You know the feeling of walking into a room and immediately feeling drawn to a certain area — whether it’s a cozy seating nook or an interesting collection on the mantel? If you can’t quite put your finger on what it is about the space or group of objects that seems alluring, there’s a good chance that it’s texture.
More subtle than colour, form or pattern, texture is perceived both by sight and touch. Plus, elements with texture often inspire one to imagine what something feels like without touching it. For example, a chunky, woven throw blanket draped over a couch has a distinctive texture, and one can perceive the softness and warmth just by looking at the blanket.
How texture brings warmth and depth home
Bring on the layers
Add interest to neutral bedrooms with piles of quilted coverlets, pillows and knit throws. The more variety of textures, the better. The layered-texture effect not only makes it easy to pull up blankets for extra warmth, but it also makes the bed feel all the more cozy and inviting. For even more softness, add a plush bedside rug or carpeting.
Leave a wall exposed
If you’re lucky enough to have exposed brick in your rental, don’t cover it up. Even in unexpected places — like a bathroom or a hallway — the texture of the brick will lend depth and interest to the room, instantly giving it a sense of character. Industrial building materials like concrete or exposed metal pipes can also add texture to a space.
Double down on rugs
Don’t hesitate to layer rugs to bump up the texture in a space. For a winning combination, pair a neutral-coloured rug that has lots of texture with a patterned one.
Alternatively, lay a high-texture accent rug (like a fuzzy sheepskin or a cowhide) on top of a patterned area rug.
Display textural objects as art
Elevate everyday objects made of interesting textural materials — like old farm tools, interesting seedpods, woven baskets or antique metal buckets — by presenting them in unexpected ways. Display larger items, like a pair of woven metal Portuguese eel traps, against blank backdrops to show off their textural quality through contrast.
For smaller items, like glass bottles or baskets, group them as collections for bigger impact. The resulting neutral palette with lots of texture makes the room feel warm, informal and inviting.
Go plush with velvet
Really make a textural statement with a couch or a cushy seat upholstered in sumptuous, butter-soft velvet. Balance the indulgent look and feel of velvet by keeping other furnishings and elements in the room more sparse, hard-edged and contemporary.
Look for texture in nature
Using natural elements as accent pieces in the home sets a laid-back mood and can help modern spaces feel more lived-in. For example, a metal firewood rack is designed to show off the delicate peeling bark and rough texture of the logs as a wall-mounted sculpture.
Other ways to use natural elements to bump up texture: Fill a low bowl with knobby pine cones or line up smooth river stones along the mantel.
Throw down a sheepskin
Yes, they’ve been trendy in recent years, but adding a sheepskin, or a synthetic alternative, is still one of the easiest ways to instantly bump up the coziness of a room. With their pillow-soft texture and over-the-top fluffiness, sheepskins are particularly effective in making hardwood floors and stiff furniture look warm and inviting.
Don’t forget about macramé
Knotted wall hangings may seem like a ’70s throwback, but macramé can bring texture to a bare wall and more warmth to a contemporary room. Modern macramé designs often mix the traditional natural fibers and driftwood with materials like metallic yarns or those made of recycled plastic. Mount a macramé hanging behind the couch or above the bed to boost textural interest.
Thinking of a new living space? Find your new home with Baxton.
Written and syndicated by
– Baxton Media.
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