By Lindsay Cohn

Published on August 22, 2017

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Photography by RENE STOELTIE
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Photography by MELANIE ACEVEDO

Geometry’s most basic pattern is also perhaps its most versatile. Between the endless color combinations and the dizzying variety of applications, it’s no wonder stripes are a design classic. Needless to say, choosing hues isn’t the only decision you need to make. Equally as important is how you style your space. 

Furnishings should enhance—rather than compete with—walls. On the other hand, you don’t want something so subdued that it gets lost. Striking the perfect balance can be difficult. So we’ve pulled together some top notch inspo to help you navigate the dos and don’ts of decorating with stripes. 

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Photography by TARA MARIE DONNE

Sleek, Chic Living Room

To create a contemporary vibe, pair grey-and-white striped walls with sleek accents. Black and white frames, a platinum table lamp, and geometric throw pillows add a modern touch.

Mini Stripes Removable Wallpaper, $12.99

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Photography by AMANDA FRIEDMAN

Navy, Turquoise, and White

A palette of navy, turquoise, and white—specifically the design-your-own striped wallpaper—takes this half-bath from bland to bold.

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Photography by PAUL COSTELLO

Horizontal Hallway

Short hallway? Try this elongating hack: Use horizontal stripes to create the illusion of length. In this threshold, black and white deliver a dose of drama and timeless allure.

Black & White Stripe Removable Wallpaper, $84.95

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Photography by PAUL COSTELLO

1950s-esque Dressing Area

Painted pale blue-and-white vertical stripes and mirrored accents—an octagon mirror, beveled mirror desk, and glass candlestick lamp—transform this spare bedroom-slash–storage depot into a glamorous dressing area.

Jacklyn Desk, $1,697.99

 
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Photography by PAUL COSTELLO

Retro Kitchen

A common misconception is that striking walls require a subdued backsplash. Not true. In this kitchen, striped wallpaper becomes the unifying element in this retro design—anchoring the glossy avocado-green cabinets and the powder blue espresso machine.

Dogtooth Stripe Wallpaper, $31.99

 
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Photography by RENE STOELTIE

Coastal Commode

Enliven a boring bathroom with a coastal color palette and striped wallpaper. A porthole-inspired window and teal clawfoot tub further enhance the nautical aesthetic of this spot.

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Photography by PAUL COSTELLO

Black and Yellow

Some color combos are harder to pull off than others—but, black and yellow aren’t just for bumble bees. Equal parts finesse and Floridian fun, this boudoir blends citrus-striped walls, an ebonized heirloom bed, and a tropical pineapple bed skirt.

 
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Photography by WILLIAM ABRANOWICZ

Big Top-Inspired Bathroom

Sometimes, too much is just enough! The black-and-white striped walls, trim, and ceiling—painted to look like a dramatically peaked tent—share the spotlight, err big top stage, in this circus-inspired bath.

 
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Photography by MELANIE ACEVEDO

Haute Pink

Want to break free of beige? Try a magenta-striped accent wall. An emerald velvet sofa really pops against the hot hue, while a whimsical area rug ties the look together.

 
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Photography by MELANIE ACEVEDO

Simple Ticking Stripes

For those who prefer a more demure design, simple ticking stripes work beautifully to add interest and dimension to bare walls. Avoid an outdated decor trap by mixing a patterns, textures, and colors—a few primary accent pieces really shake up the soft palette to create a distinct look in this living room.