Friday, 15 May 2015

The Importance of Texture When Decorating a Room

I scour thousands of images in my pursuit as a design blogger and there is one thing that stands out in the rooms I love and that is the 'T' word...Texture, texture and more texture. If you love neutral interiors then texture is going to be your best friend. Texture can come in many forms, it may be as obvious as a rattan chair, textured ceramic, or the subtlety of a piece of fabric, so let's find out how texture can help define a space.

I have long been an admirer of Blackband Design, they have a unique way of pulling a room together using pattern but more importantly texture too, so today I am using one of their interiors as an example, a Newport Island home built by Graystone custom builders and decorated by Blackband.

In this large open plan living room, Blackburn began with a neutral foundation of white walls and ceilings and natural wood floors. To this they added a white linen sofa, a great foundation to add layers using texture and pattern. A sisal rug on the floor adds instant texture, sisal is allergy friendly and looks fabulous on a wood floor but is a little difficult to clean if you have any liquid spills. Texture can be seen everywhere from the rattan chairs to the weathered door propped up against the wall and includes the black wood and rattan inset tray atop the Zebra patterned Ottoman. The large potted plant contributes yet more texture with its shiny layered leaves.

Texture can be smooth, rough, jagged, solid or transparent, good design is about mixing up your textures, especially if you are working with a neutral palette. Don't use all the same textures, try to use opposing textures to keep the design interesting. Juxtapose rattan with rough or smooth wood, look for textured fabrics and decorative items in metal and glass.

Build around your foundation pieces, add furniture that is interesting in shape or textures such as the black, bamboo chair above. Don't purposely buy a matching sofa and chair, that idea went out with the ark. If you buy everything to match, your room will end up looking boring. Use texture as your friend and make your room sing. Look for interesting fabrics with contrasting patterns that will bring life to a neutral palette. These may be slubby textured fabrics or velvets, or you could use linens and cottons with contrasting patterns. Here the designer has used patterned cushions to layer the sofa and the zebra pattern on the Ottoman creates 'visual' texture. Texture doesn't have to resign to being 3 dimensional only.

The rattan lamp above has lots of texture, the fact that it is such an open weave means it would work wonderfully in a smaller area too. Lamps may be clear glass, ceramic or rattan, textures from rough to smooth. If you have a very large space you could use several different lamps such as smooth glass and maybe another one in rattan or metal, currently I am loving hammered pewter. Large lamps are fabulous, but remember when choosing your lamp, make sure it is the right proportion for your room and the table it is going to sit on.

The light rattan of the dining chairs compliments the dark wood floors

Think texture when it comes to decorative items, mix smooth and rough as seen in this dining room above. I love how the designer has juxtaposed the smooth surface of the metal table with the roughness of the rattan chairs. The driftwood balls add further texture and contrast to the smooth, transparent glass vases.

Above: The kitchen is a classic style with a modern stainless steel range hood. Texture is less important in a kitchen as it is an area that needs to be kept spotless and it is much easier when you have smooth surfaces. If you want to include some texture you could use decorative items such as baskets and maybe some smaller decorative items as can be seen above. You could include some textured tiles but I wouldn't advise them as a splash back behind an oven or sink. The variation of the colour of the wood floor is texture enough in this simple kitchen.
Above: A cosy bedroom features different patterned cushions and a contrasting striped rug, it is more about pattern here although there is still opposing textures such as glass side tables and wooden based lamps. Sometimes patterned fabric can be used to create a textured look. I love how Blackband layer their cushions with clever use of fabrics.

Above: glass, iron and natural linen

Above:  A bold approach to pattern in this bedroom. Texture can be seen in the sisal rug, rattan bench at the end of the bed. the pewter lamps slightly soften the heavier wood in this room.

Above: This bathroom gets a coastal touch with a floor that looks almost like scattered pebbles. Rustic touches can be seen in the drift wood mirror and the basket. The light above the basin contrasts metal and glass and lots of angles which has a strong textural feel and contrasts to the curves of the driftwood mirror.

I hope this post makes you more aware of contrasting textures when you next decorate a room in your house. I am currently trying to create a bit more texture in my living room and have just bought a large glass lamp and a few other decorative items which I will share with you next week.

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