While there’s a lot of focus on color in interior decorating, texture tends to get short shrift, yet it can be just as important in setting the tone of a room. Recent trends for the rustic look and metallic elements of décor have made people more aware of it, but most people still don’t have much idea how to apply it themselves. This guide is designed to help you pick up the basics.
Texture and Color
Picking particular textures can enhance the quality of colors in your home. Dense, lush fabrics like deep pile velvets, fur and corduroy can add to the richness of colors like crimson, blue or mulberry. Sheer silks and chiffons make pale colors look softer, and silk emulsion or metallic paints can have the same effect, making them ideal for bedrooms or other spaces intended to be calming.
If you want to go for the neutral looks that have been popular recently, inventive use of texture is a great way to add character to them. Coarser textures like twill and tweed look particularly good in browns and dark grays, while white linen is perfect for curtains and soft, silky velvets really bring out the best in light gray or cream.
Texture and Light
By mixing thick, absorbent materials and smooth, shiny ones, you can control how light moves around within your home, where it is absorbed and where it is reflected. Sheer textures like ceramics, glass and marble in bathrooms and kitchens help to ensure that there’s plenty of light where it’s needed, while the use of absorbent textures in living rooms and bed rooms makes them seem warmer, so it’s easier to relax and feel at ease.
Look and feel
Part of the joy of working with texture is that it shouldn’t just appeal to the eyes, but to the touch. Filling your home with materials that appeal to all the senses brings it closer to the natural world and to what most people find instinctively pleasing. It’s important, though, to think carefully about how textures you like the look of could be problematic in other ways. For instance, great looking open brickwork can be difficult to insulate and an attractive fabric sofa may need cushions or a throw to make it comfortable to sit on. When you mix textures effectively, you can fix problems and bring out the best in them.
Making it work
Textures are more flexible than colors in that you can use more of them together without making a room look overcomplicated, but there are still things you need to bear in mind. Just like colors, textures can clash. Don’t put marble next to concrete or lace next to plastic unless you’re aiming to be deliberately dramatic. You don’t have to stick to all traditional or all modern materials, but think about the way that different materials reflect light and how they feel when putting them together.
Mixing textures takes a bit of practice but it can create a look with real depth and make all the difference between a house that looks like a hastily assembled showroom and a house that looks like a home.