As some of you will remember (before the little interlude of my sentimental journey down memory lane as my daughter headed off to college, the kitchen remodel post and introducing that sweetie pie Winston!) we were discussing how important it is to incorporate the five senses into your home. Without the proper balance of all the senses, your home will always feel a bit “off” and you won’t always be able to immediately pinpoint the problem.
Introducing all of the senses brings layers of depth to your home that you cannot achieve just by having pretty things. That is what I LOVE about creating a home — the complexity of textures, surfaces, colors, sights, lights, aroma, sounds — it is so rewarding when they start coming together as something really beautiful, personal and meaningful to you.
We started off this series by discussing the visual side of a decorating room. While we didn’t cover everything visual by any stretch of the imagination, we did discuss making certain visual statements and how they can transform a room.
By way of introduction, our next sense will add an incredible richness and stability to your room. While color and pattern can give you an immediate visual boost, touch or texture is often more subtle in the way it will affect the feeling of your home.
While an abundance of pretty things will look, well, pretty — attention to the contrast of textures in a room is what really gives your room substance and interest. Pretty faces only go so far towards happiness and contentment in life. Same is true for your home. There are layers to an emotionally satisfying and stable home that go far beyond the pretty stuff or colors you love.
I’ve noticed through the years of being interested and working in interior design that most of the time people decorate using their sense of sight. They buy because something looks beautiful, paint because they love a particular color — their decisions will often revolve around whether or not they like the way something looks. However, when handed a fabric or shown a sofa, they will reach out and touch it with their hands or put the fabric against their face. We are tactile creatures! How things feel impact us just as much or more than how things look.
Unfortunately, if you do not balance a room’s texture, you will likely end up with a lopsided room! It will either be too fluffy, too heavy, too slick or too uncomfortable in some way. It may look pretty, but be too intense, be too predictable, or oftentimes just too flat. Rooms that really come alive have incorporated a contrast among materials and shapes. Texture can provide balance as well as an element of interest.
Beauty alone isn’t enough. What you put WITH the beautiful object is what creates the harmony, both texturally and visually. It is a contrast between materials that boosts the composition — providing you with the result you really want. Most people don’t want to live in a museum, with a collection of beautiful things in cold display cases. They want to live in a home. And a home requires the ability to experience all of your senses in order to feel fully alive and content.
Usually when we think of texture, we think of textiles. But in your home, there are many other ways to add a tactile experience.
Next time we will talk about adding authentic organic materials in your home for emotional warmth and ambience. It is amazing what the right materials can do for a home. Especially if you are interested in adding character or a sense of history to a space.
Older homes often have far more substance and texture in their woodwork, walls and flooring. By adding some of these elements to a newer home, you can add some solid features that will add instant history to your home. Texture can also give you the ‘acquired over time’ look that is so pleasing and comfortable to many people.
Until next time…have a great day!
photos: Cottage Living design assistant