Trend watch: Stripes

by on July 12, 2010

Earn your stripes with a contemporary and chic take on a classic style.

Whether you are looking to update your wardrobe or your décor, it seems that fashion and interior designers simply cannot resist the reliable, classic style of stripes. Catwalk fashion has been dominated by Parisian chic whilst interior design has been inspired by this geometric print for fabrics, carpets, wallpaper and furniture.


Use stripes on your wall to enhance the shape and size of your room; horizontal stripes running along the midpoint of a wall extend and elongate a smaller room, and lighter cooler tones will make a space seem larger. Hang Stripey Wallpaper from Flock Your Wall or Gradient Wallpaper from Graham and Brown vertically or horizontally to give a contemporary look to any room. Using vertical stripes in moderation will make a low ceiling feel higher; an overload of pattern will crowd a room therefore making it seem more enclosed. A feature wall behind a bed or surrounding a fireplace, for example, will help break up the pattern. Laurence Llewellyn-Bowen’s Mosaic Stripe from Graham and Brown, interprets stripes in a unique way that adds interest to the design.

Painting stripes are a simple design that will add depth and interest, but you will need to do a bit of preparation in terms of measuring and taping to get your stripes aligned. For helpful hints and tips try


Put a bounce in your step with soft and luxurious stripy carpet; if you are carpeting all over then you can elongate a room and create a vibrant look. Try the Mississippi or Tiffany collections in 100% wool from Crucial Trading for comfort and durability. Jazz up your stairs with a vertical stripe runner that will draw your eye. Brintons offer many stylish runners that will work brilliantly on hardwood stair floorings, and it will also help draw the eye into your home. Paul Smith has inspired and popularised stripes in interiors; his Stripe rug from The Rug Company combines striking colour and texture to really liven up a room.

Carnival cotton stripe, £21.50 per metre, Tinsmiths


Stripes are best used in moderation so if you choose to make your furniture a feature in your room then avoid stripes on your walls, instead you can use subtle accessorise to repeat the pattern elsewhere. For a stripy feature piece try the Vertical Stripe Chest of Drawers from Bassett which is given a contemporary and chic look with its bold black and fruitwood stripes on cherry veneer. The Hampton velvet stripe chair from Sheer Home has a stripy fabric that comes in a choice of five colourways to suit your colour scheme. Or to add a nautical touch to your child’s bedroom use the Small Blue Striped Chair Wisteria which would be perfect for a sailor theme.

If you want to update your furnishings and bring some Parisian chic into your home, then you can choose from a selection of Striped fabrics from Tinsmiths or check out Ian Mankin’s natural and organic fabrics, which are all ideal for upholstering.


Upholstery, cushions and throws can be updated with a simple stripe. The classic pinstripe doesn’t just look great on suits; in fact it can achieve a suave, masculine look and it will bring clean, straight lines to a bedroom. The Woven Linen Stripe Bed Linen has a fresh, nautical feel with its pure whites and deep blue tones. For a more feminine touch, mix in some florals to give a warm and playful style. Or try Frilled Edge Cushions from Graham and Green to add some summer style to your garden or dining chairs or your sofa. The Catrine Stripe tablecloth from Sally Bourne Interiors use multi-coloured stripes which will allow you to introduce lots of colour into your living or dining area.

Bring out the best of the playful and optimistic feel of stripes by using rainbow colours.

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About Emma Foale

Emma Foale Emma is a Features Writer and intern at She enjoys writing and getting inspiration from quirky, modern designs, and all things that create visual impact.