A conscious focus on tactile interiors


Identifying if a space looks good is easy. Understanding why we feel positively connected to it is more complex...

As Humans we have evolved using the sensory stimulations we’re surrounded by and, more often than not, we subconsciously measure a space and define its value to us based on our emotive experience.

When we visually absorb textures our minds automatically lead us to thinking about how surfaces feel to touch. We make assumptions on what a texture may feel like based on memories of tactile surfaces we’ve made contact with before.

Our sensory stimulations can work for, or against us

Harnessing tactility within a space is integral in forming a comfortable environment; whether that be warm and relaxing or cool and light.  When consideration for the touchy-feely elements are ignored the opposite occurs; creating a space you inhabit rather than experience.  

Surface textures are a fundamental element within interior design as they form the visual temperature of a room. Smooth surfaces for example reflect light and provide a cooler, more open impression whereas raised textures, which absorb light, convey a sense of warmth and relaxation.

Look around and you’ll see tactile elements are applied in more places than you might think; walls, ceilings, flooring, furniture and even the exterior of a building all incompass textural components. Where we apply texture can change our perception of it; how light interacts with a surface and how closely we interact with it heavily influences our emotive response.

When selecting tactile elements it’s important to incorporate complementary textures, that play off of each others distinctions; creating a balanced environment. Rough surfaces for example can seem much more textured next to a smooth surface, which depending on the needs of the space; could work for or against you.

Carpet is another great example as naturally it reflects far less light than a hard-wooden floor so the furniture, wall coverings, lighting and accessories used alongside carpet flooring should incorporate smoother textures to provide much needed light. Naturally, the opposite applies for hard-wooden floors where softer components should be combined to create harmony within the space.

The tactility of natural materials provide countless benefits

The natural origin of wood makes it a warm and comforting material. Countries such as Norway, Canada and Denmark all utilise wood both within interior design and exterior architecture, taking advantage of the endless surface-texture possibilities wood can provide. These countries have also studied the effects of wood within our living environments extensively, some even recording a drop in blood pressure when used in health related spaces.

Natural stone is another material that offers a wide spectrum of choices in terms of textural aesthetics and holds the added benefits of durability, conducting heat and being naturally soundproof.

A successful interior should enhance the way you experience a space and reflect your individuality

It’s important that you’re able to fully visualise a project and as our reaction to texture is so incredible personal; it’s equally important that you’re able touch and interact with the textures we’ve hand selected for you. Carefully curating digital and textural style-boards are all part of the high-level service we provide at Rachel Usher Interior Design, whether we’re working with high-end residential homes or luxury commercial projects such as hospitality spaces and restaurants.

We’re passionate about creating considered interiors which reflect your individuality and enhance your interior experience. Our talented team have over 30 years experience and implement projects with a consistent level of devoted attention and detail; creating spaces which are more than somewhere you simply inhabit...