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Star stripes

From the Resene decorating blog

Draw the line at an insipid interior with a motif that’s tried and true.

It might be right what they say about leopards and their spots, but with Resene on the scene, you can easily make a change with stripes. This classic pattern has been around for centuries, and we’re used to seeing it in certain guises. A contemporary update to this, though, is to use paint and well-considered styling to include stripes in your interior in unexpected ways. Bridging the gap between traditional and trend, it’s a look that’s a guaranteed scene-stealer, without straying too far from timeless.

A green and white striped lounge

Walls painted in Resene Rice Cake and Resene Clover, floor in Resene Rice Cake, skirting in Resene Clover, dado rail in Resene Chenin, cabinet in Resene Smoke Tree, vases on cabinet in Resene Chenin and Resene Paper Doll, candleholder in Resene Dingley, bowl in Resene Green Leaf, coffee table in Resene Dingley, vases on coffee table in Resene Smoke Tree and Resene Midwinter Mist. Candle from Superette, sofa from Città, terracotta cushion from Nood. Project by Vanessa Nouwens, image by Wendy Fenwick.

Make a statement

Stripes are a timeless design, but your aesthetic doesn’t have to be traditional.

Use colour to make stripes have a graphic yet elegant impact. Stripes in forest and pastoral greens such as Resene Clover paired with yellow-white Resene Rice Cake are a nod to country style seen in the cottagecore trend, perfect for a bedroom or living room feature wall.

For a clean, refined finish, toe the line by using the right tools to keep your stripes on the straight and narrow. Begin by painting your entire wall in the feature colour, usually the darker base colour (you could use a roller for this, then switch to a brush for your stripes). Once dry, use a level, ruler and pencil to mark your lines, then mask with painter’s tape (available from your local Resene ColorShop or the online Resene ColorShop), pressing it down firmly so you don’t get any ‘bleed’. For thick stripes 15cm lines are a good width but for a more subtle line, 5cm lines will create more of a pin-striped effect. Apply the stripe colour, apply two coats and then remove the tape when the paint is almost dry.

Top tip: to ensure no paint peels off in this process, use low-tack masking tape.

A kids bedroom with diagonal stripes

Diagonal stripes create a sense of movement and earthy neutrals to help keep the look grounded and stop it seeming too ‘busy’. Wall painted in Resene Merino, Resene Ebb and Resene Truffle, floor in Resene Quarter Truffle, bedside table in Resene Ebb, toybox in Resene Apache, dresser in Resene Merino and (top to bottom) Resene Brown Sugar, Resene Ebb and Resene Apache, rainbow stacking blocks in (from outer ring) Resene Brown Sugar, Resene Apache, Resene Triple Truffle, Resene Soothe, Resene Quarter Truffle and Resene Merino, vase and lampshade in Resene Soothe, table in Resene Soothe, pencil pot in Resene Brown Sugar and stools in Resene Brown Sugar and Resene Apache. Lamp and duvet cover from Adairs, gingham pillowcase from Homebody, pink cushion cover from H&M Home, heart-shaped cushion and floral pillowcase from Little Whimsy. Project by Vanessa Nouwens, image by Bryce Carleton.

A twist on the classics

Breton stripes are a print that rose to prominence as the uniform of the French Navy in the mid-1800s (apparently the distinctive pattern made it easy to spot men who fell overboard).

Today, the horizontal blue-and-white lines are better known as a hallmark of Gallic chic, so why not use them bring a bit of your own je ne sais quoi to your interior? For an interesting take on the classic design, try using Breton stripes on large pieces of furniture such as cabinets or a tallboy or on a privacy screen. Build your own striped privacy screen using two sheets of 1200mm x 600mm pre-cut MDF. Trace identical curves onto the surface, then cut out with a jig saw. Screw the panels together, fill the holes with wood filler, then sand to remove any rough edges. Dust with a clean, dry rag before coating with Resene Quick Dry primer, then when dry, paint two coats of Resene SpaceCote in a neutral colour, try Resene Half Alabaster. Let dry, then measure and mask eight stripes on each screen, leaving a border around the top and bottom and a corner in which to hang an artwork, then paint with stripes. Try baby-blue Resene Pattens Blue before removing the tape when the paint is nearly, but not completely, dry.

Play with optics

Stripes have transformative qualities in a room and can often give the illusion of space.

Vertical stripes draw the eye up and will make ceilings look higher while horizontal stripes can widen the feeling of a room. To avoid stripes dominating a space, break up the pattern with furniture and artwork painted in complementary colours. Another option is painting vertical stripes on the top half of the wall only, and anchoring the room with a solid colour below the dado line. Consider painting the dado line itself with a contrasting stripe of colour to give the room a graphic twist. Alternatively, try stripes at the top of the wall, as a painted version of a wallpaper border. This is particularly effective if your walls are not straight, as lengthy stripes can accentuate imperfections on a flat surface.

Breton-esque stripes on a privacy screen

Breton-esque stripes on a privacy screen can be used to create a reading nook in an open-plan living area. While layering in a little more colour into your interior, look to increase the visual texture by echoing your painted stripes in other elements – in this nook you can see them in the drape of the linen-look curtains and the leg of the side table enlivened by Resene Code Red.

Wall painted in Resene Half Alabaster, floor in Resene Rakaia, arch screen in Resene Half Alabaster and Resene Pattens Blue, side table in Resene Code Red and vase in Resene Pale Rose. Lamp from Lighting Plus, chair from Contempa, cushion from Adairs, artwork by Brenda Clews, vase from H&M Home, boots from Zara. Project by Melle van Sambeek, image by Bryce Carleton.

A bedroom with warm brown stripes

Warm browns are beautiful in bedrooms and in this one – on a base of off-white Resene White Pointer – coppery Resene Cumin keeps the aesthetic interesting in the form of a mural. Incorporating a bold shade in this way allows it to spice up the scene without dominating it as a full wall of intense colour might – in this case while also making more of the wall light.

Wall and skirting in Resene White Pointer, stripes, arch and jug vase in Resene Cumin, floor and bud vase in Resene Half Raven, planter in Resene Cloud, low dish in Resene Coast and breakfast artwork in Resene Bison Hide, Resene Taupe Grey, Resene Chelsea Gem, Resene Brown Pod, Resene Sandspit Brown, Resene Pioneer Red, Resene Apple Blossom, Resene Tulip Tree, Resene Navigate, Resene Milk White, Resene Gumboot, Resene Pale Leaf, Resene Smokescreen and Resene Sea Fog. Carrie lamp by Menu from Paper Plane, side table, heavy linen cushions and throw from Città, duvet cover and pillowcases from Foxtrot Home, slippers from Muji. Project by Laura Lynn Johnston, image by Melanie Jenkins.

Pair with patterns

Maximalism is a huge design trend and stripes are the perfect way to incorporate several patterns into one space. When pairing stripes and other patterns, choose designs that are within a complementary colour palette and mix different scales of patterns.

Clean sweeps

Swap sophisticated for something less serious in a child’s bedroom by turning stripes on their head – or the diagonal. Unexpected angles and colour combinations offer a not so straight-laced version of this look, but if you’re concerned about longevity, stick to relatively neutral hues that will remain relevant throughout the years. Simply use accessories such as bedlinen, cushions and furniture to alter the colour palette in the rest of the room if their tastes change.

Whether you’re aiming for classic elegance or to make a bold graphic statement, stripes are an-easy-to achieve design. And let’s face it nothing is more satisfying than removing painter’s tape to reveal a perfectly crisp clean straight line.

Spice things up in the bedroom

Warm browns are beautiful in bedrooms and in this one – on a base of off-white Resene White Pointer – coppery Resene Cumin keeps the aesthetic interesting in the form of a mural. Incorporating a bold shade in this way allows it to spice up the scene without dominating it as a full wall of intense colour might – in this case while also making more of the wall light.

To replicate this at your place, use a level, ruler and pencil to mark 5cm-wide lines on the wall before applying painter’s tape to their outer edges. To create the outer ring of the arch, press a pin into the centre to hold in place a length of string with a pencil tied to the end of it. Pull the string tight to draw your arch before repeating the process with a piece of string 5cm shorter to create the inner edge. Mask with painter’s tape, paint, leave to dry, then peel off the tape.

Allow your artistry to be the main attraction in your bedroom by avoiding the visual competition a headboard could create. Instead, use large Euro cushions and pillows in block colours that offset your pinstriped bedding and striped throw.

When adding colour to a space through styling, consider the undertones of your key paint. Resene Cumin has orange undertones, so because orange and blue sit opposite each other on the colour wheel, dusty blues and blue greys are excellent complements. Along with the bedding, we’ve added these hues to our accessories by painting our ceramics with testpots of Resene Cloud, Resene Half Raven and Resene Coast.

November 31, 2021

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