furniture, rugs and artwork. Photography courtesy Kravet

Stripes don’t have to be straight to make a statement. Part of their appeal is the fact they vary.

Big stripes, little stripes, zigzag stripes — even chevron or the natural pattern in bamboo blinds count as stripes.

Stripes are frequently used for outdoor fabric and décor, but this classic style can work throughout the home or cottage because stripes mix with florals, paisleys and plaids.

And the trend isn’t just hot for furniture, pillows and rugs. Recently, there has been a shift toward graphic accent walls as people crave more pattern and color in their homes, says Rebecca Luckhardt, designer account executive for Sherwin-Williams Cleveland and Detroit markets.

Bedding by Pine Cone Hill
This bedding by Pine Cone Hill is another way to incorporate subtle stripes and patterns. Blues are hot right now. Try navy and indigo for a nautical feel. Photography courtesy HarborTown Interiors

Finding the right room is key. “Choose one with a square ceiling and avoid a room with angles. It’s nice to have that crispness and evenness to the room,” she says. “Vertical stripes have more of a traditional elegance that can be incorporated in a formal dining room, while horizontal is a bit more modern.”

Stripes can add orderliness to busy areas like a child’s room or rec room. Vertical stripes can create the illusion of more height by drawing the eye upward. Painted stripes on the ceiling might go in a diagonal pattern or mimic the effect of beams.

“It can add a lot of interest and be done very architecturally,” says Luckhardt.

Add playfulness to a space with multiple colors or varying widths. “You can transform your walls into a work of art,” she says.

Blues are hot right now. Try navy and indigo for a nautical feel. Painted stripes can embellish everything from dressers to floors.

“People want a little finish on furniture,” says Luckhardt, who recommends using paint with sheen. For floors, she says, “A chevron pattern looks like an area rug.”

Stripes are in demand at HarborTown Interiors in St. Joseph, which offers full-service interior design services and home furnishings and accessories with a coastal feel. Mary Kay Hylton, one of the owners, says stripes are everywhere, but also blend well.

Stripes on walls
As people crave more pattern and color in their homes, stripes are being painted on walls, ceilings and even the floor. Photography courtesy Sherwin-Williams

You don’t necessarily think about every stripe in the room.

“You might have artwork, like an abstract seascape that has stripes of sand, water and sky,” she says.

Stripes can be incorporated in subtle ways with rattan blinds, grasscloth and other natural materials. They also are beginning to surface in accent furniture, case pieces and reclaimed wood furniture.

“Wood blinds have a horizontal stripe,” Hylton says. “So does a brick fireplace or a tile backsplash. There’s always something in the room, so it doesn’t hurt to introduce more stripes. Just because it’s horizontal doesn’t mean you can’t add vertical, too.”

It can be as simple as a ribbon on a lampshade. “There are many ways to play with stripes, like tie-dye bedding. In blue and white, it takes a traditional color combination and makes it trendy.”

Stripes on wall, greenStripes can be paired with other patterns such as geometrics and florals as long as the scale varies. A square pillow can be placed vertically or horizontally to change the direction of the stripe for a slightly different look.

“For a beach vibe, blue and white is a great color combination. It keeps it crisp,” Hylton says.

Whether it’s a zigzag or chevron pattern, stripes add visual interest.

“They can be different widths and go from two colors to many colors. Depending on how the stripe is cut and sewn, it can create many different looks, such as a mitered or pinwheel pattern,” says Michelle Weber, showroom manager for Kravet at Michigan Design Center in Troy.

Striped wallpaper may be solid or strié. The width of the stripe may vary, such as an awning stripe, pencil stripe or barcode stripe. “Different scale stripes can be used together. You can even mix stripes with plaids,” she says.

Stripes never go out of style. “People are beginning to use more color,” says Weber. “Chevron also remains popular. The color trends change, but chevron is always a classic.”

For more info: sherwin-williams.com; harbortowninteriors.com; kravet.com.

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