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 What is so Great about Texture?

by Nikki Willhite

What are some of the things you think about when decorating a room? There is pattern, color, scale, texture...wait a minute. Back up!  What's the deal with texture? What is so great about texture?

The answer is simple- with a little visualization. Picture these two rooms:

Room #1

Room #1 is a large living room in a beautiful, formal home. As you enter this room, your eyes are immediately drawn to the fireplace, with its granite surround,  brass andirons and very large gilded mirror on top.

The upholstery in the room looks like satin, and the tables are made from a dark mahogany and topped with a polished stone. The drapery appears to be made of the finest silk which puddles to the floor and drops elegantly on the beautiful marble floor.

A grand piano in a shiny ebony finish, with the lid propped open,  sits in front of the large picture window at the end of the room, and caps off the elegance of this room.

Room #2

Room #2  is in the country, and is in a log home. The first thing you notice when you walk in are the beautiful log walls. Then your eyes goes to the fireplace, made from river rock.

The flooring is made from wide plank, recycled wood.  There is a large braided rug anchoring the seating area.

The upholstery on the sofa is a soft looking, nubby chenille, and quilts and knitted throws in a garter stitch are scattered around the room.

An old restored upright piano sits humbly in the corner, reminding you of days gone by.

The Contrast

So here we have two beautiful rooms. Which one would you rather visit?

Left alone, what would you do in room #1?  I would sit down at the piano and see how it sounds. After that, I wouldn't have much interest in that room.

However, in room #2,  I would want to go around and feel and touch things. I would want to get a closer look at the river rock, run my hands over the log walls, look closer at the floors, feel the quilts the throws, and perhaps take a nap on that comfy looking sofa.

So why is it that we drawn to room #2?  We haven't talked about color, pattern, or scale?

We have been talking about texture.  All of the items mentioned in room #1 are smooth, and lack texture.  The items in room #2 are rich in texture. 

Texture is casual, comforting, and inviting. It is also interesting. Items without texture tend to be "perfect", and without the flaws and peculiarities that make an item interesting.

This is why people love antiques, with their dents, scratches, rust and worm holes. Wood can tell a story, unlike shiny plastics and factory steel pieces.

Most of us are never going to live in a log home, have wide plank flooring or even large braided rugs. However, small touches of texture brought into our home can still bring us comfort.

Many people have treasured items passed down from family members. It is a great hobby to scour thrift stores and antique shops for items that bring warmth and character into our homes. Sometimes these items need a little work, but they can bring a great deal of personality and warmth  into our homes.

Even pillows can make a big impact. The ones you find in the pillow aisle of your department store are not very interesting. Find a beautiful fabric with crewel embroidery, and sew up a few of them, and you have added texture and personality to your room.

If you want to warm up your home, add texture. With every item that you add to your home, whether it is a picture frame,  or carpeting, you make a choice about texture. Say yes to texture when appropriate, and your home will be more appealing.

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. Frugal Happy Families- more than just money!

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