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Element #2: Using Texture in Interior Design

Texture can be one of the most overlooked, underutilized elements of interior design. Every object or surface has its own texture. You can use texture to establish the feel of a room. It’s a great way to create contrast, especially in a room with a subtle or monochromatic color scheme. Texture also invites visitors to interact with your space by engaging both our visual and tactile senses. In short, understanding how to use texture in interior design gives you powerful tools to make your space engaging as well as beautiful.

Tactile And Visual Texture in Interior Design

textured wallpaper

There are two ways we experience texture: tactile and visual. Tactile texture refers to the physical quality of the texture, whether it feels rough, smooth, etc. Visual texture means what our brains predict an object will feel like based on how it looks along with our memories of touching similar objects. Do we expect the object to feel prickly, or cold, like stone? Sometimes an object feels completely differently than we expected based on its visual texture. For example, this wallpaper looks like woven rattan but feels smooth to the touch.

Using textures which contrast visual and tactile sensations enhances the way we experience a room. Another benefit to using surfaces which appear rough or bumpy but are actually smooth is that they’re often easier to clean than rough or bumpy textures. The contrast allows you to add a visual element of texture to your interior design that is low maintenance.

How Texture Interacts with Light

Understanding the way texture impacts the way we see objects in a room is key in planning the interior design for your room. Smooth, glossy textures reflect light, creating a brighter space that feels sleek and airy. Glossy or smooth surfaces also have less visual weight than rough surfaces because of the way light interacts with the surface.

Rough or bumpy textures scatter or absorb more light. Using textures like these, such as a basket or chunky knit throw in your design gives you a warmer, cozier space. It also invites people to interact with items in your design. An interesting wall texture or bumpy vase or lampshade invites visitors to look more closely or touch them.

As with all design elements, the goal is balance. Too many objects with rough textures will make a room seem weighed down and crowded. Too many objects with smooth textures make a room look cold and unwelcoming. However, mixing in some contrasting textures helps bring a visual balance to the room and invites guests into the space to explore.

Get Great Tips on Color, Balance, and More

Using texture in your home décor gets even easier when you understand how to use other interior design elements, like color. If you missed my post on how to create beautiful, vibrant or gentle spaces in your home using different types of color schemes, be sure to give it a read now.

For expert advice on your home design, schedule a consult with me today. I’m available for an online meetup, which saves you time and money. It also allows us to get started with your dream interior design projects quickly.