Interior Design Course: Texture, Pattern and Scale

Learning about texture, pattern and scale helped me add interest to my space. 

Firstly adding texture dependent on the space that I wanted to create made me feel more confident about the beautiful fabrics I was buying in order to DIY new curtains and cushions. Not only are they subtle in colour and soft to the touch but they also have a lovely pattern that’s sure to create a seamless, balanced room. Then, understanding how to balance the space and it’s proportions made a big difference to my newly decorated lounge… but more about that later! Here’s what I’ve learnt in module 4 of my Interior Design Course. 

Tactile and Visual Texture

Firstly, lets get the meaning of ‘tactile’ out of the way. You know, just in case. It means when an item is seducing you to touch it, be it silky smooth or furry to the touch. I personally love using thick, knitted items in the winter in order to give a room a cosy welcoming feeling. Another option, but for a formal space, would be to add smooth and shiny textures such as glass, marble, silk and chiffon. Anyway, there’s also visual texture which is appealing to the eye primarily and by knowing when to use each type and in what combinations, the finishing look is always effective.

Use the textures in contrast to emphasize a particular focal point, for example stand an antique statue on a modern smooth table so that it is highlighted and juxtaposed more so than if it would have on a similar antique table.

Also, pairing textures with the type of home that you have can work wonders to the personality of your home. When I say this, I mean add glossy furniture to a modern flat or a chic wooden bed to a country cottage.

A Note on the use of Patterns in Interiors

Patterns are a great way to add a visual interest into a room but they can also distract the inhabitants and perhaps even become disconcerting so it’s important to know how to use them. Firstly, there’s a reason why they’re not often seen in formal areas, like conferences and meeting rooms, as patterns create focal points which draw all of the attention. Therefore patterns are playful and cheerful, which means they’re great at becoming conversation starters and a rooms focal point.

I like to match some items throughout the home using patterns. Once I made my own DIY blind and matched it to my wall adjacent to the window by gluing the same fabric in leaf shapes onto the wallpaper. Have a look at it here: Decorative Wallpaper. So, you can easily match cushions to your curtains too for example but do step out of the comfort zone once in a while too and partner a bold colour with your pattern.

Why Care about Scale and Proportion?

White throw – Amara | Shaggy Rug – Matalan direct | White chair – Laura Ashley | Cushion – Julian Charles 

By putting together items in correct scale and proportion, you’ll create a balanced environment. An overly large bookcase in a small room will make the space feel claustrophobic, whilst a small chest of drawers in a large bedroom will be sure to get lost. I often remind myself that by choosing the right items that are in proportion to the room I’ll make sure not to overwhelm that piece of furniture or decoration.

Something that I actually learnt whilst reading up tips on photography was that odd numbered objects work better together. For example, when I’ve been decorating my shelves to take a snap for Instagram (@fairytaleprettypicture) I’ve been partnering items together in threes or fives, which I found works really well. This is actually also a top trick in interior design too so have a play around 🙂

Thanks for reading and do come back for the next module soon. In the meantime, read the previous modules below:

Module 1: Interior Design Background & Origin

Module 2: Great Designers

Module 3: Space, Colour and Balance


Module 5: Furniture & Flooring

Alina is the founder and writer of The Fairytale Pretty Picture blog whilst working full time as an SEO specialist at a growing online-only retailer called Amara. She owns a beautiful white Alsatian and lives in Essex with her husband.