The Secret Ingredient to Make Any Room Feel More Inviting
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 color, 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 sofa has a distinctive texture, and one can perceive the softness and warmth just by looking at the blanket.
Let’s take a look at ways to use texture and how this understated quality can bring more warmth, depth and interest to the home.
1. 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 gauzy curtains and a plush bedside rug or carpeting.
2. Leave a Wall Exposed
If you’re lucky enough to have inherited brick as a building material, by all means, leave it exposed. 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.
3. 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-colored rug that has lots of texture with a patterned one.
For example, the designer of this room used a natural-fiber rug to add more warmth to the white-and-gray seating area, layered with a smaller patterned rug for a hit of color. Alternatively, lay a high-texture accent rug on top of a patterned area rug.
4. 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 this pair of woven metal Portuguese eel traps, against blank backdrops to show off their textural quality through contrast.
5. Splurge for Textured Wallpaper
Adding textured wallpaper can be a great way to make a space luxurious without looking too over-the-top. When choosing textured wallpaper, keep in mind the effect you’d like to create in the room. Satin finishes have a smooth texture that reflects some light, giving a baroque-like feeling of opulence. Matte-textured and embossed wallpapers can help create a rich library-like feel.
6. Go Plush With Velvet
Really make a textural statement with a sofa 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.
7. 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.
9. Add a Textured Backsplash
Modern kitchens are often filled with smooth surfaces — a texture that can feel a bit cold and sterile. Break up an expanse of smooth textures while still keeping a contemporary look with three-dimensional tile used as a backsplash.
For a more homey, farmhouse feel in your kitchen, look for ways to add texture to the space, such as laying down a braided rug, displaying glass jars filled with dry goods on the countertop or using a woven basket as a fruit bowl.