When considering your interior design options, your thoughts might go first to the use of colour, space and light. But there is another element which, when cleverly used, can bring a sense of energy and flow to your home, and should definitely not be forgotten, and that is texture.
Good interior design decisions cannot ignore the power texture plays in the feel of the room. If you stick to completely one colour and one texture, you may end up looking like a hospital, or a prison. You can stick with one base colour, or a simple palette of two shades, but mix up your use of textures for real personality and variety.
There are few rooms that can’t be touched by a touch of texture. For instance, when designing a bathroom, you could consider sticking completely to tile on all surfaces. Or you could add complexities of texture, such as smooth tile, matt or patterned tile, and perhaps wood surfaces as well.
Texture puts additional light and shade into a room, and can also give you a calming feeling, for instance beneath your feet or fingertips when you move into the room or lie down in the bath. Choose something with ridges and grooves (not something that will cut or stab you, just something interesting.) For example, a wonderful quality can be produced when you choose tile made of river stones or pebbles, like walking in a rainforest stream, or perhaps a fairy dell.
You could effectively give yourself an indoor zen garden to completely relax in, or use to re-centre yourself. You can use your sense of touch to insert different energies and breath and flow to a living area, and turn your space into something else entirely.
It’s not a new practice; designers and architects have been adding textures for centuries. In older homes picture the ceiling cornices and crown mouldings, or even exposed beams. More recently the rising trend of industrial chic brings exposed pipes, copper plumbing and suspended lighting fixtures. Now everything seems to be turning inside out, and it all adds incredible whimsy and difference to your space. Look into the trend of copper penny floors as another great example that will get conversations started.
Texture gives depth to a room even before you enter it, giving your senses something to respond to just from the doorway. Rooms are not just warm or cold, smooth or soft. They can challenge and awaken your senses and give you emotions and feelings you’d be surprised you’d get just from a room.
You can add different points of tactile effect or visual depth to a room on a large or small scale. Something like wood or tile on the floors or walls is a larger project, but you can add décor touches like rugs, cushions, shadow boxes, plants and wall hangings to make a wonderful change to how a room feels.
Use of texture can complete your design theme. If you have chosen modern or minimalist for instance you would insert texture into your room in a very different way to a room that was rustic, or French provincial. Think about the difference made by exposed brick, or polished concrete, or ridged wallpaper. Think about Shabby Chic; that design theme has been owning texture for years now.
Texture will finish your room and raise it to a whole new level, achieving something you cannot do with just matched surfaces alone. Use of texture can make certain things stand out, can highlight a show piece of furniture, or create a flow to the room.
The more rough and contrasting textures give a warmer or cosier experience, while smooth and shiny surfaces usually feel more cool and calm. But as with all design rules, you can mix it up and create the complete opposite experience or effect, and really surprise your guests.
When designing a room, you should consider not just how a room looks, but how you want it to feel. This is what brings the collection of objects in a room to life.
Is this a calming space, or do you want to feel like you are getting a big room-hug? Are you creating a sleek workspace, or maybe leading someone towards something like a piece of furniture, or another door or window. Are you wanting to draw the inside out, or perhaps the outside in? These are all questions you can ask yourself to help you add texture, and which will complete the look and lived experience of your home.