Kelly Wearstler's window painting trick is making us fall in love with the striped wall trend all over again

Interior designer Kelly Wearstler's brilliant painted windows take this bold scheme to the next level

Farrow & Ball California collection
(Image credit: Farrow & Ball )

Los Angeles-based interior designer Kelly Wearstler is a firm favorite of the Livingetc team for her eclectic, high-low design schemes with a signature laid-back California aesthetic. With that said, we'd be hard-pressed to pick a favorite of Kelly's designs, but this invigorating space definitely stands out, showcasing the transformative effect that paint can have. 

However, while this diagonally striped setup, created as part of Kelly's first collection with the paint brand Farrow & Ball, certainly has the wow factor, there was one detail we completely overlooked until Kelly herself highlighted it on her TikTok feed this week. And it's changed the way we're going to look at the trend for striped walls. 

This amazing paint idea? Painting not only the trims and baseboard to match in with these diagonal stripes, but also the windows. 

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'Instead of a solid color walls, go graphic,' advises Kelly in the TikTok post, but she also adds 'don't forget to paint the window frames and mullions.'

It's an easy detail to overlook, not only because the rest of the room is so visually arresting, but also because the bars and trim of these sash windows are such a fine detail. Yet, for a paint idea that could, in the wrong hands, read a bit 'kid's bedroom', it's a detail that instantly elevates the design, making it feel both graphic and modern in the best possible way. 

Not only that, the stripes are painted in one of the hottest shades right now, Farrow & Ball's Faded Terracotta, which was recently crowned Paint Color of the Year for 2022 in the Livingetc Style Awards

The only question is, how easy is it to achieve? 

kelly wearstler
Kelly Wearstler

Kelly Wearstler is an interior designer based in Los Angeles. Alongside her global design projects, which include the Proper Hotel group, she's a published author and has a series of lessons on Masterclass. 

How do I paint diagonal stripes?

'The most challenging part of this look would definitely be in getting the diagonal lines evenly spaced and proportioned in the first place,' says Luke Arthur Wells, Livingetc contributor and an award-winning DIY blogger. However, Luke has a simple trick for trying out this look. 

'Start by deciding on the width of your stripes, and mark these in increments along the bottom of your wall with pencil dots,' he suggests. 'Then you'll need a 45 degree measuring tool, like this one from Amazon (opens in new tab).' Place the longest side at each dot, and mark the 45 degree angle as far as the ruler will allow. 

'Then, follow your basic tutorial for how to paint stripes on a wall. Using painter's tape, follow your 45 degree angle lines and tape across the wall, making sure they're on the inside of the stripes that are going to remain the base color.' You can use your ruler along with a spirit level to ensure you're staying on track. 

When working across the window frames, continue the tape over the woodwork at your 45 degree angle, but allow a bit of give in the tape. This will allow you to push it into the grooves of the mullions  when correctly positioned and ensure a clean line. 

How do I paint window frames?

When it comes to painting windows like this, the biggest issue comes with getting a clean line between the bars and the glazing. 'I've painted and re-painted my sash windows time and time again,' says Luke, 'and I quickly learned that the time and effort of masking the glass with painter's tape isn't worth it.' 

Instead, Luke suggests using a special window scraper tool to remove the paint on the glass after painting. 'Another option is to try liquid masking from Amazon (opens in new tab),' he adds. 'You use this to coat the glass before painting, ensuring paint doesn't stick to the glass.'