Design Hints

Textured Touches

Find out how to generate a rustic, refined atmosphere in your home by combining wood, fabric and metal accents in innovative ways.

Part of what gives Cindy and Arlon Elmer's custom-built Washougal, Washington, home its invitingly rustic charm is the many textural touches the couple have incorporated, from the wall treatments to the selection of furnishings and accessories. Read on for a few of Cindy's favorite ideas, and pick up the May 2009 issue of Country Sampler to see more of the Elmers' gorgeous home!

Rough Up the Walls: One option is to mix a little bit of the wall paint color with drywall compound and trowel randomly onto the basecoated wall, a treatment Cindy applied in the master bedroom and bathroom. Another way to give walls an aged look, as Cindy did in the pink guest room, is to apply antiquing glaze over the painted walls in random areas using a ragging-off technique.

Incorporate Distressed Woodwork: From crown and base molding to ceiling beams, trimwork can make or break a room's style. In addition to structural molding and beams, you might consider incorporating some purely for decorative effect like the Elmers did in the pink guest room.

Mix Media: Team up smooth and rough textures, shiny and matte finishes, and so on. For example, in the family room, Cindy pairs chairs woven from banana leaves with floral upholstered pieces. And, in the guest bedroom, she juxtaposes crocheted pillow coverings with cotton bedding and a decadently soft pink blanket.

Go Natural: Select nature-made materials, such as stone, wood and iron, to add texture to any space. Similarly, architectural salvage pieces, such as shutters and porch rails, in their original rusted or weathered state can provide dimension and character.

Written by Lisa Sloan
Photographed by
Styled by Donna Pizzi