Texture adds something special to a home. It adds liveliness, balance, tactilely, and visual excitement that’s missing in almost any room. Texture changes the feeling of rooms and makes them look and feel “great” instead of simply “just good enough”.
When designing the rooms in a home, we consider the colours, patterns, lines, lighting, and placement of the furniture and accessories. But texture is an additional element. It gives a room something special: dimension. When you add dimension to a room, it takes on important new qualities of “feeling” and “warmth” that are often overlooked by many planners.
Often when you walk into a room and look around for the first time, you may often feel that something seems to be missing. Yes, all of the normal components of a complete design appear to be in place. The colour scheme, furniture, and decorative items may all be technically right, but you sense that the overall feeling of the room seems to be flatter or duller than it should be. The answer may be that you need to add texture to the room.
Texture nearly always seems to be an afterthought. However, this can be an advantage when you want to take a perfectly fine-looking room and make it look extraordinary. Texture tends to make a room “pop”, and it elevates a good design to one that is enviable to everyone who sees it.
What is Texture?
Texture is defined as something that enhances the characteristics of a surface or shape to provide additional character. Texture makes a room stand out from the ordinary. Adding texture can be something as simple as placing a plush rug onto the floor in a room, tossing a couple of colourful cushions on a plain-looking sofa, accenting a rock wall, or adding luxurious bedding and pillows to a cosy bedroom.
When you apply texture to something, you are actually changing the perception or feeling that makes the object become unique or different from average. It can be a squishy soft carpet that oozes between your toes when you first set foot in a room or the comfortable sinking sensation you get when you first sit down in a soft leather sofa.
Texture doesn’t just play a supporting role in a room. It’s vital to the success of a room’s design. Texture adds visual “weight” to a space and draws your attention to it. It makes you focus on the object, and it enhances the object’s beauty or value.
Texture can also affect how a space feels, both visually and to the touch. A rough texture is more likely to make the space in a room feel more intimate or grounded, while a smooth texture will bring you a sleeker and more aloof tone in the room.
One thing about texture is that you should always consider where the textured surface is placed when you design a room. When a smooth texture is placed immediately next to one that is rough, it makes the rough object seem to have more weight, and stand out more, than if you placed them separately. You should always take into consideration the distance between objects to determine how heavy you want the visual weight of a textured object to be.
The Proper Balance
Texture provides contrast in a design. It lets you keep everything balanced while also providing a visual interest. When everything in a room is too similar, our eyes cannot focus as clearly as when the more important elements of the room stand out because of their texture.
Texture, however, can be a double-edged sword. Providing too much texture in a room reduces its effectiveness. Pick out only two or three distinct textures for a single space when you want to add emphasis to a room. Don’t use more than two to emphasize a particular focal point and no more than three when you want to show off the entire room and need to have it balanced properly.
Texture is also vitally important when you work with a particular colour palette and all the shades are similar. When there are very few colours or a heavy influence of blacks and whites, choose textured items that have a heavy contrast. When the items are placed close to each other, they can tend to bring a sense of harmony that’s pleasing to the eye.
It’s easy to add texture to your home. Here are a few ways that can be simple but highly effective:
Texture vs. Pattern
Often you’ll hear texture and pattern mentioned together in creating a design. However, each of these is a separate and distinct component. Texture is about how an object “feels” to the eye or touch. Pattern refers to a specific print, and how it’s perceived by the eye. Both of these components are necessary to create your personal design.
Whether you decide on choosing a throw rug that warms up your bedroom, or an attractive wooden coffee table that brings life to a living space, texture is always a valuable ingredient. Texture completes a room and adds a component that elevates the interior of your home to a higher level.
Think outside the box by using everyday materials to provide unexpected touches. Repurpose baskets and create light fixtures or layer a cheap rug with a small patterned one to add warmth and intimacy. Repaint older furniture and add different hardware for a brand new look.
Never be afraid to add texture to your own interiors. Use texture with care and your interiors will be fit for a magazine cover!