Friday, March 19, 2010

Design Friday: Texture

Texture is the visual perception or actual tactile smoothness or roughness of a surface. Smooth textures generally suggest more formality, while rough textures often feel more casual. A variety of texture in a room keeps a room feeling interesting and provides a contrast that gives relief to the eye. The key is to have variety, but to make sure that the textures are compatible with the ambiance of the room. Texture can be introduced through accent pillows, upholstery, rugs, furnishings, paint, wood grain, artwork, and window treatments.
It's easy to tell texture by feel, but it's the visual perception that is perhaps a little bit trickier to pin down. For example, a tiny printed pattern can suggest texture from a distance, while being smooth to the touch. So when you're choosing fabric for a space, pillow, etc., it's a good idea to look at it from a distance to get the overall feel of the pattern.

The smooth glassy texture of the floor and furnishings are mixed with nubby, velvety, and loose weave fabrics. Picture from Dec. 2009 "Architectural Digest"

The side chair's fabric is smooth to the touch, but it's small print gives it a visual texture that contrasts well with the smoothness of the bedspread and walls. Also note the rough fabric on the headboard. Picture from Dec. 2009 "Architectural Digest".

The overall effect of the busy pattern on the tile gives a visual texture to this kitchen, when everything looks like it would feel smooth to the touch. Picture from Dec. 2009 "Architectural Digest".

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