A Tale of Texture

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Planning to redo your kitchen and dining area? As you think about colour and pattern, also consider how you can mix textures in your home.

All surfaces have texture be they matt or shiny, coarse or fine, rough or smooth. If you are thinking of working with just one colour group it is particularly important to introduce different textures. Neutrals are very popular at the moment as they are so easy to live with and coordinate with other colours so well, but they can be rather dull unless different surface finishes are introduced.

Floor Coverings

Different types of floor coverings are a good way of introducing textures into your home. A unifying theme in terms of colour will help link rooms ain close proximity to one another, but why not have a change of texture? A different feel underfoot can add interest and atmosphere!

Wooden flooring gives a clean and yet homely feel due to its warmth. Colourful rugs will help to minimise the inevitable ‘bare’ feeling that comes with wooden floors.

TIP: Modern laminates that are made to look just like the real thing can work particularly well in kitchens, as they are more resistant to spillage or leakage from washing machines and dishwashers etc. However, it is always advisable to keep excessive amount of water away from wooden surfaces to avoid their absorbing the moisture and distorting.

Laminate flooring in your kitchen is very practical for handling small spills and wear and tear. It is also an ideal material to complement the colours of your furniture and fittings

Sisal, jute and their derivatives create a natural feel but do bear in mind that they lack the degree of comfort you get with a woollen carpet. A deep piled woollen carpet will always feel luxurious underfoot and make a room feel cosy. Ceramic, quarry tiles and terracotta have their uses, and are cool to the feet – ideal for tropical climates. However, they chip easily so take care when choosing these hard surfaces for areas with a lot of traffic or where you require a degree of comfort.


Look at the texture of fabrics you are going to use as well as their appeal in terms of colour or pattern. A luscious silk, a thick velvet, a flimsy voile, a chunky woollen knit, a coarse linen, a shiny chintz – the list is endless when it comes to choice.

TIP: Try to mix and match by obtaining swatches of all your fabrics prior to purchase and team them together to make sure you like the overall effect.

You may also want to introduce some interesting trimmings, no matter how small, to provide that finishing touch. If you stick to just one type of fabric, you will miss out on the individuality that comes with using different textures.

Strong colours of fabrics and carpets can be placed against a cream wall toning down the overall scheme and accentuating the depth of colour.

Plain fabrics with depth of colour would be more difficult to work with. For example, small and large checked fabrics are from different fabric ranges and have totally different textures. Bear in mind that different textures in a room always provide additional interest.

If you have no alternative but to use a lot of pattern in fabrics or floor coverings, then try to stick to a plain background in terms of the wall covering, or perhaps use a plain sofa as a backdrop if you have a lot of different patterned cushions.

TIP: If you choose a bold design either on a fabric or a wall covering, then tone down the scheme by using some plain weaves as well. Plain fabrics are always a good backdrop for both contemporary and traditional pieces.

When working with patterns, you should always choose them together. If you are nervous about using large prints or weaves, but still want to use pattern, then go for something with a much smaller pattern repeat. Certainly, placing a very large print on a sofa can be a mistake particularly if the pattern is designed to be used one way up. When you turn your cushions to distribute the wear, that pattern will be upside down! A check, stripe or small self-pattern is a better bet.


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