Expert note: Alexander advises to be aware of start and finish points to avoid an awkward or harsh transition. In the case of this nursery, she chose to extend the stripes down the wall with a scalloped edge. Hand-painted tassels were the final touch to finish the tent stripe ceiling. Photograph by Leslee Mitchell Photography.

Painted stripes in interiors are a burgeoning design trend, popping up in homes across the country. We tapped interior designer Tori Alexander, of Nashville’s Alexander Interiors, for advice on how to best incorporate this hot trend into your own decor. Her number one piece of advice: you must preplan. “I recommend sketching your idea out on paper and experimenting with different color combinations and stripe widths before committing to paint,” Alexander says. Read on for more of her tips on pulling off this bold look.

Stripes are versatile. The beauty about painted stripes are their flexibility of use, which creates a wide range of opportunities to incorporate into your home. “We have lots of spots where we like to include stripes, especially unexpected ones,” Alexander says. “Our favorites include stairs, laundry rooms (walls or floor, never both), bedroom ceilings, bathrooms, foyers and hallways.”

Consider orientation. When painting stripes, there are some important aspects to consider. Foremost is the orientation of the stripes in relation to your specific space.  A good rule of thumb: vertical stripes add height and horizontal stripes add width. “For example, I would most likely use a vertical orientation in a foyer to create height and grandeur,” Alexander advises.

Think about scale. Equally important to the orientation of stripes is the scale. “Wider stripes tend to feel a bit more casual and create stronger contrast between colors,” Alexander shares. “You can also use scale to create less contrast.” In the nursery pictured here, Alexander opted for this approach with two shades of pink. By using a thin stripe of the darker tone and a thicker stipe for the lighter one, it softened the contrast between the two shades. In general, varying tones and shapes of stripes will create a softer, more sophisticated effect.

Precision matters. Pulling off painted stripes in your interiors while not difficult to achieve, does require considerable attention to detail. “To determine the scale of your stripes, you will need an accurate measurement of the entire space and use of another object within the space for comparison,” Alexander says. Her number one rule for achieving a precise look: Once you have an idea of the total number of stripes and the space between, measure and tape out each stripe. “The scale is crucial for your end result — remember, you want to enhance the space, not overpower it,” she notes.

Expert note: Alexander advises to be aware of start and finish points to avoid an awkward or harsh transition. In the case of this nursery, she chose to extend the stripes down the wall with a scalloped edge. Hand-painted tassels were the final touch to finish the tent stripe ceiling.

TSG Tip 268  from Tori Alexander of Alexander Interiors. Alexander Interiors is featured in The Scout Guide Nashville.