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the touch test


From Habitat magazine - issue 25

Adding texture to a space literally adds a feel-good factor.

It's long been a technique for stylists – layering up the shelves, placing a knobbly rug on the floor, introducing fringed cushions to the furniture, and using texture in general to create an interesting scheme.

Outdoor courtyard
Textured wallpaper design
Courtyard: Paint effects specialist Greer Clayton used Resene Resitex and Resene Sandtex to texture the wall of this garden courtyard, then painted it in an ombre of Resene Sambuca, Resene Papier Mache and Resene Martini. The hanging egg chair is stained in Resene Waterborne Woodsman Bleached Riverstone with Resene Alabaster stripes. The deer heads and stool are in Resene Woodsman Whitewash and the stool legs are painted in Resene Alabaster. The tray is in Resene Spark metallic and the pot has been textured then ombred in Resene Alabaster and Resene Gravel. The timber bench seat is in Resene Waterborne Woodsman Limed Gum and the pergola is Resene Rice Cake. Fabrics and cushions are from James Dunlop Textiles.  Cabinet: Like pieces of crumbled paper, this stunning new wallpaper adds visual texture to a room. It's from the Crispy Paper collection from Resene ColorShops.

"Textures help create the mood and ambiance in a space, and invites you to touch and feel," says Resene colour expert Nikki Morris. "Texture lifts a room from drab to fab when done the right way and in the right places."

Take a look at your favourite magazines and websites, and you'll notice even the most pared back homes have a certain something that makes them stand out. It could be anything from a striped wall to a Bohemian assortment of cushions on the sofa, but it's these textured details that add up to a magazine worthy space. And it's incredibly easy for homeowners to replicate.

The magic of touch

Texture in the home is commonly approached in two ways: tactile and visual.

Woodgrain paper - faux effects
Faux effects like this woodgrain paper add visual texture. It's from the Textures collection (35328) from Resene ColorShops.

Touchable textures aren't a new interior trend, but it's oh-so-fashionable in home stores right now. Textured wallpaper is especially huge at the moment, says Nikki. "We're seeing a lot of the anaglypta wallpapers from the Resene wallpaper collection returning to the mix," she says. "Homeowners are painting them in metallic paint or semi-gloss finishes for something a little luxurious, but still textural."

Wallpaper can also be used on a smaller scale. How about using it on a bedhead board or behind glass for a kitchen splashback?

The reason we're drawn to texture is that it's so prevalent in nature, and we feel an organic connection to it – it feels natural to extend that to our homes. Keep this in mind when shopping for home accessories. Look out for bamboo light shades, woven baskets, tassels and fringe trims, interesting fabrics and a plush rug that looks as good as it feels underfoot.

Hands on approach

In the Resene range, there are products dedicated to giving added texture to homes.

Resene Sandtex is a gritty coating that leaves a fine, sandstone look (instead of using plaster). It's commonly used on masonry exteriors but paint effects specialist and artist Greer Clayton has unlocked another purpose for the product, using it to age terracotta pots, to paint over brickwork on a fireplace and to 'grit up' old tiles. Resene Non-Skid Deck & Path paint is also an option, with its gritty finish. "With Resene Sandtex, it's all about layering," says Greer. "I also use it with plaster to create some amazing stone-like effects."

Another Resene product that Greer can't get enough of is Resene Resitex, which has a coarser effect than Resene Sandtex. "It gives instant 'guts' to a surface, followed by additional layers of Resene Sandtex to plump up the thickness," she says.

Visual texture

Sponge-printing a stencil
Textured wallpaper
Coffee table: Add visual texture by sponge-printing a stencil (this is Resene Bronze on a Resene Triple Wheatfield wall), or sponging a coffee table (with Resene Double Wheatfield). The floor is in Resene Colorwood Smokey Ash, and the dark pot is Resene Wood Bark.  Textured wall: Anaglypta wallpapers (this design is RD124) from Resene ColorShops give texture as well as the opportunity to add paint colour. Metallic paints (try Resene Bullion) give the paper even more drama.

There are many elements you can use to add 'visual' texture:

  • Think about colour contrast and layers: Painted stripes, coloured ceilings and ombre walls. Give old furniture an easy distressed paint finish by using different coloured layers and sanding back the topcoat in patches. Or daub Vaseline on bare timber in patches, paint then wipe off the Vaseline.
  • Consider faux wallpaper: weathered timber, planked concrete and bamboo walls.
  • Use washes and stains which add richness to timber but let the grain show through. Check out the Resene Colorwood (for inside) or Resene Woodsman (for outside) ranges.
  • Try colours from the Resene Metallics and Special Effects range. Shimmer and sparkle is great for visual texture.

Top tip... Revive concrete pavers with Resene Paint Prep and Housewash then seal with Resene Concrete Conserver to keep the pavers looking good.

picture: Larnie Nicolson
words: Leigh Stockton


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