Pattern and Texture – The Salt and Pepper of Interior Design

Pattern and texture are two interior design elements that must not be taken for granted; they are the pathways to understand the greater principles of interior design. Also, these two elements bring depth, sophistication and character to any home or commercial structure.

When trying to define pattern and texture, it is best to think in terms of the tactile sense. Think of corduroy pants, velvets, grain of wood, silk and granite. Pattern is mostly expressed in terms of refinement such as muted, shadow stripes and such. Sometimes, simple dots, paisleys and bright plaids give meaning to pattern.

Identifying the Rule of Threes

If you want a foolproof method of working with patterns and eventually integrating it to your design, then you have to learn this rule.

Begin by defining the basic pattern groups. The first group – Stripes – come with a wide spectrum of colors as well as widths (from pinstripes to awning stripes).

The second group known as Geometric Prints comprise of dots, plaids, and angular designs that are mostly found in Persian rugs. Organic prints make use of vines, florals and other nature-inspired prints. Animal prints are no longer viewed as tacky. These are now considered as relatives of organic prints. Many interior designers have taken a leap by using bold animal prints into their themes. Motif prints, on the other hand, are those repetitive yet random patterns such as herringbones or paisleys. If you want to see abstract representations of animals and scenes, then opt for pictoral prints.

The third group are the Solids which come with absoluteness. These are any block colors that are used in design.

To use the rule of threes, just pick from a single pattern from any of these three types then make sure that each pattern is color-related. Use a large-scale pattern as your dominant feature. This can be used as carpeting, upholstery fabric or an accent wall.

Textures Everywhere

Look at any part of a home such as the wall, ceiling or floor and you are staring straight at textures. Bricks, quarry tiles and stones draw the human eye because they come with unique textures. Yet texture is also present on the polished surfaces of glass tops, mirrors and stainless steel furniture. Throw in that pottery and woven wall hangings and you’ve got a palette full of textures.

As you go about and work your design, it is wise to combine different textures. It is through experimentation and contrasting that texture becomes a beauty. Go wrong on texture and you have just stabbed the very heart of interior design.

Heavy or coarse textures as well as large scale patterns can easily fill up space so be generous in using them when in huge, vaulted spaces. Smaller rooms must be adorned with small patterns and light background.

Remember that textures can have a large influence on how your chosen colors are perceived.

Many designers use just a single color for their fabric scheme. While this is true for color, this is not the case with patterns. You have the leeway to use different patterns in a single room. Link these with motifs and textures and you are building the core of your design.

Trust Your Instinct

Always trust your own judgment especially when deciding whether a room is already overstuffed or too busy. Add a little texture and pattern, here and there, till you are able to achieve the look that you want.

Keep in mind that the first person that you need to please is you. These are just guiding principles which will show you the path to the subtlest yet most powerful interior design elements.

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