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Using Texture Around the Home

17 Aug 2014 | BY Country Interiors

Carl JohnsonBringing a Room to Life With Texture

This month I’m going to take a look at the subject of Texture and how we can use it with a little creativity to bring a room to life.
To use it correctly it is important to understand the effects that certain textures have on us, not only in the way that they look and feel but also in the moods that they create. There are two main types of texture, rough or smooth but there are also four key finishes that all have their own unique characteristics, here is a brief run down on some of the main points;

Rough Textures

wall1These are associated with feelings of warmth and also with nature, adding a matt finish to a rough texture will also give the appearance of added weight. If a texture is particularly coarse it can give the impression of being much closer than it actually is, so you must always bear this in mind when working in smaller areas as it will make the space feel very claustrophobic. Coarse textures on the other hand are fabulous in large rooms as they help to reduce the scale and hence make the area more inviting. One of this years biggest trends is the use of rock and coarse grainy wood so it looks like we will be seeing a lot more of rough textures in 2014.

Smooth Textures

These can often appear cool and sophisticated, making them ideal for modern homes or for business use. A major benefit of using smooth textures in and around the home is that they reflect light extremely well, giving the impression of significantly larger spaces, even in smaller rooms. There are many materials to choose from but the current trend is towards shiny polished metals such as brass or copper, polished marble also appears to be making a come back. A slightly warmer, softer feel can be achieved by having a very fine grained finish applied to your chosen material, this will give the smooth surface a matt finish, creating greater shadows and definition on curved items.

Mixing it up

TextureWhen mixing textures there are a few golden rules  that you should always remember;

  •  Natural products such as wool, stone and timber all work brilliantly with each other , linens and chunky woven fabrics can also look great in this group too.
  • Try to group finishes of a similar texture together, for example a  Marble floor would work well with a silk carpet whereas a timber floor would work with a chunky textured natural rug.
  • Mixing high contrast textures can be a little overpowering in a smaller room but can look great in a larger room such as an open plan mill conversion, where a contemporary mix of polished metals and unfinished stone work would work brilliantly together.
  • If you want to mix textures from different groups, try to balance them throughout the room, for example a rustic wooden table used in a highly polished glossy kitchen would need to be balanced otherwise it would look out of place, we could do this by adding linen curtains and maybe a few stone ornaments to the room.

Ways that you can add Texture

Living room in the hotelThe most obvious way to add texture in a room is through a flooring material, this could be done by using; carpets, ceramic tiles, wooden / laminate flooring or even sustainable flooring such as bamboo or cork. The walls are a similar story, they can be; painted, papered, plastered, or built from a huge selection of stone, marble or brick finishes. These are not the only way of adding texture to a room though, here are a few ideas that can really add depth to any room;

  • Furniture – Tables, chairs and cabinets are now available in a huge array of materials and finishes , just remember though that furniture tends to be used on a daily basis and rougher textures can be more difficult to keep clean.
  • Soft Furnishings – Curtains, blinds, cushions and throws can add greatly to any scheme, especially when they are used to balance other textures in the room. To balance shiny surfaces you could add man made polyester fabrics or alternatively, a room with stone or wooden accents would work better with a natural material such as linen, cotton or wool.
  • Accessories – These are the finishing touches to the room, a few carefully chosen pictures, objects and ornaments can add much needed texture and interest to areas that sometimes feel a little bare or bland. Be careful not to over do the accessories as this can make the room feel oppressive and cluttered.
  • Lighting –  This is one area that people normally overlook when thinking about texture but it can be the key to making or breaking a scheme. Light is the reason that we can actually see texture  and so if used correctly it can add greatly to the depth of your new room.

Next month I will be taking a look at space planning and how this can be used to add symmetry and accessibility to your home, until then I hope you enjoy experiment with texture.