Home Improvement | Tactile Transformation

You’ve moved into your first apartment; space is limited and this causes insomnia? This can be easily solved even if you have to stick to a budget. But a few delightful textural elements is all you need to create a flow between living areas and to breathe life into a small space.

Heart and soul Texture, as defined by Encarta World English  Dictionary, is the ‘structure of a substance or material.  The texture is about touch and shape and has to ignite the senses. Textural elements include stone, wood,  glass, ceramics, wicker, and metal pieces. Though the texture is all around us, in decor it’s how we use these different materials together that creates a home with heart and soul. A few good pieces, hints of color and a touch of bohemia is all that’s needed to turn drab into fab. A small apartment is a good place to start adding tactile elements and surrounding yourself with the natural beauty of pattern and form. Indulge the senses and create a personal haven of natural style.

Multitasker Comfort and functionality are vital in small spaces – hence the need for multifunctional furniture pieces. A big, chunky couch is great for lounging and creating a comfortable space. Teak stools and a naturally textured ottoman not only provide extra seating but also serve as individual coffee or side tables.  Their varying shapes and heights also add interest to the room.

Take to the floor 

Choose surfaces that feel sensual and varying materials that add contrast. This small living room is subdivided by simply using different materials on the floor: wood for the entertaining space and tiles for the area set up for relaxed reflection. Our feet are also sensitive to stimuli and what we feel with our feet affects how we experience a space. Wood adds warmth, is eco-friendly, and easy to clean – and lighter woods reflect sunlight, thereby brightening a room.  Textured stone tiles are cool to the touch,  feel solid and add contrast and a natural flow to space.

Layer cake 

Mixing together different textural elements creates both personality and atmosphere.  Bring the sense of touch alive by using luxurious textiles and accessories in layers:  a comfortable woolen throw is pleasurable on the skin while patterned scatter cushions in linen or satin, piled on a couch, add extra comfort and make for an interesting display.  For added visual interest, group handmade glass and ceramic vases together.

In living color

Earthy colors calm the soul while flashes of color provide a lively, modern twist.  Shades of orange and green come alive in a neutral palette and, in small doses,  can be invigorating and refreshing. The opposing colors work together to create a balance that’s naturally stylish. Like color, different patterns and textures can influence the atmosphere and mood of a room. A relaxed, bohemian feel is easily created by mixing stripes with florals against a natural room setting, as highlighted by the prints on the wall.

Light up my life 

Light defines a space – and in a small apartment, it’s important to understand how to bring in more natural light and how to cleverly use artificial lighting.  Consider the space and its uses then assign lighting accordingly. Chandeliers add visual interest, while curtains help to diffuse light and keep the space both cool and warm, as required.

Rough and rugged 

Rugs are a great choice for small spaces. More practical than fitted carpets, they provide warmth and comfort underfoot, are long-lasting, and are easy to remove or move around as needed. Rugs are available in a variety of naturally trendy materials: wool, silk,  cotton, hemp, sisal, or bamboo.

The old and the beautiful 

Combine old and new furniture for a  contemporary feeling and surround yourself with simple tactile pieces that bring pleasure to the senses. Solid wood furniture ages well and will last a lifetime. Furniture pieces that can also be used as storage – a wooden chest, shelves or drawers in a cabinet  – alleviate clutter in small spaces.

Bright spark 

The counter just off the kitchen is a  wonderful asset in a small apartment, as it eliminates the need for a dining table but is still big enough to bring people together.  The kitchen is uniformly cream in color,  making space appear bigger. Utensils and kitchenware are kept neatly behind sleek cupboards for easy access. Here, the pattern goes hand in hand with texture in bringing a warm touch of whimsy.  The use of wooden bowls, linen napkins,  bright accessories, and decorative bar stools keeps things bright and beautiful.

Bedroom eyes 

Bedrooms need to provide a sense of sanctuary, so surround yourself with natural materials that feel good to the touch. A woodland print becomes the focal point in this small bedroom,  bringing with it the feeling of serenity.  The various patterns used here add characters, such as the paisley print duvet cover, the embroidered floral fabric used as a throw, and the white pleated lampshade. Together, they create a  harmonious space.  


Restrict the color scheme to two main colors – green and lilac being the choice in this space.


Tasteful neutrals are the décor trend in bathrooms. When choosing bathroom surfaces always remember that they need to be durable, watertight, slip-resistant, and able to cope with heat and moisture. Choosing different colors, textures, and patterns is easy with a wide variety of materials available on the market. Your choice can easily turn a hardworking utility space into a stylish relaxation area.  Note here how irregularity and contrast in the choice of tiles prove more sensual and tactile than a uniform look. The use of ceramic tiles mixed with mosaics adds personality too, while brass taps and a decorative mirror retain the earthy neutral flow. Introduce color with absorbent towels that hug the skin and add pleasure to your daily cleansing ritual.