You may have heard of the Danish term “hygge” which is the design world’s current
obsession. Loosely translated to comfort, or cosy, the word holds great meaning
to the Danish people (and the Norwegians too, who share the words same meaning).
For them, the idea of being comfortable, enjoying life’s simple pleasures and
creating this atmosphere within their homes is so important. They achieve this
through the use of candles, soft furnishings, slow cooking, reading, woollen
socks…. You catch the drift. A key element of hygge is texture. Consider
the Scandinavian homes you may have seen in magazines. Soft wools, raw timbers,
baskets, knitted throws and reindeer hides are plentiful. In the pursuit of
hygge, including various textures in your home is just one of the many benefits.
While texture may bring the visual and literal idea of comfort into the room, it’s also a celebration of true materiality. Texture is not just wool or
felt, it comes in different forms. The beauty of timber and its innate characteristics are seen. Rope, woven materials from nature, leather and linens
also add to the story. While glossy finishes, metals and flat surfaces are a texture in their own right, they are cool and need balancing with rawer
materials if you’re trying to achieve a warm and homely look. Textural palettes suit all homes, even those which are cutting edge contemporary, it’s
just a matter of how you apply this palette to fit within the style you’re aiming for.
Coastal homes work well with a highly textural palette, as do rural properties. They reflect the outdoors and the natural location of the property.
By adding rope, woven materials, sisal rugs, linen drapes or upholstery and timbers, you are instantly creating a casual, eclectic and inviting
space. These textures sit back with either a neutrals palette (such as all white) for a fresh look, or rich colours for a statelier and formal
feel. Teamed with accessories, this is the perfect textural interior. Think: baskets of timber, pinecones or magazines, woven lamp shades,
drift wood, linen or velvet cushions and other finds from nature.
More contemporary and clean-lined homes can also benefit from the textural palette. Even the most modern home can have a feature of timber (be it in joinery
or a stand-alone piece of furniture) or cow hide rug. In some ways, the inclusion of texture needs to be considered more carefully in these spaces.
Each item is sculptural and will be observed individually. An occasional chair is a great place to bring this piece to the contemporary interior. Try
one which has elements of woven material, timbers or leather. All homes, no matter how minimal, see value from the warmth that texture brings. It is
a home after all!
There are a great deal of places to find inspiration for your textural palette. Seeing the materials together is helpful to form a guide when
choosing finishes and furniture. Create a flatlay to refer back to, like the ones which can be seen here. Note that they have variation
in their texture. There are layers of softness, rawness and contrasting elements. Layering of texture creates balance and visual interest.
Once you’re happy with your flatlay, you can allocate each of the materials to an actual finish, furniture item or accessory in your home.
Some may be large, such as timber floors, while others will be small, such as a linen cushion. Keep coming back to the board to ensure
you have each of the materials ticked off in the interior.
Textural combinations that are unexpected form beautiful points of interest in the home. Think outside the square and know there are no real “rules” as
such. Team felt and leather, rope and timber or metal with timber. Find balance however and for every cool material, try to counter this with some
Nature is one of the greatest forms of inspiration and the provider of so much textural warmth for our homes. This doesn’t just have to be
large items as well, like a dining table or kitchen joinery. Adding plants, flowers, beach-walk finds and anything else from the environment
can be the way to include the warmth without the expense of a whole home overhaul. If you’re working within a budget, try other smaller
accessories or furniture pieces. A timber tray on your coffee table, some new linen cushions or woven candle holders. These are items which
will never date, as timeless as it comes when talking interiors.
Don’t forget to start with the flatlay or moodboard. Always an anchor point to refer back to if you get a little lost.