The Importance of Texture

If you have ever walked into a beautifully decorated room & noticed a strange absence of warmth, comfort or welcome then it is possible that the room was lacking in textural contrast. For a space to appeal on all levels not just visual but also physical, emotional and spiritual then it must be satisfying to the touch as well as to the eye. Practically we need different texture around the home for it to function properly but psychologically we also need to relate to our surroundings in a direct and basic way so choosing a pleasing mix of surface textures is as important as selecting an attractive mix of colors. If you are to create a room that is truly enjoyable to live in.

Introducing Appealing Textures

Texture becomes enormously significant when you are restricting your colors or using predominantly white or very pale shades in order to increase the sense of space around your home. It enhances or even takes over from color in terms of creating a structure & defining different areas, and introduces both visual and tactile interest in a way that it at once is understated & sophisticated.

Good use of texture can save a room from feeling cold or bland and it is difficult to get wrong. Unlike the potentially tricky subject that is color. It is hard to overwhelm or over complicate a space by making bad decisions about texture.

In general hard texture provides the backbone of a room and soft ones a gentler counterpoint. All you need to do is to layer one texture with another until you reach a gratifying combination. The textures that make a room seam larger are those that reflect the light – smooth flat & shiny. An uneven, Matt texture on the other hand absorbs light, think of the difference between silk & felt, varnished timber & driftwood, gloss and Matt paint. So a kitchen furnished with gloss painted units will feel bigger than one with lime washed finish.

You can have too much of a good thing though and while plenty of smooth one – dimensional textures are useful for throwing lights around a room. It’s a good idea to temper them with the addition of a few rough, hairy, knobby or riven surfaces to provide character, comfort and contrast. In a living room with a plain carpet, wood furniture, cotton covered sofas, you could for e.g. Introduce a cushion or two made from knitted wool, velvet or suede or a throw made up of fur or velvet. On a shelf a mantelpiece you could place a piece of hammered metal candlestick. Just like colors certain textured go in & out of a fashion with seasons and swapping simple accessories around will not only offer textural stimulation but also keep your home update with current “look”.

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