Texture is more than just a tactile element; it actually has a visual component.
When you look at an object, your mind imagines what it feels like to touch it,
to hold it, to grasp it. This information, accessed from your memory, influences
how you see that item, and how your body physically responds to it. This is a
subtle but powerful component of human perception, which can be used quite
effectively when creating a particular decorative atmosphere in a space.
Understanding texture is as easy as using ones own senses. Simply indulge in the
feel of an object, and you will become acutely aware of the way your mind and
body reacts to it. Experiencing the way something feels, as well as the way that
it looks like it would feel, will give you an added insight into how to
incorporate it into your overall environment.
Imagine a blustery cold winters day. You step inside to escape the blizzard, and
the first thing you see draped over the couch is a large, fluffy blanket.
Without even touching it, your mind is going to explode with sensations of
imagined warmth. Your mind knows what that blanket will feel like, it can
anticipate the sensation of snuggling down under it, and that information is
being supplied to your consciousness.
Soft textures are going to make a space feel warmer. This can be used with
pillows and throws, but can also be applied to such eclectic features as
curtains, or rugs. The idea is that the perceived warmth will be lent to the
visual stimulus of the place.
By contrast, smooth textures are going to evoke a cooler sensation. Materials
such as marble, steel, and glass don’t retain much warmth, and so often feel
quite chilly to the touch. In a decorative environment, these textures will make
the space feel more distant and remote, more corporate, with a frigid air which
can come in handy when decorating during the warmer summer months.
These smooth, perfect textures also lend themselves to more modern stylistic
leanings. It’s only in the machine age that we have such a wealth of processes
that can produce manufactured perfection in our surfaces. As such, the sleek
polished look is a hallmark of contemporary decorative movements.
Meanwhile rough hewn textures tend to be considered more rustic. Materials such
as hardwood, slate, brick, and concrete, mirror features such as rocks, trees,
and earth in the natural world. These can be used to simulate a primitive
environment in your home or office. They can lend a primal energy to the space,
almost giving it a wild feeling, which will naturally invigorate the
Once you understand the nature and place of texture, various contrasting
surfaces can be used to add a subtle depth to the decorative nature of your
spaces. Smooth can be layered against rough, hard stone floors can be covered in
soft fluffy rugs, and slinky silk can adorn the interior of rustic log cabins.
The idea is to find textures which compliment one another, keeping the visual
feel of the room interesting, without overwhelming it.
Texture is a decorative tool which is often overlooked because it is not always
readily apparent when selecting pieces for your home. However it can add depth
and complexity to a room, by engaging more than just the visual senses, making
the entire environment come alive for you and your guests.
About the author: This article was written by Joey Pebble on behalf of PebbleZ’s
line of rustic home décor and
natural stone home accessories.
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