I find that stripes add interest in many different mediums throughout the home, from pillows to upholstery and carpet-- I don't mean just area rugs, but broadloom carpets as well. Stripes can be bold, or soft and subtle by using neutral colors, and still add interest and energy to your living space. Not only will they add to your decor, but they tend to hide a myriad of traffic wear and just about anything else an active family can inflict.
The infusion of stripes to a decor of either plain or printed fabrics helps break up the predictability of solids and patterns--adding a bit of a surprise, if you will. Keeping color as the unifying element will give your room the cohesive look that you need for good design.
Stairs lend themselves to stripes in a most interesting way. Take a plain, straight staircase, mostly hidden from the public rooms, usually closed in with walls on either side, essentially a hall straight up to the upper living quarters. Carpeted stairs are always more quiet, and should be considered with an active family. By adding striped carpet to just the staircase, you can easily be coordinate two disparate carpet styles or colors, if the stairs connect to carpet on both upper and lower levels. Of course, if you have hardwood, tile or laminate in the room at either end of the stairs adding, carpet of any sort will not be much of a design issue.
Adding a striped carpet will give your room an energetic boost while keeping the appearance of stairway wear and tear to a minimum. Keep in mind that carpet warranties do not cover hallways and stairs; so adding striped carpet will disguise the wear and tear an active family imposes on such such a highly used traffic area.
Subtle stripes on walls is another easy decor addition that can be achieved with either wallpaper or paint. Painting wide vertical or horizontal stripes using the same paint color or similar but changing the finish to one set of the stripes will give a room a touch of interest without overpowering the rest of your design. Of course if bold is what you are after, that too is easily achieved.
Striped bedding, drapes, shades and upholstered pieces can give a room the same energy as flooring and wall color. Always vary your scale when mixing prints, and stripes and remember to keep your colors related in some way for a cohesive look.