SHOW YOUR STRIPES!
Published August 28, 2015 – 11:50am
Stripes have long been a popular pick for outdoor fabric and decor, but this timeless style is a versatile option for any room because stripes mix with a multitude of colours and patterns.
Unconventional stripes, not just straight lines, are big in home accessories and easy to incorporate through rugs, pillows, throws, furniture and drapery.
Big stripes, zigzag stripes and little stripes — even a chevron inlay counts as a stripe.
Designer Patti Johnson specializes in custom, luxury interiors and has used custom-made striped rugs in several recent projects. They help pull together the room’s look and blend with multiple patterns, including florals, paisleys, plaid or damask.
“It’s also very transitional in the sense that stripes transition from room to room,” says Johnson, owner of Patti Johnson Interiors.
Stripes also are a way to introduce colour without competing with or overtaking other elements. They are gender and age neutral and nonthreatening to people who prefer a more classic look.
“They can be wide or narrow,” she says. “If there are multiple patterns in a room, a stripe is still a great way to repeat because it’s kind of a non pattern. They are so versatile.”
Striped rugs are especially easy because they work in any room — in a kitchen, a foyer, living room or bath. Another bonus: “If they get tired of it, they can change it,” Johnson says. “I make pieces so you can move it from room to room. Rugs can transition to virtually any space.”
Stripes can be used in subtle ways, such as natural woven bamboo and rattan blinds, or to make a bolder statement as wall covering. Stripes also are surfacing in accent furniture, case pieces and reclaimed wood furniture.
Johnson says wider stripes in carpeting and rugs are a newer introduction in the last couple of years.
Using multiple widths of stripes in coordinating hues adds interest without being overwhelming, says Greg Voorhis, design director, Sunbrella fabrics.
Sunbrella recently introduced several new upholstery fabrics including the Stripes grouping. The company’s upholstery fabrics are suitable for indoor and outdoor furniture, cushions, pillows and drapery.
“Where we’re really seeing stripes make inroads is in indoor settings; first as decorative pillows for a pattern pop and then in larger applications such as drapery or upholstery,” Voorhis says. “Floor-to-ceiling, vertical-striped drapery makes rooms appear larger and draws the eye upward.”
The company also introduced two new, classic stripe patterns — Cabana with a wide stripe and Shore with a narrow stripe — in five colourways. Another trick is to pair a neutral solid with brightly coloured stripe to really make a visual impact.
The key to making stripes work in a three-season or interior space is to coordinate fabrics, not match them, Voorhis says. Sunbrella offers an online fabric showroom, which allows customers to select favourite fabrics, coordinate for upholstery, drapery and shade and find pairings of different patterns they may not have discovered on their own.
“Because our fabrics are made from a common colour palette of yarns, it is easy to coordinate the fabrics with each other — stripes with florals, solids with graphic patterns, and so on,” Voorhis says.
While the use of stripes for decorative pillows is nothing new, another hot trend is pairing stripes with bold, graphic patterns.