The Design Touch
Design is a sensory experience, drawing attention to both the visual and tactile elements within a space. One of the five basic elements of design is “texture”, a term which has to do with the way something feels, or the illusion of how it feels.
Texture helps create a perfectly-balanced design experience, adding lift, interest and dimension. Today, touchable fabrics and finishes that inspire warmth and comfort in a home have never been more popular, sought-after, affordable and available.
Textures can be soft, smooth, luxurious, rough, scratchy, bumpy or even fuzzy. No matter what the sensory description, texture often evokes an emotional reaction that is tied to a previous tactile experience we’ve had.
Think about the feeling of putting on a soft and fuzzy sweater on a chilly day. Now, imagine the feel of rough, warm sand as it runs through your fingers on a beach. Each of these examples conjures a strong and distinct feeling and emotion. And, these evocative responses are what designers strive to achieve when they mix unique textures within a space.
Loading a room with specific “feeling” textures can actually influence the experience within a space for yourself and others. If you were to fill a room exclusively with rough textures such as brick, stone, flax or wicker, it could send the message that the person living here was a bit rough and tough. Likewise, a room filled exclusively with soft, smooth textures like marble, velvet and silk could come off as overly feminine.
The key to design success is finding a happy medium when it comes to texture. Notice how mixing hard with soft in materials, fabrics and finishes creates a sense of balance in a room.
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