Launch Slideshow

Design Details: Texture

Design Details: Texture

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    Jim Bartsch

    The sculptural north façade of this  home creates a play of shadow and light, so the structure looks distinctly modern but not cold.  
    Project: Private Residence, Venice, Calif.; Architects: Trevor Abramson and Douglas Teiger
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    Art Gray

    This award-winning master bath’s combination of geometric tiles and smooth lengths of wood slats creates plenty of visual interest without disrupting the space’s calming natural palate. 
    Project: Appleton Living Master Bath, Venice, Calif.; Builder: Core Construction and Development, Los Angeles; Architect: MINARC, Santa Monica, Calif.

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    Chuck Choi

    Wood paneling has gotten a bad rap, but the chic cedar siding found throughout this family retreat offers a clean look without losing the rustic flavor of the home’s wooded site.
    Project: Lakeside Camp, New Hampshire; Architect: Tom Murdough

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    John Linden

    Rather than havingthe solar panels look like a tacked-on afterthought, this design incorporates a 12kW solar array into a punched-out metal overhang. It fits seamlessly into the home’s modern aesthetic while creating a play of shadow and light.
    Project: Yin-Yang House, Venice, Calif.; Architect: Brooks + Scarpa

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    Whit Preston

    A wall of Kenyan black marble creates a supremely serene master bath.
    Project: Lakeview Residence, Austin, Texas; Designer: alterstudio

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    Trent Bell Photography

    Barn boards add texture to the ceiling of this student dorm, helping define the kitchen in the open gathering space.
    Project: Terra Haus, Unity, Maine; Builder and Architect: GO LOGIC, Belfast, Maine
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    Matthew Carbone

    For the corner details of this Midwestern farmland–inspired home, the architect took his cues from the slats of a corn crib. Strips of birch plywood are stacked in a staggered pattern, with the end-grain position reversed on alternating blocks and mounted on drywall covered in black felt paper that creates a clean reveal.
    Project: Woodland Hall House, Columbus, Ohio; Architect: Meyers + Associates, Columbus; Builder: Ghiloni Custom Builders, Granville, Ohio.
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    Jim Bartsch

    The owner for this Southern California home was looking for something “modern, but that would provide a quiet backdrop for her art and furniture,” says architect Douglas Teiger. Swaths of bare materials throughout the home provide just that, while adding texture and a change from the expected.
    Project: Private Residence, Venice, Calif.; Architects: Trevor Abramson and Douglas Teiger
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    Marty Peters

    Charged with creating a clean, bright,  modern home in Chicago, the design team incorporated light fixtures that add texture without breaking  the home’s white palate or views of the outside. 
    Project: Bucktown Three, Chicago, Ill.; Builder: Stedl Construction & Development, Chicago; Architect: Studio Dwell Architects, Chicago
Whether you’re looking to make a bold statement or add subtle interest to a quiet design, incorporating texture can be a powerful enhancement to your home designs. Often more subdued than color, texture can add interest  color can’t—such as uninterrupted stretches of natural materials. And because texture involves touch as well as sight, it allows homeowners to interact directly with their home’s design (think pebbled shower floor that massages the bather’s feet). 

For creative inspiration we’ve collected a group of projects that thoughtfully incorporate texture into everything from bold exterior facades to sanctuary-like master baths, and in design styles ranging from rustic New England retreats to contemporary California pads. Dive into the slideshow to get a feel for how texture can punch up your plans.

Claire Easley is a senior editor at Builder.