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Stripes, the home decor accent of the year

The stripes in this Manhasset living room were

The stripes in this Manhasset living room were the impetus for the design and color of this space, says Denyse Rinfret of Rinfret Interiors. Credit: Handout, 2013

Thick or thin, monochromatic or bold, horizontal or vertical, on-trend stripes can be used in any room in the home and in accessories, rugs, furniture, lampshades -- even ceilings -- creating either an elegant or a one-of-a-kind look.

Port Washington-based designer Keith Baltimore says he enjoys the consistency of stripes.

"Stripes work all the time, because it is a pattern," he says. "People get stripes. They may not get paisley, but they can certainly get a stripe. It is decidedly modern with its basis in tradition. It can go contemporary, transitional or traditional and can fit in any interior."

The words he uses to describe today's stripe are bold, colorful, important.

"These stripes are not fuzzy. They are not wishy-washy. They are clean and stiff, and definitely have a statement on what they want to say," he adds.

Duly noted.

Manhattan-based designer Libby Langdon says she likes to use striped accents in many of the homes she decorates. In fact, several of her own upholstered pieces in her furniture line boast stripes.

"Stripes are very popular these days," she says. "It is a way to bring something interesting into your space that is not as overpowering as a larger, intricate pattern might be."

But color selection is paramount with the look you are trying to achieve.

"In blue and white, stripes can look beachy and fresh. In gray and white, they can look sleek and modern," she says.

One of Merrick designer Marlaina Teich's strategies is to alternate two compatible tones in 18- to 24-inch stripes running horizontally around a room on all four walls or on three walls, and then popping in a bold, contrasting color on the accent wall. A perfect place to execute this look is in a dining room, where you can use this application to make a bold statement and encourage a spirited vibe around the dinner table.

"Never be afraid to play with stripes," says Teich. "Classic stripe patterns are vertical, but to freshen it up, try running horizontal stripes in a room."

For those who are not as daring and may want to step delicately into the striping waters, Teich suggests layering a striped area rug in a family room as a start.

"Bold stripes are perfectly on trend in area rugs, so they are available in every price point," Teich says. "The striped area rug will instantly update and energize the room, and when the trend cools or you want to change out your look, an area rug is easily and affordably switched out."

As stylish as they are, one can go overboard.

Huntington-based designer Kate Singer has a "less-is-more" approach to pattern. "I like to use stripes in moderation in a room," she says. "I think the key is to combine stripes with other complementary patterns in similar tones for a harmonious balance."

Singer says that stripes are a great way to infuse a room with color. Tone-on-tone stripes are perfect for a softer look with a bit of dimension, and bold contrasting stripes provide more of a dramatic look and an instant color palette.

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