Back to the basics: tactile textures


Welcome back! I don’t know about you, but this sunny warm weather has me itching to put the soft top back on the Jeep. Which would be possible if the mice hadn’t ate through this winter. Thanks rural Ontario!

Speaking of the weather, you might notice that sun light shining in a lot stronger through your windows these days. You know, with the depressing grey overcast slowly fading into the past memories of Winter Wonder-hell. Since that sun is shining in much brighter and much longer these days, you might have considered how much emphasis it’s putting on your furniture and décor… or perhaps, not enough?

Something that most people aren’t aware of is how much emphasis the textures you choose for your home/work can have on lighting. Texture refers to the surface of an object which can be divided into 2 types: Tactile and Visual. Tactile texture is the roughness or smoothness of an object. This can be anything from a glossy end table to a vibrant shag rug. The smoother and shinier the object, the more light reflects off of it creating a brighter space (and sometimes dustier!) Objects with a more rough or raised texture absorb the light.

Tactile Texture is an important element for creating a feel in the room literally and figuratively. Not only does it hold the key to more or less light based on your current windows and lighting, but when you look at a tactile texture you also unconsciously know what that object is going to feel like. This can help create the atmosphere in a room. Rooms with lots of rough texture often feel more comfortable and warm, while rooms with more smooth texture feel cool and crisp.

Visual Textures refers to the illusion of texture. You will see this when looking at fabric. Most visual textures have a motif which is a repetitive element of design such as a pattern or print. We will discuss this further in our next post as the vast array of visual textures can often be overwhelming.

When redecorating your room, consider what you are looking for and what kind of vibe you want to create. Do you want the room to feel crisp, calm and modern or warm, cosy and natural? Imagine where you want your eyes to be drawn… to a vibrant painting, to a particular wall or piece of furniture, or just a simple, neutral experience as a whole. Think about the purpose of the room and how you want to feel when you’re in it.

Combining tactile and visual textures is a great way to update a space without spending a lot of money. With all the textures and patterns out there, it can be difficult to sort out which ones would really look great in your space. Always consider the atmosphere you want to convey first… everything will make sense from there.

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