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Exploring Textures in Interior Design: a Guide for Interior Designers

Exploring Textures in Interior Design: a Guide for Interior Designers Home Interiors and Textures
Exploring Textures in Interior Design: a Guide for Interior Designers

Meet the Author and Your Future Designer: Julio Arco is a passionate architect with years of experience in architecture, interior design, urban design, and housing. He studied at prestigious universities across North America and Europe. 


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Exploring Textures in Interior Design: a Guide for Interior Designers

Home Interiors and Textures

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Have you ever walked into a room and felt immediately at ease or uncomfortable? Chances are, the room’s texture played a big part in your emotional response. Texture is a powerful tool in interior design, capable of conveying different emotions, creating interest, and even affecting behavior. 

Advances in technology, research, and evidence-based design have led to the development of haptic feedback, which aims to capture and replicate the feeling of touch. But even without high-tech solutions, the use of texture in interior design has been shown to significantly impact how people feel and interact with their surroundings. 

From the softness of a cushion to the roughness of a wall, texture has the power to make a space feel cozy or cold, welcoming or off-putting. In this article, we’ll explore the role of texture in interior design and how it can be used to create visually stunning and emotionally impactful spaces.

Exploring Textures in Interior Design: a Guide for Interior Designers

1.- The Impact of Tactile Experiences on Thinking and Behavior

Have you ever noticed how something feels can affect how you think and act? Well, it turns out that our sense of touch significantly impacts our lives. Scientists have studied the relationship between our tactile experiences and our behavior, and it’s fascinating. 

For instance, did you know that a smooth and soft fabric can make us feel more comfortable and relaxed, while rougher textures can make us feel more excited or energized?

These findings are not just applicable to humans but to pets as well. Soft-textured surfaces, like a cozy pet bed, can have a calming effect on our furry friends and promote good behavior. 

Adding pet-friendly houseplants to your home can also enhance the tactile experience for both you and your pet, improving your thinking, behavior, and overall well-being. But before you start rearranging your plants, be sure to avoid common mistakes and follow essential plant care tips to keep them thriving.

Finding the perfect spot for your houseplant is essential. Some houseplants prefer direct sunlight, while others need a shadier spot. If you’re on a budget, don’t worry, you can still find affordable houseplants at your local plant nursery or even online. 

Keeping up with the latest houseplant trends, like hanging plants or pet-friendly indoor trees, can add a unique touch to your home decor. And don’t forget to talk to your houseplants; research shows it can help them grow.

Our tactile experiences impact our lives in more ways than we might realize. From the way we feel to how our pets behave, the textures we encounter can shape our behavior and thinking. Enhancing our tactile experience with houseplants and finding the perfect spot for them can promote a healthier and happier environment for our furry friends and us. 

Exploring Textures in Interior Design: a Guide for Interior Designers

2.- Cushion Padding and Negotiating Skills: How Sitting Affects Your Flexibility

Even a thin cushion can make a difference in how you approach negotiations or family discussions. But it’s not just about the cushioning – the textures and materials used in interior design can also impact our perceptions and overall well-being. As humans, we evolved surrounded by nature, so it’s important to include natural elements in our surroundings. 

Not only can this improve our mental and physical health, but it can also enhance our productivity and overall happiness. When designing your space, be sure to coordinate your furniture and include comfortable pieces like a reclining sofa or corner chair. Creating a comfortable and nature-inspired environment can improve your negotiating skills and overall flexibility in all areas of life.

Exploring Textures in Interior Design: a Guide for Interior Designers

3.- Warmth and Perception: How Touching Warm Objects Can Shape Our Judgments of Others

 Recent studies suggest that after touching something warm, we are more likely to judge others as caring and generous while also becoming more cooperative and trusting of ourselves. This highlights the impact of warmth in our tactile experiences and how they shape our social interactions and relationships. 

But it’s not just the temperature that matters – the texture of the materials we touch also plays a crucial role. Soft and warm textiles, such as curtains and carpets, can create a sense of physical warmth and emotional comfort, which can help prepare us for social interactions.

When it comes to home decor, regardless of the design style, adding warmth and texture to your curtains can make a big difference. Layering curtains and choosing the right curtain rod color can create a cozy and inviting atmosphere in your living space. 

Not only do curtains provide privacy and light control, but they can also be a beautiful and practical addition to any room. So, whether you want to dress up your windows or simply create a warm and inviting environment, consider the power of warmth and texture in your home decor choices.

Exploring Textures in Interior Design: a Guide for Interior Designers

4.- Heat Retention and Material Choice: The Science of How Different Materials Warm Up and Cool Down

Materials like wood and leather have better heat retention, keeping your space warmer for longer, while metals lose heat quickly. By understanding the science behind heat retention, we can make more informed decisions when it comes to choosing the right materials for our spaces.

But it’s not just about the materials – colors play a role too! With color theory, we can bring vibrant life to our spaces and make them feel warmer or cooler, depending on our preferences. From the best room colors for studying to the best small living room colors for a cozy space, there’s a color scheme for every room in your home.

If you’re struggling to sleep, consider changing up the colors in your bedroom – soft, light colors are perfect for promoting a restful environment. And for those looking to get creative or fight off depression, there are colors that can help with that too!

So, whether you’re looking to transform your small dining room or your laundry room, keep in mind the impact of color and material choices on the warmth and feel of your space.

Exploring Textures in Interior Design: a Guide for Interior Designers

5.- Pet-friendly Textures: How Dogs react to the Built Environment

If you’re a dog owner, you’ve likely noticed that your furry friend can be quite particular about the surfaces they walk on. While some types of flooring are comfortable for them, others can cause discomfort and anxiety, leading them to avoid them altogether. 

But why is this the case? Just like humans, dogs evolved in a natural environment, which means that they tend to be more comfortable with natural, rough surfaces than polished, slippery ones. 

This is because dogs have rough pads on their paws to protect against sticks and stones and claws for digging and picking up speed. Some breeds even have pronounced webbing that helps them in muddy areas or while swimming. It’s worth noting that dog paws are well-suited to almost any natural surface, whether it’s snow, rocky hillsides, or water. The more distance between your dog and a natural surface, the less likely they are to avoid it. 

However, this can present a challenge for pet owners trying to create a stylish and inviting interior space. Polished marble floors, smooth hardwood floors, and slippery sealed concrete can all pose problems for dogs since they can be quite slippery and make it difficult for dogs to get a good grip on the floor.

Not only can this cause anxiety and distress in your furry friend, but these surfaces are often very reflective and shiny, which can also scare them when they see their own reflection. Additionally, the cleaning supplies used on these surfaces often contain lemon, which can be overwhelming for a dog’s sensitive nose. 

By understanding your dog’s natural preferences, you can create a stylish and pet-friendly interior space. Opting for natural, rough surfaces can help your furry friend feel comfortable and secure, and it’s also worth considering non-reflective materials and avoiding strong-smelling cleaning supplies.

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6.- The Energizing Effect of Combining Textures in Interior Designs

Mixing different textures, such as rough and smooth or hard and soft, adds depth, interest, and energy to any room. Textures can stimulate the senses and inspire creativity, making a space more visually and mentally stimulating.

Incorporating textures into a design can also break up a monochromatic color scheme or add interest to a sparsely furnished room. One easy way to add texture is with rugs. Rugs come in various styles, from layering rugs to matching rugs, and can be pet-friendly or available in different sizes, making it easy to find the right fit for your space.

For those with hardwood flooring, rugs can be a great solution for adding texture, as they can help to soften the space and add visual interest. However, keeping a wool rug clean can be a challenge, especially if you have pets. Choosing a pet-friendly rug or using essential oils can help keep it looking and smelling fresh.

Ultimately, combining textures in your interior design allows you to create an energizing and inviting space that reflects your unique personality and style.

Exploring Textures in Interior Design: a Guide for Interior Designers

7.- Sleek and Comfortable: The Modern Aesthetic of Smoother Metal Surfaces

Smooth metal surfaces can bring a sleek and modern aesthetic to interior design while also providing comfort. Incorporating these surfaces can create a sophisticated and inviting space. In fact, research in evidence-based design has shown that textures can have a tactile effect that makes a space feel more welcoming. 

Smooth textures, in particular, can have a soothing effect, which is important in spaces where people are encouraged to touch or interact with the environment. While smooth surfaces may be more functional in certain areas, incorporating textured surfaces can encourage people to linger and enjoy the space. 

Evidence-based design principles can be used by interior designers to create spaces that are both visually appealing and functional.

Exploring Textures in Interior Design: a Guide for Interior Designers

8.- Foot Traffic and Flooring: The Importance of Texture Consistency in Interior Design

As humans, we have a preference for certain textures underfoot, and we tend to stick to what we know. This means that when we encounter changes in flooring texture, our brains take notice. 

That’s why it’s important to maintain consistency in texture when it comes to interior design, particularly for high-traffic areas. Consistent textures can promote movement and exploration in a space, creating a sense of flow and comfort.

Textures can also tie together different elements of a room, creating a cohesive look. For example, using a rough texture for the flooring and a smooth texture for the walls can create a visually appealing and harmonious space. By paying attention to the interplay of textures, we can evoke positive outcomes in interior design.

When it comes to hardwood floors, choosing the right wall color to complement the flooring is important. Additionally, for pet owners, choosing a pet-friendly hardwood floor can help ensure longevity and durability. By taking into account the importance of texture consistency, we can create a comfortable and visually appealing space that promotes movement and exploration.

Exploring Textures in Interior Design: a Guide for Interior Designers

9.- Slowing Down with Carpet: The Benefits of Soft Flooring for Art Viewing and More

When it comes to creating a relaxed and engaging environment, carpeted floors can be a game-changer. They can help slow down our movement, particularly in areas like art galleries, where we want people to take their time to appreciate the artwork. Soft flooring can be strategically placed in different areas to create a more comfortable and inviting space, encouraging us to linger and enjoy our surroundings.

Textures are essential in creating balance and visual stability in interior design. A room with too much of one texture can feel heavy and uninviting. But incorporating different textures can help create a sense of harmony and visual interest. 

Adding a smooth texture to a room with heavy textures can create a sense of balance and make the space feel more inviting. Designers should keep in mind the benefits of using a mix of textures to create a cohesive and visually pleasing environment.

Exploring Textures in Interior Design: a Guide for Interior Designers

10.- Shiny Surfaces and Perception: The Slippery Slope of Shiny Floors in Interior Design

When it comes to interior design, shiny floors can be a slippery slope. Even if they are not slippery, people may perceive them as such, which can influence how they move around the space, leading to caution and even avoidance of certain areas. By being aware of the potential risks of shiny floors, we can make informed design decisions that balance both aesthetics and practicality.

One way to address this issue is by incorporating texture into the design. For example, if there is a crack in the wall, you can use textured wallpaper to cover it up, and this conceals the imperfection and adds visual interest and depth to the space. It is important to consider different textures in interior design, as they can add both tactile and visual experiences that enhance the overall look and feel of the space.

Exploring Textures in Interior Design: a Guide for Interior Designers

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, texture is a crucial element of interior design. Textures’ tactile experiences can significantly impact how we think and behave in a space. The amount of padding on a chair cushion can affect negotiating skills and flexibility, while warmer objects can influence perceptions of generosity and caring. 

Different materials retain heat differently, and rougher textures are associated with masculinity and energy, while smoother textures are linked to femininity and comfort. Combining various textures can create an energizing effect in a space, while smoother metal is often seen as modern, elegant, and comfortable.

It’s important to consider the underfoot texture in a room, as people tend to stick to the same texture and may need cues to shift to different flooring materials. For example, carpeted floors can be beneficial for slowing down movement, such as for viewing art, and people are more comfortable and spend more time in areas with carpets compared to vinyl floors. Additionally, shiny floors may be perceived as slippery, regardless of their actual slipperiness, which can impact how people move within a space.

When designing a living room, adding texture can enhance the visual weight of the space and create a more dynamic and interesting environment. You can create a unique design style that reflects your individual tastes and personality by incorporating different textures, such as tactile textures, visual textures, and room textures. Designing the interior of a commercial space or home involves considering design elements such as texture to create a functional and aesthetically pleasing space.

In the end, using texture in interior design is a powerful tool that can influence a space’s mood and emotional experience. Whether you’re designing a room for kids or adults, a dining room, a space to read or relax, or a room that needs more light, textures can help you achieve your design goals. 

Interior designers play a key role in selecting and incorporating the right textures to create a cohesive and inviting environment. Overall, texture is an essential component of interior design that can transform any space into a comfortable and visually stunning interior.

Texture in Interior Design – FAQ

How can texture be used in interior design to enhance the visual weight of a living room?

Texture can be used to enhance the visual weight of a living room by introducing a mix of textures and finishes to the space. For example, combining rough and smooth textures in the form of materials such as wood, metal, and textiles can create a sense of depth and dimension. This visual weight can also be increased by layering textures in the form of area rugs, throw pillows, and other decorative elements.

In what ways can texture be added to a living room to create a more dynamic and interesting space?

There are many ways to add texture to a living room. One simple way is by introducing different types of textiles, such as a textured rug or a woven throw. Mixing materials such as wood, stone, or metal can also create texture and interest in a living room. Another way is to add patterned wallpaper, a textured accent wall, or 3D wall panels.

How does the use of texture in interior design affect the way we perceive space and our movements within it?

Texture can impact the way we perceive and move within a space. Tactile texture, for example, can encourage us to touch and interact with the space, while visual texture can add depth and dimension to a space. Texture can also create contrast and balance in a room, leading our eyes to move around the space and creating a sense of flow.

What are some common textures used in interior design, and how can they be incorporated into a living room?

Some common textures used in interior design include wood, metal, concrete, leather, velvet, and linen. These textures can be incorporated into a living room in various ways, such as using a natural wood coffee table or shelving unit, a metal wall art or pendant light, or a textured fabric sofa or accent chair.

Can the use of texture in interior design impact a living room’s mood and emotional experience?

Yes, using texture in interior design can impact a living room’s mood and emotional experience. For example, using soft and plush textures such as velvet or a shag rug can create a cozy and welcoming environment, while using hard, cold textures such as concrete or metal can create a more industrial or modern feel. Texture can also be used to create a sense of serenity, such as with the use of natural materials like stone and wood in a living room design.

Exploring Textures in Interior Design: a Guide for Interior Designers
Exploring Textures in Interior Design: a Guide for Interior Designers

Hire an Online Interior Designer at Havenly

There are several online interior design websites, but Havenly is your best option to hire from a robust list of interior designers that will help you in decorating and creating the perfect dog-friendly home. 

When you sign up for Havenly, you will take a short quiz about your design style and what you are looking for in a designer. Havenly will then match you with a designer who will help you select paint colors, furniture, and accessories that are both stylish and safe for your furry friend.

In addition, your Havenly designer will be able to provide tips on how to create a space that is both comfortable for your dog and inviting for guests. With Havenly, creating a beautiful and functional home that your dog will love is easy and stress-free.

Click here if you want to learn more about Havenly or book an interior designer and get 25% off your design package if you click here!

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M.Arch. Julio Arco
M.Arch. Julio Arco

Bachelor of Architecture - ITESM University
Master of Architecture - McGill University
Architecture in Urban Context Certificate - LDM University
Interior Designer - Havenly
Architecture Professor - ITESM University

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