By Nikki Willhite
Ever wondered why people have become so interested in old
to the point of distressing new furniture? Don't you find the
sight a bit odd- people hitting new wood with big heavy chains
to make it look old?
Why are people crackling their furniture and walls, pulling items
out of basements and attics for their living spaces, and
esteeming green, a sign of age, and worm holes, of such great
We live in an age of plastics, steel, glass, vinyl and laminated
wood. It is all smooth and without character. We have reached the
point where we are nostalgic for the rough hewn wood of log
cabins, and the well worn, wooden floor boards of our ancestors.
People are building new, expensive homes using materials salvaged
from the past. Our society has gotten so complex that we want to
retreat to a more relaxing world. Old things can have a calming
effect on us.
In many instances things with texture represent our past. Most
old things are rich in texture. Log homes, old wood floors,
braided rugs, cross stitch, afghans, and quilts are all rich in
There is a lot of difference in texture between a needlepoint
picture on the wall as opposed to a poster, covered in glass and
surrounded by a cold, metal frame.
Lack of texture has come to symbolize wealth in some areas. The
most expensive fabrics are very smooth. Sofas in formal living
rooms are usually upholstered in shiny, smooth fabric. Expensive
woods have high luster finishes.
Contrast this with the resurgence of pine, which has more
texture, and bleached wood. Many years ago texture was brought
into the home with grass cloth, flocked wallpaper, cutaway
upholstery fabric, and shag carpet. Some of these items are now
in style again. (Those of us who are a bit older still cringe at
the words shag and carpet together).
There are many ways to bring texture into your home- such as
berber and frieze carpet and plants. Special painting techniques add
texture and richness to walls. Chenille, rich in texture, is very
popular in upholstery and blankets. Blinds are being pulled down
from windows, and being replaced by texture rich fabrics.
If you find yourself wanting to do something to spruce up a
boring room, take a look around and see if you may be missing
texture in the room. You may be able to get the results you want
with the addition of just a touch of texture.