Texture Techniques

We, as humans, are sensory beings. Since the dawn of mankind, our senses of touch and sight have contributed to our knowledge of the world around us, evoking emotions such as joy, fear, love and curiosity to name a few.  As designers, we are charged with the task of bringing out the best of those emotions in the environments we create.

Of all of the various elements of design used in creating spaces, one of the most impactful elements is that of texture.  Texture tends to bring about a more emotional response (think furry rug, silk sheets, bomber leather, rough stone). It is the element that can pull a room in a certain direction sometimes more than any other element, making a space a cozy lodge, a luxe bedroom or a contemporary kitchen.

In the world of cabinetry, we are seeing the element of texture rising in popularity. Woods with more character, live edges, weathered finishes, knots and grain are being specified more often. When incorporating texture, a designer needs to be mindful, as more is not always better. One does not want to create a sensory overload; it is best in measured doses, thoughtfully integrated into the design.

Some fabulous examples of texture being used well:

A fabulous example of texture being used in kitchen design. Photo by Camilla Banks Interior Design
Above, the smooth painted cabinetry compliments the rough hewn shelf, the industrial hardware and the stamped copper sink.  With all that is going on here, the designer actually kept things quite simple, adhering to just a couple of colors- dark gray and a pale orangy-brown.  The textures here draw a person in, almost making one want to do the dishes!

Dura Supreme Cabinetry with the Weathered wood finish


The texture in this beautiful Weathered wood finish island from Dura Supreme beautifully compliments the white transitional cabinetry behind it and makes a stunning statement piece guests will want to gather around.

Live edge slab (wood countertop) kitchen island with stool seating for 4 in a contemporary kitchen design. Photography by SF Architecture.

Design is seeing more rough edges and organic lines integrated into kitchen designs. No longer does a sleek contemporary kitchen need to have the smooth, angular countertop! This example above is so much more interesting than the predictable alternative. Also notice the attention to tone here- the undertones of the slab do not fight with the undertones of the wood flooring, both with orange/red undertone.

The seamless juxtaposition of many textures can be challenging.  To combat the potential for sensory overload, a great rule of thumb is to limit the color palette being used.  Restricting the tones lets the texture be the star. 

Below is an example of this rule of thumb beautifully executed:

The wood tones in this wood plank feature wall is full of texture and works with the furniture legs and kitchen cabinetry. Photo by Shelby Wood Design
Photo by Shelby Wood Design

Notice how the wood tones in the fabulous textural wood feature wall work with the furniture legs and kitchen cabinetry. The rest of the home employs creams and soft grays as evidenced in the kitchen backsplash, chairs, rug and sofa. When the palette is restricted like this, introducing the textures in the wood wall, fur pillow, rug and jute seats does not look overdone.

No matter what your project, whether it be a kitchen, bathroom, family room or library- incorporating texture in some form should be of primary importance. Dura Supreme offers many finishes to help accomplish this in their Weathered, Heritage and Heirloom finishes, making it easy to create a space with artistic visual interest that will have people talking.

Sandy Kloncz's picture

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