Getting back to stripes!

What comes to mind when you think of stripes? The American flag? A prison? A candy cane? The White Stripes band? A Zebra? Billiard balls? Fruit stripes gum? Whatever it is, we all have our own perception of stripes.

What comes to my mind when I think of stripes is my Junior year of college.

The class: Furniture Design

The project: To design a dining table that coincided with any dining chair of your choosing.

First, it didn’t help that I chose probably the most heinous dining chair on the planet. Big mistake. Then I proceeded to design a dining table that went with it. Even bigger mistake.

I can remember my professor telling me that the table reminded her of a jail cell! Black and white painted wood slats lined its base. Then we had to make a model of it too! So now I get to re-live my awful design in 3-D popsicle sticks for the rest of my life!

Honestly, what WAS I thinking? And to this day, I am hesitant about using stripes! Was it the jail cell table incident that scarred me for life? I may never know.

But I am slowly coming back around to stripes and shedding myself of my phobia. How could I avoid using them? They are everywhere- and I actually LOVE them when I see them used in magazines.

But what is the key to using stripes?

Scale and orientation. Always ask yourself if the stripes would look better horizontally…or vertically? Vertical stripes on a wall make a room appear taller and horizontal makes a room appear wider.

Make sure your stripes are the right size for what you are putting them on. Tiny pillows won’t look so great with incredibly wide stripes! You lose your pattern.

I love this dramatic, striped entry from House Beautiful– very Dorothy Draper!

Here’s a nursery with a lot of style! Golden yellow painted stripes on the ceiling give the baby something fun to stare up at.

This room from House Beautiful is wrapped in stripes. You would think this would make it feel incredibly busy, but instead the continuity of it gives off a nice serene vibe.

This cheery bathroom provides a big punch of color in a small space. The continuation of the stripes on the ceiling makes the ceilings appear to be taller.

Or you can go all out like this Domino reader did and put stripes on your floor, walls, and ceiling! They are incredibly brave!