Not surprisingly, we love seeing walls covered in patterns. But sometimes, there can be too much of a good thing, even when we ourselves are decorating. Who doesn’t dream of a harmonious home, where the interior blends together and has a common theme, without being boring and lifeless. Here, we are trying to explain the concepts and show how classic striped wallpaper can be used to create a stunning contrast to beautiful patterns.
Take, for example, our popular Raphael, an eye-catching pattern which envelopes the room in leafy treetops and is easy to fall in love with. Imagine this in a dining room, with a large and inviting wooden table and sheer linen curtains. But what do you use in the living room next door? Harmony in interiors is all about transitions and achieving a balance between rooms. Using another large-pattern wallpaper might seem like a really cool idea, but it would require exceptional instincts for patterns and colour to achieve the right look. I am very strongly drawn to broad block-stripe wallpapers such as Magnus for this, as they chime well with strong, organic patterns. My preference is a green that would tie in nicely with the colours of the dining room. Many people feel that it is important to match the green shades exactly, but a striped pattern in a slightly warmer green isn’t a problem. You can use this to tie the rooms together, with warmer green accents in pictures, plant pots or tablecloths matching the living room, while scatter cushions in a cooler green on the sofa broadens the colour scheme of the living room and makes it more interesting. By linking colours in different rooms, you are well on the way to achieving the harmony you are striving for.
Another area which poses a challenge in choosing wallpaper is the hallway and stairs. The hallway is often located at the heart of the house, with several other rooms leading from it. There is often a staircase to the upper floor, giving access to family rooms and bedrooms. If you like patterned walls, it may be tempting to cover the walls in this area in a heavily-flowered wallpaper. But this may limit your choice in other rooms. Using a discrete striped wallpaper like Estelle instead gives you endless choices for the rest of the house. For example, you could use the beautiful Linnea pattern in the living room, and the flowering meadow that is Flora in the kitchen. Adding a couple of pink accents to the hallway picks up the colours on the walls in the kitchen and living room and brings it all together.
Few patterns are as classic as stripes. Using them alone, you can even achieve a look which is both exciting and dynamic. By varying the width, colours and contrasts, you have endless options to create an inspiring and timeless home. The monochrome stripes of the bold and graphic Magnus pattern works just as well as a feature wall or on all the walls of a room. When one room opens into another, it is always a good idea to use something bold that draws the eye and sets the tone for the whole interior. With a strong pattern in the dining room, the walk-through area benefits from a more subdued and narrow stripe wallpaper such as Fabian. If you like monochrome interiors, it works well to add shades of grey, preferably a warm shade of grey, since it softens the contrast and even emphasises the graphic element. White interior details and woodwork easily disappear against a white wall, but a wallpaper with a narrow grey stripe show off white details without making the room feel dark. The key to using stripes successfully is to not only think in terms of colours. The dynamics of pattern width and contrasts are even more important.
Don’t hesitate to ask for help in your nearest decorating shop, the staff there have many years’ experience and can help you create a harmonious home.
/Johanna Vestlin, designer