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Texture Materials Part 6

Texture, Materials and Pattern

In our last lesson we learned about balance, tone, weight and size. I know now that you are dying to get out and start creating your own color schemes but we still have more to learn about color, in today’s lesson we will learn about texture, materials and pattern.

It’s fine talking about color, but actually combining different shapes, sizes, finishes, fixed items like walls and joinery, and large items like furniture can add a different perspective to our color. We aren’t just looking a a few paint chips and swatches, we are combining big and small things, large areas of space, and small areas of trim. We are talking about working with everything we can touch in a room, from the floor to the ceiling.


Texture along with color is how we create interest in the interior space. We can basically divide texture into two areas, rough and smooth. Read about rough and smooth definitions and properties here.

rough textures

rough textures

smooth textures

smooth textures

Now that you see how texture combines with color you need to think about your choice of materials, for example – a simple wall. If you want to put a buttery yellow color on a wall, you could use paint, wallpaper or paint effects. The problem arise when you have numerous types of finishes for the same paint color, you could use matt, semi gloss, or gloss, these all create a smooth texture, but to make it even more confusing you can now get specialist paint finishes like suede, metallic looks, sandy, gritty looks of various weights that create a rough plastered textured look. Why is it confusing, well because all these finishes are the same color but they all look different due to the way the light reflects off their finished textured surface.So you need to be very specific when you specify what color you want and what finish it is to be.

Learn about paint, wallpaper, wood / timber, carpet, tiles, metals, fabrics,

Tiles can be the same color but could be available in three different finishes for example, honed, polished or structured. The honed finish looks matt, the polished shiny, and the structured has a random raised and lowered surface making it appear dull. These three finishes create a different appearance of the same color due to the light reflecting off them. So ensure you specify exactly what type of finish in your finishes schedule. It would be a disaster if you specified a polished tile for the shower floor. The three finishes have three different jobs to do. Honed – general flooring, polished – vertical surfaces, borders, counter tops, and structured – wet areas that require non slip properties.


We have touched slightly with pattern when pattern when we talk about texture above, as textures make patterns but when most people talk pattern they see florals, bold geometrics, stripes, checks, tartans, dots and spots. Go here to read more about pattern.

Patterns are fun and used correctly enhance colors and interiors, they can be as subtle as a pin dot motif, or as bold as a one meter purple iris flower on a white background. Whatever they are the key to using them correctly is making sure the pattern styles are similar. For example the large modern printed cotton iris flower I mentioned previously, teaming it with a gold fleur de lys jacquard upholstery fabric would not work. A cheeky printed cotton purple and green stripe with a white background is the same contemporary style and would work.

Using the same colors is another key way to tie in patterns, but as I mentioned above consideration to the pattern style is imperative. A good example is a girl’s bedroom, with a hot pink valance on the bed with white polka dots, hot pink white and mint green striped roman shades, white and mint green checked bed spread with hot pink pillows with mint green tassels and beads sewn on. This look is very contemporary for a little girls room and uses multiple patterns but in the same color way. If we added a floral pale pink rose chintz fabric for the over curtains then the look would instantly fail as the chintz has a different texture, color and pattern style.

Hopefully that will get you thinking about using pattern more often, as a great pattern and color combination can look stunning.

So now you have finished reading part six, if you still have time, go and read your related articles, if not come back again and read them in your spare time. In three days time you will receive your next lesson color trends, if you don’t receive it in four days, then look in your spam email box, and if you just can’t wait for three days then you can find part seven here online.

Bye for now


Lee Brown

Color Ecourse Coordinator