Menu Search

How to Use Striped Wallpaper

22nd June 2021

Immediately familiar yet extraordinarily versatile, stripes are one of the most iconic patterns in the world. They have re-emerged time and again in a multitude of different styles and settings.

In nature, they serve to intimate, or conversely, to camouflage. They've also long been a staple in the fashion world - from Coco Chanel’s classic Breton t-shirt to the Adidas’ tri-stripe. They have further been seminal in the work of design houses such as Missoni and Paul Smith. From flags to football kits, stripes are an ever-present symbol in modern culture.

Stripes can grab our attention or provide subtle interest which is why they are such a popular choice when it comes to adding pattern to homes. One of the best ways to do this is through the use of striped wallpaper. The sheer volume of colours and designs on offer today means there’s a stripe to suit every taste.

Take a look at the different styles and how to incorporate them into your home...

What Are the Different Types of Striped Wallpaper?

Classic Stripes

Stripes in their simplest form: narrow, medium or thick bands of colour against white or in two-tone varieties. Classic stripes are the most versatile, working well in virtually any space, from the grandest of houses to the quirkiest of modern builds. 


Pinstripe wallpaper features very thin lines, usually positioned close to one another and often associated with men’s pinstripe suits. Their smartness and subtlety make them a popular choice for formal rooms such as studies or hallways.

Multi Stripes

Multi stripe designs incorporate bands of colours in varying thicknesses, with a large or small repeat. Opting for a multi stripe in multi colours adds an element of fun to any room, and will stand the test of time in infant and teenage bedrooms.     

Ticking Stripes

The term ‘ticking’ was originally used to refer to a cotton or linen fabric used to make mattresses. The fabric was very tightly woven to prevent any filling escaping and typically featured a uniform pattern of wide and narrow stripes in shades of blue, red or black. Ticking stripes have a ‘lived-in’ feel, and work well to brighten and lift even the smallest of rooms.

Alternative Stripes

Stripes do not always come in the form of crisp lines or neat bands. Modern striped wallpaper has reimagined this classic motif in new and exciting ways. They use subtle changes in colour to suggest the merest hint or employ chevrons and horizontal brushstrokes for a strong statement.

Vertical vs Horizontal Stripe Wallpaper

Most striped wallpapers are designed so that when hung, the stripes run vertically. Horizontal striped wallpaper, however, can be just as beautiful. They bring a unique and eye-catching edge to interiors.

Horizontal stripes can actually create the illusion of more space, making them perfect for use in hallways. The lines draw visitors in. Vertical stripes, on the other hand, accentuate the height of a room and are particularly suited on stairways.

In theory, all striped wallpaper can be hung horizontally or vertically. If you have any concerns, call us on 01273 495500 and we’ll be happy to advise.

Five Ways to Style Striped Wallpaper

1. Barely There

The pleasing familiarity of striped prints mean that they can serve as an understated backdrop in both classic and contemporary settings. Striped wallpaper in soft neutral tones will add subtle pattern to walls. This is particularly useful if you have a lot of plain furnishings. They also complement interiors without overpowering any other patterns in the room. They work well across the home, but why not try them in a guest room or children’s nursery to soothe over-excited minds. 

Monochrome Magic

While interior trends have come and gone, striped wallpaper is here to stay and is a staple of interior design. In particular, monochrome grey or black and white striped wallpaper is frequently chosen. Even the likes of Kate Moss opted for black and white stripes in her guest bedroom. We’d recommend a crisp wide stripe wallpaper for the most contemporary feel and a ticking or multi stripe for more traditional spaces.

At the Beach

One of the most common ways in which striped wallpaper is making it the basis of coastal themed interiors. Stripes in nautical shades of blue, red, and yellow never fail to conjure images of weathered lighthouses, billowing ships' sails, and rows of deckchairs. It instantly transports you to your favourite seaside spot or beach bolthole. To complete this look, combine your striped wallpaper with natural textures of wood and rattan or quirky furnishings in bright shades.

Smartly Dressed

Stripes simply ooze sophistication, making them the go-to pattern for stylish, ‘grown-up’ interiors. Compared with elaborate or abstract designs, stripes have a neatness and uniformity which lends them well to serious spaces. These include dining rooms and studies, where a focus or sense of occasion is needed. Opulent teals, pinks, and purples will really unleash stripes’ noble connotations. Whereas, softer tones are ideal for highlighting period features such as coving or a fireplace

Cool 'n’ Quirky

Abstract stripe designs combine the familiarity of this classic motif with the bravery of contemporary design. Leaf or floral trails, irregular brushstrokes and trendy chevrons are all striking alternatives to traditional stripes. They often incorporate metallic finishes and textured surfaces for truly eye-catching interiors. Choose dark or contrasting designs for a bedroom or walk-in-wardrobe. Alternatively, choose more understated shades for a laid-back yet distinctly cool living space.

Get Creative with Stripes

Consider Other Surfaces

Stripes needn’t be confined to your walls. Striped wallpaper applied to ceilings or on the inside of wardrobes and cabinets can bring a stylish and unique edge to any room. Choose a colour from the wallpaper and apply it to your walls to really bring the look together.

Turn Them Around

The linear nature of stripes makes them one of the most adaptable patterns in terms of experimentation. Consider applying wallpaper horizontally or at an angle for a visually striking finish.

Use Paint

Remember you can create stripes with paint as well. Getting creative allows you complete control over the width, number of stripes and colour palette, and will result in a look that’s truly unique. 

You May Also Be Interested In...

Coastal Interior Design Ideas

These stylish rooms are inspired by the seaside, oceans, yachting, nautical and marine life. Here's how to get the look.

How to Use Striped Fabric

Love stripes? Then why not try them on your furnishings? Here's our favourite ways to use every style to inspire your home.

Related Posts
  1. Painterly Effects: Designs Inspired by Artistic Techniques
  2. Sculptured Velvet: History and How It’s Made
  3. How to Use Tartan, Plaid, and Checks
  4. Embroidery: History and How It's Made