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Simple Living



Decorating with Texture

by Nikki Willhite

Ever wondered why people have become so interested in old things, to the point of distressing new furniture? Don't you find the sight a bit odd- people hitting new wood with big heavy chains to make it look old?

Why are people crackling their furniture and walls, pulling items out of basements and attics for their living spaces, and esteeming green, a sign of age, and worm holes, of such great worth?

We live in an age of plastics, steel, glass, vinyl and laminated wood. It is all smooth and without character. We have reached the point where we are nostalgic for the rough hewn wood of log cabins, and the well worn, wooden floor boards of our ancestors.

People are building new, expensive homes using materials salvaged from the past. Our society has gotten so complex that we want to retreat to a more relaxing world. Old things can have a calming effect on us.

In many instances things with texture represent our past. Most old things are rich in texture. Log homes, old wood floors, braided rugs, cross stitch, afghans, and quilts are all rich in texture.

There is a lot of difference in texture between a needlepoint picture on the wall as opposed to a poster, covered in glass and surrounded by a cold, metal frame.

Lack of texture has come to symbolize wealth in some areas. The most expensive fabrics are very smooth. Sofas in formal living rooms are usually upholstered in shiny, smooth fabric. Expensive woods have high luster finishes.

Contrast this with the resurgence of pine, which has more texture, and bleached wood. Many years ago texture was brought into the home with grass cloth, flocked wallpaper, cutaway upholstery fabric, and shag carpet. Some of these items are now in style again. (Those of us who are a bit older still cringe at the words shag and carpet together).

There are many ways to bring texture into your home- such as berber and frieze carpet and plants. Special painting techniques add texture and richness to walls. Chenille, rich in texture, is very popular in upholstery and blankets. Blinds are being pulled down from windows, and being replaced by texture rich fabrics.

If you find yourself wanting to do something to spruce up a boring room, take a look around and see if you may be missing texture in the room. You may be able to get the results you want with the addition of just a touch of texture.

About the Author: Nikki Willhite, mother of 3 and an interior design graduate, has been writing and publishing articles on the topic of frugal living for over a decade. Visit her at - where you will find hundreds of frugal living tips and articles.

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