Texture to the Rescue!

Why Texture Matters

A monochromatic room can be stunning, but it takes a well-placed splash of color to make a design really pop. The same is true for texture: without variety, your design can fall flat.

Texture plays an important, yet often overlooked role in design—it adds contrast and dimension. It creates cohesion. And it can be the very thing that makes your guests feel entertained and at home. So why do we treat texture as an afterthought?

Bring texture to the forefront of your design without creating clutter or discord.

Here are favorite ways to do it:

Use texture to add contrast.

Too much of a good thing is just…boring. By incorporating contrasting textures into your design, you call attention to subtle differences in shape and color, instantly adding interest.

Textural contrast can be easily achieved with a large piece of statement furniture that compliments the rest of your décor. For instance, a big velvet chaise juxtaposed with natural fibers (think jute rugs and ottomans), or even a Lucite coffee table creates a stunning scene. Your fireplace surround is another great place to add texture. Quartzite has become popular for this use, as it not only has a gorgeous, natural texture, but reflects light beautifully, creating a dramatic sparkling effect.

Florida Design Works supplied materials for this design on the right that incorporates a variety of contrasting and visually striking textures. The sandy texture of the stone accent wall beautifully complements the matte glass shower doors and glossy white tub. The open shelf stacked with towels and the soft bath mat are the finishing elements that make the room feel soft and inviting, even as the rough texture of the stone dominates the space.

Use texture to create balance.

Remember that when you’re adding texture, it shouldn’t be random—texture should relate to the theme of your design. After all, you don’t want to incorporate elements that don’t make sense. For instance, in a rustic design, a bear skin rug can add contrast to lots of hard, wooden surfaces; it stands out, but also fits within the overall theme. Consider what a rug made of synthetic fibers in a geometric pattern would look like in that same room—out of place.

What unifies this gorgeous kitchen to the left? An old-world flare is captured in every textural element. From the antiqued finish on the cabinets to the iron chandeliers with their many flourishes, to the smooth mosaic backsplash behind the oven—all the various textures work in harmony to create a cohesive look that tells a story.

Use texture to play with scale.

Texture isn’t all tactile—it has a strong visual component as well. Make an impact in your design by playing with the scale of textures. For instance, you can break up long stretches of monotonous tiling with a mosaic rug in another material or border tile in a smaller size.