Montage of four images that illustrate layering texture in an interior

Layering Texture

Successful interior design is all about getting each of the elements in a room to work well together while still standing out and making an individual impact. Nowhere is this more apparent than in layering texture in a room.  The following are Joni’s thoughts on layering texture:

“Layering texture in interior design is most successful when it activates and pleases all the senses. We respond to a design first with our eyes, of course, but the quality of touch is just as important. The relationship between the two is fascinating. As a designer, I know that the eye longs for elements that break up the continuity or sameness within our field of vision. For me, that ability to interrupt the continuity is texture’s purpose and function.

Think of it like this: if all the surfaces are slick, and all the fabrics as well, what is there to capture the interest of the eye? On the other hand, if there is a play of refined against rough, of smooth against coarse, of varying levels of fineness, the contrasts are compelling. They invite us to linger, and we do so because we long to touch the various tactile components

Sea grass, sisal, coir, wicker, rattan, wood—all are classic, organic textures in a southern home. Many of these plants grow along our coastal region. In the Lowcountry, craftspeople and artisans have worked with these materials for generations, plaiting and weaving them into beautiful baskets, floor coverings, and other items for use around the household. Woven wicker furniture, for example, is almost a must-have in every southern home, in part because it adds such character. It is also very durable, practical, and casually elegant. Wonderfully cool to the touch, it has long been a staple choice for furnishing porches and verandas. In the South, however, we don’t use wicker just for the exterior. It is also a traditional option in the day rooms and morning rooms that are typical of southern houses.

Texture is as varied in its way as color, and layering texture has just as much charm and charisma. I find that small instances of pronounced textural elements add personality to a room—for instance, a chair with dimensional carving, or a spool chair. I might include a chair with a woven back, especially on a porch. On occasion, I might place a carved or woven end table on one side of the room and similarly textured chairs on the other. The pairing adds an interesting character. It also evokes memories of a lifestyle of a past era, when the aesthetic was more rusticated, and people lived only with furnishings that were fashioned by hand”.

Excerpt from Southern Coastal Living by J. Banks Design Founder and President, Joni Vanderslice   


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