Stripes can offer drama or can be subtle. We find striping in many forms, paint, wallpaper, fabric, tile and so on and on.....
A few ideas and a few pictures to think about. Scale, Direction, Colour and Balance play important roles in 'getting it right'.
Think horizontal stripes on walls - they extend and carry the space, especially in a small corridor or room. They give off a modern/contemporary look, and a little fun. Not only do they extend and widen the space they can be fun and playful if used in different colours.
Great in kids rooms. If you are looking for a more sophisticated yet fun look, do a tone on tone or monochromatic stripe. Unlike vertical stripes, they will lower a ceiling which is great in a space with high ceilings.
Vertical Stripes on walls or drapery create the illusion of more height and seem to raise the ceiling, especially great if you have low ceilings as in a basement. Vertical stripes are the most commonly used and can give a contemporary look as well as a simple traditional look.
The scale of stripes is important as well. It really comes down to the look you want. Large, wide stripes are more contemporary, with thin stripes being more traditional. If you want to make a bold statement then use wide large stripes. You should keep in mind where you are using the stripes - walls, furniture, ceilings, accessories as it makes a great difference in how the room plays out. Putting over large stripes in a small room will overpower it just as very tiny thin stripes in a large room will look washed out and not even seen from a distance.
Think colour.... If you want a playful look for a child's room then a variety of colours and different widths would be fine. For a more classic look using low contrast colours in a mid width creates a timeless feeling. Tone on tone is a great way to achieve the look of stripes without too much tension, yet can be very elegant. Using a cream or white with another darker colour will definitely give drama. I love Black & White stripes or Navy and White.
You will find it easier to live with bright, or high contrast colours in your stripes when used in small doses such as a powder room where you want a 'wow' factor but will not be spending a lot of time there.
Balance is important in creating a pleasing look for your room. If you are using stripes on the walls, then they should not be used on the furniture. Keep it either plain or a different pattern with the same tones. Using different stripes, plaids, floral or geometric along with plain will work as long as you stay within the same palette and keep the scale in mind.
Direction plays a part in how your stripes will work in your space. For instance, using vertical stripes on drapery is more subtle to the eye than putting them horizontally. That is not to say it will not work but you really have to be going for a particular look to do that.
In the photos below you will see many of the different ways that stripes work wonderfully. Enjoy!!