Mansion Global tackles an interior design topic with an elite group of designers from around the world who work on luxury properties. This week we look at how to incorporate textured walls into a home’s decor.
It’s easy (and expected) to think of the walls in your home as one-dimensional canvases—vessels for coats of paint that live in the background of your space. But when you let your walls come to life in more dimensions by adding texture, it opens up a world of possibility.
“People are craving texture perhaps in reaction to technology—our fingers need dimension, fabric, familiarity,” said Ellen O’Neill, Benjamin Moore director of strategic design intelligence. “They want to feel where they are, and this extends to their living spaces,” Ms. O’Neill said.
“Things like suede, crinkled paint, grasscloth, etcetera, add a unique and often unexpected layer to our spaces,” said Andrew Bowen, the director of staging at ASH NYC. “They are a great way to elevate an interior without a major renovation and provide the sense of something being carefully thought out and truly lived-in.”
Courtesy of Benjamin Moore
Follow these design pros’ tips for ideas on how to make your walls come to life.
Think About the Rest of the Room
“I would choose a texture that corresponds to the aesthetic of the space. Every design scheme has a vocabulary of textures that are just as critical to the interiors as the color palettes, fabrics and furniture. Even if the texture is subtle, it still signals attention to detail on the part of the designer to create a space that feels right.
"Textured walls provide a point of interest in a room. You can start with something as simple as a coat of paint. Benjamin Moore Century is a new dimension in paint, featuring the industry’s first-ever soft touch matte finish which has a depth and richness that provides dimension and a visually tactile experience.
"On the other end of the spectrum, you can source incredible wall coverings in rafias, silks, leathers, metallics and wood veneers that either serve as the focal point or the frame for the design scheme in a room.
"I would avoid delicate wall coverings in high traffic areas; maybe just assign them to a focal wall and consider the degree of humidity in kitchens and baths when selecting textured applications.”
—Ellen O’Neill, director of strategic design intelligence, Benjamin Moore
Consider the Effect
“We generally choose a textured wall finish once all other design details are thought out; i.e. furniture, art, and accessories; so as to complement the full story. If we were to work in the opposite direction by choosing the wall covering first, it can be quite limiting, as we’re forced to making dozens or hundreds of independent components work with one feature, rather than put a finishing cohesive touch on a fully thought out design.
”Grasscloth tends to provide a natural and grounding feeling in an otherwise stark or spare space; suede and leather often add notes of luxury and refinement; plaster or concrete and other hand-troweled finishes lend a sense of history and depth, as well as an overall calmness. For the living/dining room at The NOMA condominiums in New York City, for example, we chose a grasscloth, which added warmth and grounded the uniquely shaped space, which has multiple functions (living, dining), as well as a very active city view. In the foyer and hallway leading to the bedrooms, we included a graphic geometric patterned wallpaper to foster a sense of personality and interest in an often-overlooked space, making this relatively thin, efficient mode of circulation a more exciting and energizing place to be.
“Consider art placement in a room that has textured walls, since any holes made are much more permanent/ difficult to close up than if made on a simple white sheetrock wall, which can be easily spackled later on. For us, we tend to limit art on a textured wall to either zero or one piece/group, and let the wall speak for itself.”
—Andrew Bowen, director of staging for ASH NYC