What is Texture?
To artists, architects and interior designers, the use of different textures is an essential component in the creation of a composition or the decoration of the room. A lot of different textures can be incorporated in the decoration of your home. Everything has texture. Some materials feel heavy in the room, such as marble, while other textures feel as airy as a woven basket. It is the interplay of texture, contrast among materials and the feel of a surfaces, that gives a room vigor, lifting it out of the ordinary.
Texture exists everywhere in nature. We grasp it through our sense of sight and of touch. We see the grain in the wood and feel its splintered or sanded surface. We see the shiny or dull surface of pebbles, and feel their smooth or rough surface. A seashell, a maple leaf, a wildflower, a blade of grass, some moss, sand and sea water – each has a unique texture that deepens our experience of nature.
The textural impact of organic materials is fundamental in interior decorating. Just as it is in nature, everything in your home influences everything else. As you concentrate on mixing the textures that life does naturally, you’ll bring out the charm and integrity of each object and add style, interest, and harmony to your home.
What texture do you want to incorporate in your decorating schemes that will enhance your vital energy, your life force, and enrich your home decor?
If you begin to pay attention to the different textures you encounter outdoors and their effects on you, you can become skilled in the fine art of combining textures in your rooms. You will be able to establish an interplay of materials.
Stone can be brought inside for floors, fireplace mantels, and even walls. To add texture to a bland room, a scratch coat of plaster on a wall will add depth and interest.
Glass takes on different textures depending on whether it is cut, beveled, frosted, hand blown, spun into cones, or infused with design.
Metals, whether stainless steel, gold, brass or silver, all shine and bring in light. Traditional houses have shiny brass fixtures gleaming brightly as a textural contrast to the walls.
Leather sofas, benches, chairs, and books arouse a masculine refinement and sensuality, warm to the touch.
Cotton, silks and other fabrics provide the softness a room needs for emotional and physical comfort.
Wood, the most popular material in most homes, can be carved and cut to any shape and size, and always brings energy and sensual beauty. You can lay a wooden floor, panel your walls, and have a wooden furniture to maximize wood’s energy in your home.
To add variation to a room that’s predominantly wood, you can put a solid crystal lamp on the top of an eighteenth century heavily distressed cabinet, so that it refracts the sunlight during the day and gleams in the light at night time.
A wood chair can have a contrasting hand-painted design and a silk seat cushion. Woodwork with hand-caned details sifts in light, just as trellis in the garden does. Some woods feel soft, while others have a harder appearance and tactility. Mahogany, when painted with dark stain, takes on a formality that is more elegant, yet more rigid than fruitwood or pine.
Flowers, fruit, and plants bring in the life force of nature. Lemons, limes, and oranges in a clear glass bowl bring the warmth of the sun inside, adding texture with their bumpy rinds, shape, and color. With a woven basket filled with flowers you can achieve the effect of summer days in the garden.
Explore your bond with certain substances, materials, and elements of nature. You can translate those passions into the decoration of your house.
If you love the bark of your old oak tree, you can translate it into a cork floor in your kitchen.
If you love your rustic brick patio, have old brick laid in the sun room or in front of the fireplace.
If you enjoy mountain climbing, you may want a stone fireplace mantel in your living or family room.
If you are in awe of the changing clouds, you can create that texture on your dining room ceiling by painting the flat surface with clouds to create the illusion of an infinite sky.
Should you love trees, you’ll be delighted to have bare, shiny floors to highlight the grain of the wood, making you feel as though you’re taking a walk in the woods as you come home.
If you have a passion for sand on the beaches of Florida, you can bring it home by using natural canvas on your rattan furniture in the sun room or bedroom.
If you love the coral sand of Bermuda, fill a clear glass vase with this magical substance, place some shells on the top and you’ll have a conversation piece.