The Textured Room – Tips for Mixing Materials

Anyone with a passing interest in interior design will have picked up on the recent love affair with the concept of textures. For the sharpest, cutting edge looks in home interiors, it's all about the touchy-feely elements that go into making a room design something extra special.

Mixing up textural finishes and materials may seem complicated on the face of it. However, once it is understood that there really are no rules, it can be very liberating. Incorporating multiple layers and levels of textural complexity into a room is a simple way of achieving a luxury, bespoke look that oozes style. For those with expensive tastes but not the bank balance to back it up, combining a few ultra-glam materials such as marble with more humble finishes such as concrete, creates the perfect impression.

A sitting room is the ideal place to experiment with textural ideas. Traditionally it is a place for relaxation and 'nesting' so throw plenty of cozy, warm textiles into the mix. Combining fur effect throws with peachy velvet upholstery and heavy damask or coarse linen cushions sets the scene for textural sensory overload. Leather seating injects a different mood with its smooth, cool feel, and try natural sisal carpet underfoot for some serious, toe-loving textural treatment. With soft furnishings it's easy to go mad with texture, but don’t worry about overdoing it, the more the merrier.

Window treatments in contemporary interiors are best kept simple and elegant. Interior shutters are ideal if the design calls for practical simplicity and great style. Other options can be explored such as heavy drapes and textured blinds, but there's an undoubted touch of class about wooden window frames and wooden shutters that's hard to match, and which functions as the perfect backdrop to a multi-textured environment.

For inspiration in putting together different materials look back to the 1950s and 60s when modern design was advanced by new manufacturing processes. Chrome, glass coffee tables, plastic pod chairs, Formica counter tops, linoleum flooring and new ceramic and glass technology meant that the home was suddenly filled with materials with fresh applications and new textures.

Today, the combination of industrial fittings with luxury materials is a key signature look in many modern homes. Interiors boasting retro factory lighting, galvanized fire escapes, industrial catering style kitchens and fittings and accessories worthy of the chandler or ironmonger sit neatly alongside glittering slabs of finest quartz, opulent marble floors and exquisite bespoke cabinetry. The sense of depth created by this wide scope of materials lends a luxurious confidence to a room that leaves occupants feeling cossetted and comfortable.

To achieve perfection in an interior that's drawing on materials and textures from far and wide, just relax and let it happen. For a really cohesive room, focus on texture over pattern and keep the pallet muted with a few shots of accent color here and there. Don't be afraid of hanging an antique Venetian chandelier over an up-cycled dining table constructed from scaffolding boards – the beauty is all in the juxtaposition, the contrast and the texture. Just try and forget the rules and allow the sensory side of the personality to take over...feel the way to success...