Texture and Interior Decoration

by Nikki Willhite

Ever wondered why people have become so interested in old things, to the point of distressing new furniture? Don't you find the sight a bit odd- people hitting new wood with big, heavy chains to nick and gash it?

Why are people crackling their walls to make them look old? Why are old pieces of furniture, green with age, chipped and filled with worm holes, popular?

We live in an age of plastics, steel, glass, vinyl and laminated wood. It is all smooth and without character. We have reached the point where we are nostalgic for the rough hewn wood of log cabins, and the well worn, wooden floor boards of our ancestors. People are building new, expensive homes using materials salvaged from the past.

Our society has gotten so complex that we want to retreat to a more relaxing world. Old things can have a calming effect on us.

In many instances things with texture represents our past. Most old things are rich in texture. Log homes, braided rugs, cross stitch, afghans, and quilts are all rich in texture. How different a needlepoint picture on the wall is from a poster, covered in glass and surrounded by a cold, metal frame. There is no warmth in the poster.

Lack of texture has come to symbolize wealth in some areas. The most expensive fabrics are very smooth. Sofas in formal living rooms are usually upholstered in shiny, smooth fabric. Expensive woods have high luster finishes. Contrast this with the resurgence of pine, which has more texture, and bleached woods.

A few years back texture was brought into the home by things like grass cloth and flocked wallpaper, velvet cutaway upholstery fabric, or sculptured carpet. These went out of style, and other things replaced them to add texture.

Berber carpet is one example of a highly textured home decoration. Plants are often used for the same reason. Special painting techniques now add texture to wall, and shiny, aluminum blinds are now being replaced by a linen look.

If you find yourself wanting to do something to spruce up a boring room, take a look around and see if you may be missing texture in the room. You may be able to get the results you want with the addition of just a touch of texture!

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