Adding Pizzazz to Your Room with Stripes

Stripes are everywhere! From home interiors to fashion, they have always been a staple in the world of design. They are fun and vibrant. And face it, stripes are so easy. They can be paired with florals, animal prints, paisleys, checks, jacquards and exotic ikats. How versatile is that?

It’s natural to tire of plain, unadorned walls. Incorporating stripes onto wall surfaces will energize everything in a room. Stripes can inject color, texture and drama. You can surround a space with stripes or stripe a single wall to create a focal point. Striped walls can also visually change the shape of your room. Horizontal stripes will make a room wider or longer. Vertical stripes give the illusion of a height in rooms with low ceilings.

Stripes give you the latitude to inject some of your personality into your home’s design. Here are four techniques to create picture perfect stripes in any room of your home. Hopefully one or more will inspire you!

Painting is the tried and true method of creating a striped wall. We like wider stripes, so as a guide, make your horizontal stripes at least 12 inches wide and vertical stripes no less than 6 inches wide.

To save money on paint and cut down on labor, use your current wall paint color as one of the stripe colors. If your wall paint is scuffed and otherwise unacceptable, purchase a can of inexpensive interior latex and lay down a base coat. Choose a coordinating or contrasting color for the alternating stripe.

Let your base coat dry thoroughly and measure off your stripes with a level and marking pencil. Place small pieces of blue painter’s tape within the stripes that are not to be painted – just as a reminder. To ensure the painted stripes are full width, place the tape along the outside of those lines. I know this sounds obvious, but believe me, things can get a little confusing after all the measuring and taping.

Don’t forget to press firmly along the entire length of the painter’s tape to prevent paint seepage under the tape. Also, remove the tape before the paint dries completely. This will prevent paint from peeling off along the tape’s edge, leaving you with a jagged border.

Tips From The Home Depot For Painting Vertical Stripes 

Decals are one of the easiest ways to create stripes on your wall. Creating stripes with removable decals makes them extremely attractive to renters. Several companies offer stripe decals from lengths of 4 to 12 feet and in widths of 1 to 7 inches. You can mix and match different colors and sizes to customize the stripes. You can also choose patterned stripes to give your room an ultra chic designer look!

Or, you can let your inner artist run wild and create custom stripes based on your decor. In the image above, the free form stripe was created with a variety of individual decal shapes positioned on the wall to resemble falling leaves and flowers.

Sure, you'll have to do some precise measuring to get your stripes straight, but you won't have to deal with paint and clean up. When you are ready to redecorate or have to move, simply peel the stripes off without damaging the wall surface.Wall decals offer a creative, and less messy, way to create wall stripes.

If you are skilled at wallpapering, there are thousands of stripe designs from which to choose. Quality wallpaper can be expensive, so you might want to consider papering a single wall to add that pizzazz without breaking the bank. You could also apply striped wallpaper to the upper half of your walls, add a chair rail and paint the lower portion to create the look of wainscoting.

Purchase wallpaper from specialty shops, discount stores, home centers, paint stores and e-retailers. Browse through catalogs, sample books and online images to find the perfect stripes for your walls!

Like wallpaper, the availability of striped fabrics is virtually limitless. You can add stripes to a room by using striped curtains or Roman shades. That would probably be enough stripes for most of us.

However, if you really want to take it over the top, you can use the same fabric to cover your walls, completely enveloping your room in stripes! Our advice is to use a subtle stripe in subdued colors if you are adventurous enough to try that look.

One of the easiest ways to apply fabric to walls involves using liquid starch much as you would wallpaper paste. This is another brilliant option for apartment dwellers. Remove the fabric by pulling up a corner of the fabric and lifting it off the wall. It won’t harm the wall and believe it or not, you can wash the fabric and reuse it again.

Have a great time shaking up those boring walls with stripes!

IMAGE SOURCES (all via flickr)
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