POLKA DOTS AND STRIPES
Stripes and polka dots, they are the loves of my life. Simple, bold, and often playful (a phrase I wish described me), these repeated dots and lines are the patterns by which I judge all other patterns. Seriously, I use some form of these in every project and my closet is full to the brim with both. In my last home I had a striped ceiling in one room and dotted walls in another and they made me infinitely happy. In honor of this dynamic duo, I have decided to round up a few of my favorite spaces and products that use these patterns in an updated and fresh way.
Although they look simple enough, it’s not always easy to apply these patterns in your home and have it look grown up and sophisticated. Do a quick search online, and you will find tons of less than stellar rooms utilizing both. The dots especially are often associated with children’s rooms, so you have to be careful about what you select for the rest of the finishes and furnishings.
For stripes, one of the easiest ways to incorporate it into your room on a large scale is with a rug. Throw a large scale striped rug on the floor, and you instantly have nice base for layering other patterns. Since a rug is on a horizontal plane and obscured by furniture it tends to lower the impact a stark black and white stripe can bring. Of course you can always opt for more subtle colors and smaller stripes to simply add a layer of texture to the room.
Dots seem to be most at home on walls. It’s so easy and affordable to apply with paint that they are often a suitable alternative to wallpaper, but if you can afford it they make some damn good papers out there. I’ve included a few in the product section below. When it comes to the scale and size there are so many options, but I prefer the pin dot look. They just feel more grown up to me. Most of the images I’ve included are black dots on white ground, but the opposite would be stunning in a small powder room.
The ways in which to apply both of these patterns into your home is infinite. Every surface is fair game, and the variation on the patterns are endless. For the purpose of this roundup, I've kept my selections to neutral colors (and blue) and pretty basic versions of each pattern. Technically a polka dot is uniform in size and spacing, but I have included a few irregular patterns as well. First off, did you see this removable wallpaper at Target? Perfect for these boring beigey-yellow walls I’m rocking at the apartment. I also love Rebecca Atwood’s speckled dot fabric, featuring dots on dots! I mean, it just doesn’t get any better. Unless of course you take a gold spot and place it on a navy background. It’s all of my favorite things in one expensive wallpaper. Too bad it's out of my price range.
Now on to the stripe portion of my show. One of my first home purchases was a set of wide striped curtains from Crate and Barrel, and five years later I still love them. That’s really saying something because I get bored or tired of things very easily. Everyone’s favorite Ikea rug has made an appearance, along with my go-to indoor/outdoor rug from Dash and Albert. It comes in a wide range of colors, it’s durable, and easy to clean. I also see this brass and acrylic table lamp in my future. If not for myself then definitely in a project.
I could go on and on about my love for these seemingly simple and versatile patterns, but if you haven’t fallen for these two by now then there is no hope for you. You are probably more inclined to floral and paisley prints, and we can't be friends. Unless they are oversized or vintage...then maybe you can buy me a coffee.