7 ways to use textures

Using a variety of textures in your home décor is a great way to add interest, style and character but it can be surprisingly difficult to master. Use too many textures and it can look chaotic, or repeat the same texture too often and the overall effect can appear unbalanced. As textile and fabric experts with over sixty years experience, we’ve collated the following rules so you can add textural impact to any interior design.

1. Pick your mood
Like colour, textures denote different moods. Decide which mood you’re trying to emulate and select your textures accordingly. For a cosy feel, textures should be soft, tactile and inviting. Choose fabrics like rich velvets, shimmering cotton mixes and faux fur for throws and rugs. For a more industrial or streamlined look, choose accessories with matt finishes, like concrete floors, steel accessories and non-reflective, functional fabrics. Our Raffia collection  uses a two tone weave for an attractive finish with practical durability.

7 ways to use textures Ashley Wilde

2. Wall play
If you want to incorporate texture into your décor then don’t forget the walls. Whether you select a high-gloss paint, wood panels, exposed bricks, wall tiles or Venetian plaster you can create textural interest against which to contrast your choice of soft furnishings and fabrics.

3. Set a Limit
Textural layering is the best way to get the most out of contrasting fabrics and materials, but don’t go overboard. Set a limit to the dominant texture types you want to accentuate in the room – around three or four fabrics is the right number. Perhaps a rustic mix of natural fibres like wool, linen, cotton and seagrass, or a glamorous ensemble of velvets, silks and cashmere. Blending these textures together can evoke a strong sense of mood, while adding depth, interest and a sense of visual discovery as your eye notes the similarities and differences between your textile choices.

7 ways to use textures Ashley Wilde

4. Play with patterns and plain
For a more subtle way of incorporating texture into your interior décor, combining patters with plains can be an excellent place to start. Our fabric collections provide a range of complementary fabrics. For a fresh, coastal-chic vibe, try pairing curtains in Ruskin Navy from the Ashley Wilde Rosetti collection with a velvet feature chair in Topaz from our Alaska range. Their complementary colours echo each other and when paired their individual textural characters are emphasised beautifully.

7 ways to use textures Ashley Wilde

5. Keep colours complementary
To really amplify the appeal of the textures in your room, you should keep them within the same palette of colours. This way the textural differences will be contrasted more strongly as the eye compares the textures rather than the colours. A pair of soft sheer curtains from the KAI Crystalline collection, teamed with a sofa upholstered in a soft cotton mix like Cole Ivory with scatter cushions in a two textured fabric like Blean Ivory makes for an stylish and elegant textural mix.

7 ways to use textures Ashley Wilde

6. Keep things natural
There’s more than one way to incorporate texture into a room. One simple way is to choose or select accessories that have a distinctive textural profile to add interest. Things like large leafy pot plants, statement wooden sculptures or wooden furniture whose grain is clearly visible, to classic elements like stone or marble mantelpieces or ceiling roses; often mixing textures with your furnishings involves combining old and new, and the rough with the smooth.

7. Surprise yourself
Texture can have a powerful visual impact when it is done boldly. Dare to embrace a luxurious metallic velvet fabric for upholstery like Adorna Mineral from the KAI Mica collection, or challenge your comfort zone by using wall hangings instead of paintings to provide warmth, colour and textural interest. Dare to use less conventional textures for accessories too, from glass to rubber to stone, finding the right modern objects d’art can really pull a textural interior décor together with a dramatic focal point.

7 ways to use textures Ashley Wilde
Clarissa Hulse
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Skinny Dip
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