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Adding Pizzazz to Your Room with Stripes

Updated on June 11, 2020
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Linda is a seasoned writer and bedroom authority. She loves sharing design trends, decor ideas, and useful tips with her readers.

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 quite tiresome looking around a room with plain unadorned walls. Incorporating stripes will energize everything in the space. Stripes inject color, texture and drama. You can surround a room with stripes or an accent 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 height in rooms with low ceilings.

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

1. Paint

Painting is the tried and true method to create 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 reduce labor use your current wall paint color as one of the stripes. 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 stripes.

Let your base coat dry thoroughly and measure off the 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 at full width place the tape along the outside of those lines. It may sound obvious but 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 avoid 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 and leaving a jagged stripe.

Get your painter's tape, yardstick and laser level to make perfectly, clean straight stripes.
Get your painter's tape, yardstick and laser level to make perfectly, clean straight stripes. | Source

Striped Accent Wall

2. Decals

Decals are one of the easiest ways to create stripes on your wall. Creating stripes with removable decals makes it extremely attractive for renters. Several companies offer stripe decals in lengths of 4 to 12 feet and 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.

If you like, let your inner artist run wild and create custom stripes based on your decor. In the image below the free form stripe was created with a background decal layered with variety of individual shapes to resemble falling leaves and flowers.

You'll need to do some precise measuring to get your stripes straight but won't have to deal with messy paint and clean up. When you are ready to redecorate or have to move simply peel off the stripes with no damage to the wall surface. Wall decals offer an imaginative and neat way to create fun striped designs.

These removable whimsical decal stripes are perfect for a rental unit.
These removable whimsical decal stripes are perfect for a rental unit. | Source

3. Wallpaper

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 the walls, add a chair rail and paint the lower portion to create the look of wainscoting.

You can 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.

These crisp awning stripes are perfect for a bedroom, hallway or an office.
These crisp awning stripes are perfect for a bedroom, hallway or an office. | Source

4. Fabric

Like wallpaper the availability of striped fabrics are virtually limitless. You can easily add fabric stripes to a room just by installing striped curtains or Roman shades. However, if you really want to take it over the top use the identical fabric to cover your walls that will completely envelop your room in stripes. Our advice is to go with a subtle stripe in soft colors if you're brave enough to try this look.

One of the easiest ways to apply fabric to walls involves liquid starch much as you would use wallpaper paste. This is another brilliant option for apartment dwellers. The fabrics can be removed 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!

Using striped fabric is similar to applying wallpaper.
Using striped fabric is similar to applying wallpaper. | Source

© 2019 Linda Chechar


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