Design trends: dazzling stripes, cubes and zigzags

It's time for graphic style statements in our homes with eye-bending effects that simply can't be ignored
A new wave of optical-art is bringing eye-bending effects to London homes, via tiles, wallpaper, rugs, china and more.

A new show reveals how it's done: Pulsate is open in NW1 until the autumn ( The motifs may be simple — stripes, cubes and herringbone zigzag — but the effect is dramatic, particularly in fashionable black and white. Navy, grey and beige are other options.

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1. The Pulsate installation just opened in North London. This optical illusion by architect Lily Jenks uses rectangular "plank" porcelain ceramic tiles (10cm by 60cm) to create a concentric herringbone pattern, drawing the eye inwards over sloping floors, raked bench units and angled walls and ceiling.

It uses just four greys (grigio chiaro, grigio scuro, graphite and nero) from Marazzi SistemN, £121 per sq m. Pulsate is on show until the autumn, at Capitol Designer Studio, 42 Chalcot Road, NW1 (call 020 7736 7468;

"We simply want to show a different way with tiles," says Mark Williams, London sales director. Visit
2. Vertigo wallpaper by Ferm LIVING from the Very Special Wallpapers collection of Denmark's Trine Andersen. Easy to hang and £49.95 a roll;
3. Liqueur glasses
Set of four vodka/liqueur glasses in mouth-blown hand-engraved lead-free glass in black by Artel; 6.5cm high by 5.7cm in diameter; £195;; call 0800 051 5886.
4. Zig zag cushions £9 each from Asda (; 0800 952 3003).
5. Ferm LIVING squares ultra-soft all-cotton jacquard knit reversible blanket, 120cm by 150 cm; £89 from Cloudberry Living;
6. Stencil
Check the striped pattern of this dramatic wall panel. Called MD9 Shimmer, it comes in four sizes — this is the large one, with each of the four squares measuring 60.5cm by 60.5cm. £59.95; from the Modern Design Collection at; call 01661 8448448.
7. Bone China
This cup and saucer, with a reflected striped pattern and hand-applied platinum glaze, is £80 and comes from designer Richard Brendon's Pattern Power: Superstripe range which was on show recently at the London Newcastle Project Space, 28 Redchurch Street, E2 (
8. Fiztroy fabric in grey £109.90 a metre, Andrew Martin; 198-200 Walton Street SW3, call 020 7225 5100; or visit

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