How to Think Like an Interior Designer Part 6: Texture

The next element we will be discussing in interior design is texture.  This element is unique because it is equally important to feel the surface of the objects being used as it is for them to be visually interesting.  Striking the right balance in textures will give the space you are working with a more complete feeling.  This element tends to be overlooked since there are so many other things to take into consideration when starting a design project but skipping this step would do a disservice to your decoration plans.


Choosing the proper textures to contrast with a room’s furnishings will add dimension to the space.  Not only is it important to be able to feel the materials you are using, but you also must consider how they appear when you aren’t touching them.  Depending on how you choose to decorate your space, you can make the room feel formal or cozy, warm or cool. 


For example, smooth surfaces can make a room feel light and sleek, but this also causes it to lack warmth.  Adding a rougher texture helps provide visual contrast while simultaneously incorporating the cozy feeling that’s missing. Be sure not to overdo it with different textures.  No more than 3 should be placed in the same area.  You want to display intention with your design and too many textures will confuse that intention. 


Texture is especially useful when dealing with a color palette that doesn’t contain much variety in the tints and shades being used.  Choosing contrastingly colored textures will not only add a pop of color but it will help provide a focal point to the room. 


Texture can be seen in every aspect of a space so don’t limit yourself to believing that this element is only obvious using accessories.  Think exposed wooden beams, tufted arm chairs, raised patterned wallpaper, marble fireplaces, tile flooring, wall tapestries, intricate chandeliers.  The possibilities are endless. 


No matter which items you choose to accomplish your goal, keep in mind that your choices should remain practical.  Some objects may be considered good talking pieces for when guests encounter them, but if they do not add to the overall function of the room, then consider incorporating a different texture.  Making the right choices for the space will give it a polished and welcoming look.