Pull A Room Together With This Best Kept Secret + Five Design Terms You Need To Know

You've spent weeks analyzing paint chips, you shopped for just the right pieces of furniture & lighting to create an attractive room but something is off. The biggest not so secret, secret in home decorating is our first design term .... TEXTURE!

Texture - When designers talk about texture, they're talking about the surface quality of a material. Every surface has a texture whether it be smooth or rough, bumpy or flat. Texture can be both seen & felt.

By my definition, texture is how something feels by sight and we really don’t even have to touch it to feel it. Textures can be furry, silky, shiny, smooth, hard, soft, rough, downy, chunky, ragged .… you get what I'm talking about!

We can add texture, balance & weight to a room in many different ways. My best tip, take a picture of your room.  It's amazing what you'll see in a photo that you miss when you walk into a room. You might notice the green fig in the corner but you might not notice that it would be more appealing to have balance by adding a green fern to the other side of the room. Different textures but similar balance.

Now you're asking what are Balance & Weight. Let's define them & then get to the fun part.

Balance - is a word and concept all home decor enthusiast should know. It’s one of the important elements of decor. Unfortunately it’s more of a feeling than a concrete definition. When a room is not tipped too much to one one side or the other it's in balance. A room that seems relaxed, pleasing and looks beautiful is usually a balanced room.

Weight - Everything you have in a room has visual weight. Some things “weigh” more to the eye than others. Usually, the more attention grabbing a decorative item is, the more visual weight it has. A decorative item that is a darker color will have a greater visual weight than the same object in a lighter color. A larger item has a greater visual weight than a smaller item. A clear transparent or translucent item will seem to have less visual weight than the same item in a solid color. 

Let's Decorate!!

  • Use architectural features - crown molding, larger window casings, door casings, shiplap, and hearths to add architectural weight to a home.
  • Furniture - consider the texture of every piece you put into your home. Rough planked bookshelves, smooth wooden tables, and linen upholstered sofas are examples of home furnishing texture.
  • Accents- I love accents because here’s where you can easily bring texture into your home. Satin pillows, fluffy throws, smooth candlesticks and rough wooden bowls are ripe with texture! I must also add books… my favorite!
  • Floor coverings - sisal rugs, silk oriental rugs, hide rugs, and wall to wall pile carpet have texture that will add interest to a room. Consider stacking rugs.
  • Textiles - every piece of material will add some sort of texture and visual weight to a room. The shinier and smoother the less weight and the more furry, bumpy and rough the more weight!
  • Wall materials - drywall, brick, shiplap, paneling, wainscoting, stone, marble are all examples.

Let's define a couple of additional decor terms that fit & likely have been used in this blog post.

Layered - Building interest through various levels of elements. Combining textures & patterns together. Layer rugs, pillows or framed mirrors & art. Layering creates weight & adds texture to a room.

Collected - A space that's filled with unique pieces acquired over time creates depth. Depth makes rooms comfortable and attractive. A collected home is often referred to as a traveled home. Simply meaning the items have meaning to their owner & they've lasted the test of time. They've been handed down or acquired. They're often imperfect & filled with character.

Happy decorating my friends!

Photo Credits - Studio McGee and Lucy Call. Contribution Material - Stone Gable Blog.