This afternoon I have the perfect post for those of you who are looking forward to making your homes cosy for the winter months. As the nights draw in I always look forward to layering up soft furnishings and so when Belinda suggested an article on texture in the home I was delighted to say yes. Not least because, Oh just look at her home. It is gorgeous country perfection with rustic elegance. Thank you Belinda!
Hello there, it is such a buzz for me to be on Florence Finds today! Thank you Rebecca, for giving me the chance to talk about one of my favourite, if slightly obscure subjects – the underrated quality of texture in home decor. I do have to say at this point I am not an professional interiors expert, just someone who is excited to have found a way to using calm, nature-inspired colours in my home without having the whole place slip into a dull morass of magnolia!
‘Texture? Huh??’ I hear you say, because usually the glossy interiors mags are full of visually seductive copy about the wonders of colour, pattern, design and architecture, but only rarely are texture and tactility celebrated as key qualities when choosing furnishings for your home. However, if like me, you love a fairly neutral palette and are liable to become easily bored of bright, busy patterns a few months down the line, then texture can bring a wealth of ‘oohh and aahh’ factor without the daily, in-your-face impact of punchier pattern/colour. It means you can use neutrals to your heart’s content without them sliding into dull greige territory.
I have found the easiest way of bringing a little tactile loveliness into my decorating scheme has been to think of bringing the outside in a little. If you are a nature nut like me, this is a joy! Think of using lots of natural materials and fibres – tactile wood surfaces are a good place to start, (think driftwood coffee table, roughly hewn dining table, reclaimed wide wooden floorboards etc). We live in an old barn, so knarly and characterful timbers are everywhere, but it is so easy to introduce the warmth of timber to your home whether your style is country rustic, urban, modern, retro – there is a wood for every aesthetic.
Other natural fibres – slubby linens (swoon!), soft voiles, sensual velvets, wools and felt all have that ‘I want to reach out and feel it’ quality that scores top points for style and cosy at the same time, which is a winning combo in my book! Tactile materials that really appeal to you add a welcome sensuality to your pad. A bedroom, for example, can become a cosy/romantic haven with the addition of deliciously tactile furnishings. We have gone for the highest thread-count bed linen we can afford, gorgeous cushions and throws and fresh flowers in the summer for a luxurious but cosy feel.
I have found the addition of vintage pieces not only adds a personal and quirky kind of charm but often a lovely textural element too – think wicker, antique leather, copper, wrought iron, canvas…the contrast of textures ensures the neutral colours never look boring, but are full of visual impact and interest. Another plus is that great finds can be made at flea markets, junk shops and salvage yards so this look is affordable. You might want to check out some of the nordic blogs for inspiration, they seem to have a real knack of combining white interiors with fantastically tactile, visually interesting fabrics and furniture. You could do worse than start at the blog, ‘me and Alice’ and go from there. (If you have any favourite Scandi blogs that major on gorgeous interiors lets share them in comments section! Whoop!)
Using soft furnishings that can easily be swapped as the seasons change allows shifting combinations of fabrics and materials – cushion covers in velvets and felts, warm woolen blankets and throws in the winter perhaps, lighter linens and cottons in the warmer months. And if you want a mainly neutral colour scheme but with some more punchy hues included, then these move-able elements can add welcome splashes of colour and pattern without committing to repainting/papering whole walls or investing in expensive pieces of furniture.
Finally, fresh flowers add a gorgeously fresh, outdoor element – adding colour and scent as well as more texture and a natural vibe. Find a style that suits you –formal, modern, vintage, relaxed and natural….there is a style of flowers that suits every taste. I love the airy, meadow-like look, so much so I created a cutting patch in our garden so I could fill my house with flowers for about eight months of the year for a fraction of the cost of buying them from a florist. I truly believe that a few well chosen stems in a jam jar can lift the heart!
Vic Brotherson’s lovely book, ‘Vintage Flowers’, is chocca with inspiring ideas for upping the impact of cut flowers in your home and has loads of really practical tips and information. If you have a garden and fancy growing your own, try hardy annual seeds and bulbs (you can plant most varieties of both right now) – cheap as chips and literally buckets of stunning blooms all spring and summer. Sarah Raven’s book, ‘Grow Your Own Cut Flowers’ has been by cutting patch bible.
So, there are a few ideas to bring some gorgeous, nature-inspired tactility to your surroundings, I’d love to hear any of your ideas for bringing tactile interest to your home – here’s to the power of touch!
Read more from Belinda on her blog Wild Acre. All images courtesy of Belinda.