Selecting fabrics is truly a passion of mine. It is probably my most favorite part of the job of a decorator, or at least this decorator! I love all fabrics, the colors, textures and materials each convey a different part of the story that I am creating for my clients to live their lives in. So, selecting the right fabric to strike the right balance or hit the right note to enforce a mood or a feeling is paramount to all other aspects of my job. I spend hours looking through my vast library of resources to get rooms to look and feel perfect for each client. This concentrated effort looks effortless if done properly. It’s not really something you can learn. It comes from an innate feeling, which I have refined over time and continue to enjoy doing for people.
Of all the types of fabrics, perhaps the most under-appreciated is the stripe. A stripe can be formal, it can be informal. A stripe can be traditional and it can be modern. For all its applications, it does tend to come in and out of style. In the past year or so, the stripe is making a resurgence and here are three ways I like to incorporate them in my designs.
1. Make a Room Modern with Stripes
As you all are well aware by following me for any length of time, I am a traditionalist. But, I still want my rooms to feel relevant to our time, not historically accurate. So, I like to throw in a stripe to give a room a bit of freshness. Now, for it to feel fresh it needs to be more graphic. This can be achieved with bolder colors or larger scale. It can also be a woven, ikat type fabric, which will enhance its more graphic nature.
2. Traditional Rooms Thirst for Stripes
I love a traditional room and nothing says traditional like a stripe. To me, the quintessential dining chair has a striped seat. A mens club or library will have striped chairs and leather. Stripes are the hallmark of tradition and for that reason, I love to use them. They very plainly state that this room is traditional. Also of note here: there are balanced and unbalanced stripes. A balanced stripe repeats itself in a mirror image as it repeats across a bolt of fabric. An unbalanced stripe does not repeat the mirror image from the center of the stripe, but can repeat various sizes and colors of stripes, creating a more dynamic appearance.
3. Stripes as Casually Chic
When I think of a casual stripe, my mind automatically goes to a beach towel. Is there anything more casual? I think not. And, I love to use a linen strie stripe in rooms where I want there to be a sense of ease and relaxation. Mixing in a cabana stripe on a linen or cotton ground can bring a familiar air that communicates comfort and softness to keep a room from feeling too fussy or important. I love to use these type stripes in farmhouse style home. The stripe feels traditional, but relaxed, which is perfect for farmhouse style (which we have plenty of here in middle Tennesse).
With so many options I know you can see how you could incorporate the resurgence of stripes in your home. Which way will work best for you? Modern or traditional, casual or elegant, the noble stripe can change up a room for the better.