When a space is beautifully designed, stunning colors often get all the credit, occasionally sharing the spotlight with interesting patterns and unique lines. While those things are certainly important to good design, have you ever paid close attention to the impact varied textures bring to a room?

Visual interest is key, but tactile interest also adds a distinct dimension. In the modern marketplace, there are so many options for adding texture to every surface.

A glossary of some lesser-known terminology related to texture:

• Burled – a fabric or material that contains small knots or tufts (wool) or wood in which the grain is twisted and intertwined, often used in veneers. Wood burl produces a swirled effect that seems to add both movement and depth.
• Parchment – a semi-transparent paper that allows for gentle diffusion of light. It is often mottled with color variations offering an antique sensibility.
• Vellum- parchment crafted from the hide of a calf. This material lends an old world feel complete with subtle color variations throughout the piece.
• Grass cloth – a material made from jute, grass, or vegetable fibers often used for wall coverings. Most often seen with a horizontally or vertically striated pattern. Available in a wide array of colors and degrees of texture.
• Shagreen – leather, sometimes made from sharkskin, known for its natural coarse surface constructed of jagged scales. A most unique and exotic look.
• Hide – Made from animal skin or material synthetically crafted to resemble animal skin.
• Plaster – a mixture of lime with sand and water primarily that when dried creates a semi-smooth durable shell on walls, ceilings and other surfaces.
• Textured glass – glass that has been imprinted with a texture. This material diffuses light differently and often offers greater privacy.
• Wire brushing – a technique that distresses wood or metals using a wire brush which creates the illusion of age.

Woven fabrics, differing paint sheens, glossy lacquers, tile work, and metals all bring unique textures to a project. Modern techniques combined with traditional and artisan techniques mean that the options for introducing textural elements into a space are plentiful.

Whichever you choose, each one makes a room more touchable and infinitely more interesting!

Image Credit: Basset Furniture