If you’re exploring the idea of redecorating or remodeling your home, odds are you’ve seen the word textile crop up a time or ten in your reading and website explorations. Unless you live in a concrete home, with concrete finishes, and you live your life as a committed nudist – textiles are woven (pun intended) into virtually every aspect of your life.
Simply put, a textile is anything made from fibers, yarn, or fabric. Your rugs and carpets are textiles, your drapes and valances are textiles. The covers on your accent pillows are textiles, as are your sheets, towels, throws, blankets and duvet covers. Without textiles, the world would be a stark, cold and visually boring place.
Here are some of the most common ways you can use textiles to create more attractive, interesting and comfortable living spaces:
Just Add Color
Unlike coats of paint or more permanent infrastructure selections (like cabinet colors and countertops), most textiles are able to move with you when you go. Or, they can be easily traded, sold, or donated to make way for a whole new look. As such, textiles are a smart way to add color to your home, especially bolder colors, or louder prints, which may be your cup of tea now – but that are more transient in trend nature.
Explore the World of Patterns
Patterns are so fun to work with, but they can also be challenging. How much is too much, and how do you transition different patterns so they don’t become too busy? Working with textiles is a smart way to introduce patterns that you like, or that are trending, without worrying about a permanent effect.
Plus, since textiles are portable, you can play around and see what goes best where. I invite you to read, How Many Patterns Can Fit Into One Space, to learn more about decorating with patterned textiles. When in doubt, work with textiles that have variations in pattern within the same color or similar tones and then branch out from there.
Interior Design Hint: When you’re ready to repaint a room, or are looking to freshen up a room’s color palette, start paying attention to colorful patterns that draw your eye. Look at how the colors work together, and then use those colors to inspire your own interior design color choices.
Enjoy a Textured Design
Have you ever entered a home that seems “picture perfect” and yet, somehow, it still falls a little flat? Odds are, the homeowner or their designer didn’t include enough variations in texture. The world of textiles is your texture oyster, so have fun.
Take stock of each room in your house and notice if it needs a little texture and, if so, what kind? Does it need some softening? Look for textiles in soft fabrics – think curvy, billowy and fluffy. Or, perhaps you need something with depth, in which case a rich, shag area rug may be the ticket, or some throw pillows with large, 3-D adornments. If you need to rough it up a bit, look for blankets or window coverings with a chunkier, loose and/or raw-type weave. Check out, Texture and Interior Design, for more about the importance of using texture in your home.
Dress it Up or Down
What do you think of when you hear the words silk or velvet? What about muslin or plain cotton? The first two have associations with luxury, while the latter two are considered more natural and earthy. Just as their names are associated with a particular energy, the textiles you select can dress a room up or down.
Choose fabrics that make sense with the energy or feeling you want to create in a room. A luxury fabric like silk or velvet are ideal for a formal living room, dining room or the boudoir. Your muslin or plain cotton fabrics will work well in a casual family room or your shabby-chic décor.
Use Textiles as a Focal Point
Your textiles can also be used as works of art, serving as a focal point in the room. Investors pay tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars for antique oriental rugs or Navajo blankets. A textile with a stunning design can become an impressive wall hanging, for example. You can cover an entryway bench with an eye-catching table runner or highlight it by featuring an assemblage of throw pillows.