Earn your stripes

Pencil-thin or big and bold, those with a penchant for clean parallel lines will fall in love with striped style decor.

Pencil-thin or big and bold, those with a penchant for clean parallel lines will fall in love with striped style decor. Lisa Haynes reports.

There's nothing like deckchair-style decor and candy-colour stripes to get you in the mood for summer. Injecting a room with stripes or simply scattering around some stripy accessories can give your whole room a seasonal lift.

"Stripes are a great way to add drama and fun to your home," says Libby Norman, author of new book Decorate Your Home With Colour.

"Wide vertical stripes add a classic seaside flavour, whereas narrower ones create a more restrained and period elegance.

"They are best in moderation, either used on one or two walls or restricted to curtains and soft furnishings."

From two-tone combinations to a rainbow of bold bar-code stripes, there's a variety of patterns out there to cause a stir, whether you're furnishing your bedroom, bathroom or backyard.

Lose the minimal look and earn your stripes on the style front.

Spruce up with stripes

Ease yourself into stripy fever with a few choice accessories. Stripes are a great way to introduce some colour into your home for summer, so choose bright shades or pick pretty pastels for a softer look.

Introduce house guests into your home the stripy way with Paperchase's stripe mat, £12, or show them the light with The Pier's Havana stripe lights, £10 each.

Sit back and admire your handiwork on Marks & Spencer's Sherlock Benji stripe chair, £599.

Or access the look in your lounge with bright cushions like Debenhams' blue stripe cushion, £15, or Tesco Direct's bar-code stripe cushion, £15.97.

Bedrooms can benefit from a makeover in one fell swoop with a quick change of bed linen.

Try Laura Ashley's Sutton stripe duvet cover, from £30, or Sainsbury's blue stripy bed linen, £13.99.

QS' leaf print striped storage boxes, £2-£5, will provide valuable and stylish storage solutions.

Outdoor delights

The great outdoors is the perfect spot to showcase stripes in the summer months.

Look to cool sea-inspired blues or canary yellows and postbox reds for your outdoor striped delight.

And trinkets will add a summery look to outdoor spaces or conservatories.

Try John Lewis' stripe herb pot and saucer, £7.50, or the Nile stripe pillar candle, £3.95.

Woolworths' colourful striped ceramic planters, £2.99 each, will brighten up even the shadiest back yard.

Outdoor furniture looks fabulous in bold stripes at this time of year.

Give your garden a makeover for the sunshine months with Next's stripe parasol, £25, director's chair, £45, and Eton Table, £50.

Marks & Spencer's Maxim porcelain stripe crockery collection, from £4, will complete your setting theme for al fresco dining.

Kick back and relax in Dotcomgiftshop's seaside stripe hammock, £14.95, or go for John Lewis' Nile stripe garden deckchair, £35.

Softly softly stripy look

You don't have to shell out on striped accessories to achieve the look.

Invest in a few pots of paint and work the look on your walls. One feature wall can transform a room and you don't have to be a DIY expert.

"A simple colour graduation effect is easy to do," says Libby.

"Adding stripes in toning shades is a good way to pick out a small wall area."

The impact relies on using different tones of the same colour and is a more subtle way of introducing stripes to your room.

"Pick your shades from the same colour card to guarantee good results and remember to allow plenty of drying time between coats," Libby advises.

Decorating tip: It is far easier to get a clean and accurate finish if you work down the wall, applying darker stripes over the top of paler colours. Remember you can always touch up wobbly edges later with a small paintbrush or pad.

Multi-coloured masterpiece

If you want to really create a lasting impression with lines in your home, go all out with multi-coloured stripes for instant impact.

Libby reveals how to achieve the look: "Multi-coloured stripes are created by painting a white panel onto a bold wall and then in-filling with colours that co-ordinate with the rug and seats.

"It is a dramatic effect that is actually very easy to create. Use acrylic paint to create a more intense colour."

Decorate Your Home With Colour, by Libby Norman, is published by New Holland, priced £14.99. Available now.


How-to guide:

* To paint your own bands, you will need spirit level, ruler, pencil, masking tape, paint pads and acrylic or vinyl matt emulsion in a variety of bold colours.

* First decide on the position of your band. Use the spirit level to ensure a straight edge and mask off area, placing the tape carefully.

* Using acrylic or vinyl matt emulsion paint, apply the white as your base. Leave to dry and then apply a second coat. Leave the masking tape along the bottom of the band in place.

* Once the paint is dry, decide on the design you wish to create within the white band. Mask off the top of the first section to be painted (you will need to work from the bottom up) and in-fill with paint.

* Leave each section to dry thoroughly before applying new masking tape and painting the adjoining colour. It will speed things up considerably if you leave a band of white between each coloured stripe.

* You can seal your design with clear acrylic varnish if you want to protect it.



Debenhams - 08445 616 161, www.debenhams.com
Dotcomgiftshop - www.dotcomgiftshop.com
John Lewis - 08456 049 049, www.johnlewis.com
Laura Ashley - 08702 30 2301, www.lauraashley.com
Marks & Spencer - 08456 031 603, www.marksandspencer.com
Next - 0845 600 7000, www.next.co.uk
Paperchase - (020) 7467-6200
QS - 08449 020 020, www.qsgroup.co.uk
Sainsburys - 08453 012 020, www.sainsburys.co.uk
Tesco Direct - www.tesco.com
The Pier - 08456 091 234, www.pier.co.uk
Woolworths - 08704 117 112, www.woolworths.co.uk


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