Textural Accents and How to Use Texture in Interior Design


Interior Design



Texture is one tool in an interior designer’s bag of tricks that stands above the rest – it is a necessary element of any space wishing to rise above basic.

Just as patterns can be used to accent the space, so can texture by drawing attention to various focal points and directing the eyes around the room. Employing contrasting textural elements between art, textiles, furniture, and structures can elevate interior design by creating an all-around more interesting style within the room and home.

Read on to see how texture works in various forms and applications in interior design.

What is Texture in Interior Design?

Texture is a design element defined as the surface of a material that can be experienced through touch or the illusion of touch. Texture can be either tactile or visual,  a two- or three-dimensional element distinguished by its perceived physical and visual properties. For example, stucco is a rough texture. Not only can you feel its roughness, you are able to perceive its texture by the way a light source grazes its surface. 

The Four Types of Texture

There are four types of textures: actual, simulated, abstract, and invented. Stucco, as mentioned above, is an example of an actual texture. Actual texture is simply a texture that feels just as though it appears.

Simulated texture is a surface containing the appearance of textural elements. This beautiful wall mural in a private home theater in Rancho Santa Fe has the appearance of texture from cobblestone streets to brick buildings. Though it may look 3D and rough to the touch, in reality it is a smooth painting. 

Simulated texture is an imitation of another texture. For example, rubber or laminate tile flooring may be given the look of hardwood, but when touched, it is apparent the tiles were only made to resemble wood through use of a three-dimensional image. 

Abstract texture is the appearance of an actual surface rearranged or simplified to create a design that in itself produces another texture. The wooden wall above shows wood blocks, which have a texture themselves, artfully arranged to produce a texture of their own. 

Invented texture is sourced from the artist’s imagination. Not to be confused with an abstract texture, invented texture is a two-dimensional image of light and dark patterns that produces no real surface quality of its own. These patterns are typically decorative in nature and produced on a computer drawing and design program. 

Elevate Your Interior Design with Texture

Texture is often used in interior design as a way to add contrast and visual interest to a space. It prevents a room from appearing flat. Just as a colorful accent wall brings a punch of style to a room, texture too can achieve this effect. It works in even the most minimalist of spaces and design.

The image above featuring a minimalist living room lacks excitement and comes off rather dull as is. Utilizing texture—such as adding nubby wool accent pillows, a chunky knit throw, or a multi-dimensional piece of artwork—enlivens the place, even while sticking to the Scandinavian design style. 

But adding texture for contrast and visual interest goes beyond a strategically-placed pillow or exposed beam. Texture is contrasting rough with smooth and soft with hard to create a symphony of balance and style in the room. Another way to add texture to your home is on the walls. In this Tuscan-style horse farm in Santa Ysabel, CA, we created a statement wall in a powder room by adding stone veneer. This design accent upped the wow-factor and added to the old world charm of this home.

When using texture, sometimes a little goes a long way. A few carefully-curated accents are all you need to take your design to the next level and infuse your home with personality. This almost all white kitchen is wonderfully interrupted by a creative tile flower mosaic. Wire lamps, a wooden tray, and three-dimensional textured vases add just enough contrast while energizing the room. 

Ask our Professionals for Textural Design Help

Texture is so much more than a tactile experience. It enriches interior design by adding contrast and visual interest while infusing homes with personality and style. In summary: texture can elevate your design, whether abstract or actual and through a myriad of applications. 

When looking to take your interior design to the next level, it can be daunting to know where to start. Our luxury interior designers are here to assist you every step of the way along your journey to create a home that is uniquely you. We work with your personal design style to update the look and feel of your home from the inside out. 

If you’re looking for more design inspiration, read more on our blog and be sure to peruse the projects on our design portfolio.

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