Seeing Stripes: Black and White

I honestly don’t know where it began, but as I’ve gotten older I have become increasingly fascinated by patterns. It probably is just me, but if you too are drawn to patterns, nothing is more classic and timeless than the old black and white stripes standby.  

Black and white strips add instant visual appeal (maybe it’s the power they hold together that draws us to them). I’m just a plain old room, then BAM! Black and white stripes strike and presto, daring dimension transcending almost all styles, ranging from contemporary to eclectic to traditional.

There are a few ways to use them. Stripes are good if you prefer to be bold in your spaces. Let us rate each possible stripey method on the daring (1-10) and drama scale (1-10). 

On The Walls or Floor: [Daring – 9, Drama – 8] This takes guts. Use black and white stripes on your walls for the highest impact at the highest risk (yes, the risk you take if you can’t pull it off). If you love the look but are still wary, stripe a focal wall or a space with less traffic like a bathroom or nursery. Here is how to pull it off: 

Contemporary Dining Room by San Francisco Photographers Margot Hartford Photography

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Contemporary Kitchen by Melbourne Architects & Building Designers Nest Architects

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Contemporary Dining Room by San Francisco Interior Designers & Decorators Noz Design

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Modern Bathroom by Brisbane Interior Designers & Decorators James Dawson Interiors

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Modern Bathroom by Brisbane Interior Designers & Decorators James Dawson Interiors

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Modern Home Office by New York Paint & Wall Coverings JustWalls

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Living Room by Other Metro Photographers Elad Gonen

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Mediterranean Kids by North Hollywood Home Media Design & Installation ForTech Solutions

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kourtney kardashian

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Eclectic Bathroom by London Interior Designers & Decorators Barlow & Barlow Design

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Transitional Kitchen by Guelph Interior Designers & Decorators Online Interior Design

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Contemporary Bedroom

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Contemporary Nursery by Seattle General Contractors Dyna Contracting

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Traditional Bedroom by Greenville Architects & Building Designers C. Taylor Interiors, Inc.

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Eclectic Bedroom by Sydney Interior Designers & Decorators Palazzo Design International Pty Ltd

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Traditional Bathroom by Other Metro Architects & Building Designers Claudia Montevecchi

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In The Furniture Upholstery: [Daring – 7, Drama – 7] Typically increased drama comes with increased costs. Finding the right black and white striped furniture is a risky business and the options can be expensive, but when you nail the right piece, this returns a great visual reward. Wildon Home Chair and their Chest are two of my fave pieces out there (don’t forget DIY). Examples of this are harder to come by:

Traditional Kitchen by Campbell Schools and Organizations NARI Silicon Valley Chapter

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Eclectic Dining Room by Boston Interior Designers & Decorators Rachel Reider Interiors

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Traditional Living Room by Columbus Design-Build Firms Behal Sampson Dietz

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Victorian Bathroom by Dallas Media & Bloggers Sarah Greenman

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Traditional Family Room by San Rafael Paint & Wall Coverings Ross Painting

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Transitional Living Room by Eden Prairie Interior Designers & Decorators Romens

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On The Rug: [Daring – 5, Drama – 6] Still daring, still dramatic but a much safer route as black and white stripes work with all decorating styles. Some of my favorite textile companions are from Safavieh, Crate and Barrel and even, yes, IKEA (a design that might be most prevalent within the B+W rug scene):

Contemporary Dining Room by Bloomington General Contractors AMEK Custom Builders

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Contemporary Living Room by Montreal Interior Designers & Decorators Sarah D. Brown Design

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Eclectic Living Room by Calgary Home Builders Brookfield Residential YYC

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Transitional Family Room by Marshfield Interior Designers & Decorators South Shore Decorating

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Beach Style Living Room by Nantucket General Contractors Main Street Construction

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Industrial Living Room by Houston Interior Designers & Decorators Laura U, Inc.

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Contemporary Kids by Dallas Interior Designers & Decorators Mary Anne Smiley Interiors

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Contemporary Bedroom by Miami Interior Designers & Decorators Deborah Wecselman Design, Inc

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Traditional Living Room by Northville Interior Designers & Decorators Edward Postiff Interiors

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Scandinavian Living Room by Other Metro Architects bfs d – flachsbarth schultz

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Scandinavian Living Room by London Photographers Chris Snook

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Traditional Living Room by Chevy Chase General Contractors Georgetown Development

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Contemporary Kids by Brooklyn Kids & Nursery SISSY+MARLEY

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Modern Living Room by Other Metro Photographers Pamela Hanné

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Beach Style Bedroom by Rehoboth Beach Home Builders Echelon Custom Homes

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On The Fabrics: [Daring – 5, Drama – 5] There is something fresh about stripes on textiles. Pop some stripes with your curtains, bed and table linens, throw blankets and furniture skirts. Remember the thinner the stripes, the less of the impact. 

Transitional Dining Room by South Orange Interior Designers & Decorators Karen B Wolf Interiors, Associate ASID

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Contemporary Bedroom by Melbourne Interior Designers & Decorators Diane Bergeron Interiors

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Traditional Kitchen by Reston Home Builders Stanley Martin Homes

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Eclectic Living Room by Chicago Interior Designers & Decorators Nichole Loiacono Design

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Contemporary Dining Room by Melbourne Interior Designers & Decorators Massimo Interiors

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Traditional Family Room by Raleigh Furniture & Accessories O. Henry House, ltd.

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Contemporary Spaces by Other Metro Interior Designers & Decorators Ana Antunes Homestyling

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Contemporary Living Room by London Interior Designers & Decorators Boscolo Interior Design

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Contemporary Bedroom by San Francisco Furniture & Accessories One Kings Lane

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Outdoor Furnishings: [Daring – 3, Drama – 4] This is the most adaptable use of stripes but also looks fabulous.. Something about black and white stripes outdoors is reminiscent of poolside cabanas and classy canopies. 

Traditional Exterior by Alexandria General Contractors Thorsen Construction

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Beach Style Pool by Bethesda Design-Build Firms OPaL, LLC

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Mediterranean Patio by Scottsdale Architects & Building Designers Higgins Architects

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Traditional Patio by West Chester Furniture & Accessories FRONTGATE

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Traditional Patio by Ben Lomond Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers Design Focus International

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Traditional Patio by Scottsdale Architects & Building Designers EARTH AND IMAGES

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Modern Patio by Chicago Landscape Architects & Landscape Designers Topiarius, Inc

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If you are really feeling the Black and White look, check out B/W + Yellow or B/W + Red. Still unsure? Take easier risks in less visited spaces or decorative accessories which are simple to switch up. Remember, if you like black and white in a space, you can always back it with a punch of color. Until next time. 

Stay saucy,

Jenn

 

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