Are you a designer? Join our Trade program
Free Advice

How to Use Stripes to Unify Any Space, According to the Pros

The Expert Team
a bed with two pillows and two nightstands

Design by Josh Greene. Photo by Shade Degges.

Always classic, stripes are a go to in fashion and in the home. Iconic in blue and white, stripes can go coastal, modern or have a more traditional vibe. But something the pros have known for some time: stripes have range. And when done right, they can transform a room entirely or add a needed graphic hit. We’ve asked the Experts to show how they use this classic cool motif to keep things fresh — and share a few loved products they’re using on repeat.

a living room with two chairs and a coffee table
a bedroom with a bed, nightstand, and window

Design by Ginny Macdonald. Photo by Sara Tramp Interiors.

Design by Ginny Macdonald. Photo by Jessica Alexander.

1. Be strategic when choosing to layout stripes vertically or horizontally.

When using stripes always consider the direction you lay them out - stripes tend to give the illusion of length. If you use stripes as a wallpaper and install it vertically it will make the room feel taller. The same is true when they’re installed horizontally - it'll make a room feel wider. Larger rooms can benefit from a thicker stripe on the walls without it feeling too busy. It'll also give it a grander appearance whereas smaller stripes in a large space could get lost and be less impactful. Narrower stripes are best suited to smaller spaces such as powder rooms, small bedrooms and closets.”

Ginny Macdonald

a black and white chair sitting on top of a cement floor
Nickey KehoeMetal Spindle Back Viewing ChairINQUIRE
three pillows stacked on top of each other
Brooke Perdigon TextilesPath: River Belgian Linen PillowsSHOP NOW
a black and white striped wallpaper with vertical stripes
Farrow & BallCloset Stripe Wallpaper INQUIRE
a living room filled with furniture and a fire place

Design by Studio LIFE/STYLE. Photo by Steven Busken.

2. Depending on the scale, stripes can be treated as a neutral or a high impact focal point.

"Stripes are a neutral! We love sourcing kilim striped rugs to add a bit of interest and texture without being too bold or loud. You can pull in multiple colors from the rug to tie in other pieces in the room.

If using a large scale stripe (like the ASH NY Pillow Chair, below), let the piece be the main event and go more subdued with the other things in the room."


a red and white striped chair sitting in front of a window
a black and white rug with vertical stripes
Marc PhillipsBruten Stripe RugINQUIRE
a dining room table with chairs and a potted plant

Design by Josh Greene. Photo by Victor Harshbarger.

3. Consider off kilter lines for depth and a handmade quality.

"Stripes don’t always have to be perfectly straight, irregularity adds personality. "

Josh Greene

a striped pillow on a white background
Zak + FoxMazan PillowINQUIRE
a blue and white striped coffee cup on a white background
Livio de SimoneLarge CupSHOP NOW
a blue and white bedroom with a large blue fan on the wall

Design by Ariel Okin. Photo by Seth Caplan.

4. Go tonal when you mix and match stripes with solids, florals and other prints.

“I often mix stripes with a check, a solid and a "hero print" like a floral or chintz of some sort. Stripes anchor a space and create a backdrop for patterns to play nicely, or can be the star of the show in a more neutral base.”

Ariel Okin

a white and blue striped wallpaper
SchumacherBrentwood Stripe FabricINQUIRE
a light blue and white striped wallpaper
SchumacherLubeck Stripe FabricINQUIRE


Get personalized advice for your home project Find an Expert.