Take a look around you right now. Does your home make you want to sink into its surroundings or put your shoes on and walk back out the door? While all the elements are there (an ambient color palette, stylish décor, and unique furniture) for some reason it just feels a little flat. What's missing? If you want to create a truly cozy and lived-in home there's one thing we turn to every time: texture. It sounds so simple at first, but there is a real art to layering these essential elements so they create visual intrigue, warmth, and that homely comfort we all crave.
So what exactly does it take to create an inviting texture-rich space? One thing we do know is there's a lot more to it than just adding a throw pillow to a chair (although that's definitely part of it too). To find out how we can infuse this vital design detail into our homes, we tapped the talented Sasha Adler, design director at Nate Berkus Associates. Ahead she shares her texture ideas, tips, and tricks to convert your home from cold and flat to warm and cozy.
MYDOMAINE: With fall in the air, we're all craving warmth and comfort. What are your tips for creating that cozy, lived-in vibe at home?
SASHA ADLER: There are lots of easy additions to help get your home ready for fall, from adding a thickly woven cozy throw on the living room sofa and new napkins or placemats in the kitchen to a beautifully, smoky fall-scented candle in the bathroom or some new pillows in the bedroom.
Texture is always such important element. A variety of textures, even in a neutral or consistent color palette, creates a layered, warm, interesting, and inviting space.
MD: What is your #1 go-to décor item you always use to add instant texture to a room?
SA: I love to add a grass cloth or natural woven rug in a space to add texture. They are both neutral backdrops but add so much contrast against polished lighting and furniture options.
MD: The Scandinavian look has been incredibly popular with sheepskin throws over chairs and sofas being a huge trend this past season. What do you think will be the new sheepskin throw?
SA: I love vintage kilim rugs as an accessory in any room. They can easily be layered over larger rugs, used alone in smaller spaces, or even re-purposed as pillows or upholstery.
MD: The Hermès blanket is also another key look for texture and comfort when fall arrives. What are some other classic throws that you use and recommend?
SA: I adore basic cashmere throws in fun colors. They are just so luxurious and comfortable. I also love hand-knit throws in a thick knit yarn.
MD: What are your favorite fabrics for adding texture?
SA: I love to use a wide range of fabrics, which includes everything from natural linen, velvet, shearling, leather (suede and hides included), and even some vintage textiles.
MD: What are some of the most unexpected ways to add texture to your home?
SA: You can easily add texture by using some everyday objects in a new context. For instance, hanging a basket or collection of baskets on the wall, using a collection of geodes to accessorize a tabletop, or paper-backing a fabric to use as a wall covering.
MD: How much texture is too much texture? Is there a limit?
SA: If you stay within a limited color palette, it gives you a lot of leeway to layer a wide range of materials and finishes. Then it doesn’t feel overdone.
MD: We always hear about adding texture to elevate a room, but what are some cases where texture has ruined a room? Can you outline what not to do when it comes to texture?
SA: You have to let your judgment guide you and trust your instincts. I tend to shy away from overly shaggy, thick materials as they feel heavy and overwhelming. I’m not a fan of thick carpeting on the walls or even installed wall to wall; it’s just too much.
MD: How do you get the balance right?
SA: It’s all about contrast and balance between the various elements. So you want to select materials that feel different but are still complimentary. For instance, the showstopping fabrics and elements only do their job if there are quiet elements in the room that are equally as beautiful and give your eye a chance to pause. Design is all about balance and the alchemy of how things work together.
How do you add texture to a space? What are your favorite pieces to ramp up the comfort factor?