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Using Bold Stripes at Home

These rooms earn their stripes—literally—with bold color combos and unexpected applications. Get inspired, and introduce the classic pattern into your own home using these vintage rooms as inspiration.

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In our September 1972 issue, we recommended using upholstery and fabric to give your space big personality on a small budget. One of our favorite ideas for the bedroom? An eye-catching coverlet in stripes of complementary colors. (Visit our original article to learn how to DIY this bedspread yourself.)

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Vertical stripes on the wall can feel graphic and modern, but pick two shades of a soft, warm color like this marigold, and the result is country-chic. This room, featured in our April 1996 issue, uses a DIY colorwashing technique to give the stripes even more texture and interest.

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Houndstooth and stripes combine in this 1969 conversation area for an eclectic and energetic design. But it's the focused palette here that keeps the two bold patterns from clashing. Modern tip: try combining stripes in your own home with a light animal print piece or faded oriental rug: the linear pattern does well against more free-form motifs.

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These "fat and happy" stripes, as we described them in 1993, refresh the traditional silhouette of a camelback sofa and jumpstart the room's nautical theme. Plus, the pattern lives well, distracting from any pulls or stains to the fabric.

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Stripes don't need to be full-commitment. In this guest bath from our July 1993 issue, a zippy shower curtain and window valance in candy colors refresh the dull white-on-white walls, floor, and cabinetry, and tie into colors in the adjacent nursery room.

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We see it in fashion and in rooms: stripes have the power to elongate and elevate a person or a room's outfit. This tent ceiling in our September 1963 story gives the dining room "large-scale glamour" and adds a comforting, textural layer to the walls without busying up the room at eye level.

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The jewel tones of these stained glass panels, featured in our April 1963 issue, change every hour in this color-leaded entry. The tint makes for an inviting first step into the home, while allowing privacy from inside.

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