From wide, pastel-hued bands, to subtle oh-so-neutral ticking, stripes have featured in our homes for years. And now they’re in the spotlight once again.
The return of the stripe to our floors, walls and accessories is no surprise, now we’re embracing pattern again.
And stripes can be both classic or bold. They can uplift a space in ways that other patterns can’t and, when used alongside other prints and plains, they clash beautifully. Here’s how to work the look (and when to draw the line):
Stripe revival: Striking bedroom wallpaper. Stripes can uplift a space in ways that other patterns can’t and, when used alongside other prints and plains, they clash beautifully
Versatile and smart, stripes can add a grown-up look to your home.
‘I love using them as a counterpoint to florals,’ says interior designer Laura Stephens (laurastephens.co.uk). ‘I often pair a subtle striped blind with a bold patterned wallpaper. It’s a great way to break up a busy design.’
Consider scale — narrow lines lend easy elegance, while wider stripes tend to inject impact. Pairing the two will add depth and variety.
‘Proportion is key,’ says Wil Law, home design stylist at John Lewis & Partners.
‘Opting for slim, vertical stripes on walls gives height to a room, while wider stripes are more daring. On soft furnishings, a mix of horizontal and vertical contemporises the look.’
Going straight: Frill cushion, £55, Katy Takla
Cushions and rugs are also a good way to flirt with stripes — try Wicklewood’s Saltaire rug in Blue Green, £825, or the Gloria cushion, from £145, which combines stripes with a scalloped edge.
A chunky-striped tablecloth is an easy way to add effortless style.
Summerill & Bishop offers heirloom options, from its Stripe Linen range, from £275, while The Sette has just launched co-ordinating table linens by Turner Pocock, featuring an informal brushstroke design, from £70.
Use the stripes as a base, picking up their colour with a table scheme.
Style it out
If you’re handy with a paintbrush, use masking tape to add stripes to walls, whether wide and vertical or horizontally on a wall’s lower half.
‘When pairing two colours, go for the same basic tones, like a pale grey-green with a deeper olive,’ says Crown’s Justyna Korczynska.
You can also enliven simple painted stripes by adding in an accent colour at regular intervals. ‘Alternatively use different widths for each stripe to create a more dynamic repeat,’ suggests Benjamin Moore’s Helen Pett.
If paint treatments feel too complicated, stick to a classic approach.
For a fuss-free, traditional look, try Colefax And Fowler’s Ditton Stripe wallpaper, £76 per roll.
Ticking is a brilliant way to introduce the look more gently. A durable fabric once largely consigned to the outer layer of mattresses, this slim, easy-on-the-eye stripe looks smart on bedlinen and chairs.
Try the Secret Linen Store’s collection of crisp linens for beds, and for upholstery, you can’t go wrong with Madeaux’s classic Audrey stripe.
‘Stripes have the magical ability to create impact while knocking back busier patterns,’ says interior designer and textile specialist Alexandra Morrall (Studio Mahala).
When looking to introduce stripes on flooring, they are particularly effective in narrow hallways. ‘They add visual interest, hide marks and, in a linear arrangement, enlarge a space by drawing the eye along the design,’ says Kersaint Cobb’s Jon Flannigan.
Collection Noir’s Samantha Wilson believes that the key to the longevity of the stripe lies in the many ways it can be reinvented. ‘Pairing it with zig-zags, chevrons and geometric prints makes for a modern approach,’ she says.
Whatever approach you choose in your home, a classic line will stand the test of time.
Savings of the week! Kitchen trolleys
Wayfair’s oak and black metal Santa Clarita (pictured) is down from £131.99 to £111.99, a 15 per cent cut
The trolley is a cheap and convenient way to add storage to a kitchen — particularly if you need to stash home-working impedimenta.
Choose the right model and you can also use it to serve drinks or to display a vase and a plant, enlivening a sitting room. Savings of as much as 28 per cent are available on this indispensable item.
Ryman has a black three-tier trolley whose industrial chic styling would suit a contemporary kitchen. The price is £20, reduced from £27.99, a 28 per cent cut.
If you want a piece to blend with a grey or beige decor, The Range offers the Livingandhome three-tier wood and metal trolley reduced from £89.99 to £79.99, down 11 per cent.
Another model, the Homcom, is reduced by 20 per cent from £114.99 to £91.99.
This trolley, which has a slightly Art Deco feel, comes with racks for wine bottles and holders for glasses.
Wayfair has more expensive models including the oak and black metal Santa Clarita, down from £131.99 to £111.99, a 15 per cent cut.
It would hold a lot of files, a laptop and other kit — but also enough bottles and glasses for a party.