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Play textures against furnishings and floors to add impact in a room

October 24, 2013

Along with color and patterns, textures from a variety of materials can widen homeowners' decorating options. Like the delicately textured wood floors in Anderson's Urban Loft collection, fabrics played against wood furniture and other hard surfaces can soften a room design and make it more inviting.

Hardwood FloorsAlong with color and patterns, textures from a variety of materials can widen homeowners' decorating options. Like the delicately textured wood floors in Anderson's Urban Loft collection, fabrics played against wood furniture and other hard surfaces can soften a room design and make it more inviting.

It's the variety of textures that gives each element its own character rather than allowing it to blend into the background. As an example, DesignRulz.com featured a blue living room with walls painted deep blue, a sofa in a gray-blue paisley pattern and upholstered chairs in a subtle blue and beige plaid. An additional chair in blue leather brought in yet another texture.

A monochromatic color scheme presents a special challenge to home decorators when hues are too close in intensity or within the same color family. Blending them together successfully depends on an infusion of textures to break up the uniform look.

Be careful not to allow monochromatic to become synonymous with boring. Rather than taking away from the mono look, a shot of color often underscores it because it intensifies the attention paid to the main color.

Broaden the mix
Accessories can also add a tactile quality to a design plan. Wicker furniture has an earthy texture, but it goes well with china or glass for an elegant vintage feel, and brings out the rustic appeal of decorative pieces in hammered metals and wrought iron. Even masculine styles like Mission furniture benefit from the interplay of different textures in upholstery on cushioned seating.

When choosing fabrics, patterns should complement, not conflict with each other. There should be a similarity in the shapes and size of the pattern regardless of whether they're in different colors, according to The Learning Channel.

However, materials that have contrasting textures should share colors that are in the same family or have a "resemblance" in tone. Grid and checkerboard patterns are among the easiest to blend with square and rectangular shapes.

Other sources of texture include flooring and wall treatments. High-gloss paints are more reflective than flat paints. For more depth, try grass cloth instead of paint or wallpaper. If area rugs are used, coordinate the colors and patterns to unify the overall look of the home design.

Creating a certain atmosphere can be achieved based on which soft furnishings are chosen. Light and airy fabrics for window treatments brighten up a room, while heavier materials for drapery or roman shades make a room cozier.