Try These Expert Tips for Using Texture to Round Out Your Style

Chicago architect, designer and artist Linc Thelen shows you how to think beyond a rug or throw when it comes to adding texture to your favorite rooms.

Paint color and furnishings are often top-of-mind when it comes to designing a space, but how much effort do you put into adding texture to your favorite room? Introducing texture can be as simple as adding a plush rug or pillow to your decor scheme, but it doesn't have to stop there.

Black and White Modern Living Room With Fireplace

Black and White Modern Living Room With Fireplace

This living room punctuates a light, airy interior with black accents like the fireplace and rug. The simple color palette allows for the stunning stained glass, cathedral-like windows to take center stage.

Photo by: Jim Tschetter

Jim Tschetter

Photo by: Picasa

Picasa

Chicago architect, designer and artist Linc Thelen is the master when it comes to incorporating texture in unexpected ways to his projects. His designs run the gamut from traditional to eclectic and include dramatic projects such as a pop-art inspired design scheme and a home created from a converted church building. See how Linc used texture to make his designs come alive in these spaces:

Dining Room With Shades and Textures of Blue

Dining Room With Shades and Textures of Blue

Deep blue grasscloth wallpaper is visually balanced by crisp white wainscoting in this chic transitional dining room. Extra depth is gained by the modern blue artwork and soft blue zig-zag fabric covering the dining chairs.

Photo by: Jim Tschetter, IC36O Images

Jim Tschetter, IC36O Images

For some spaces -- especially more traditional ones -- it's all about finding a minimal way to offer a little bit of texture. Linc, who has spent time in France and Italy studying the chiaroscuro techniques of Renaissance artists, loves to use textural wallpaper such as linen or grasscloth because of the way the materials reflect light in spaces.

"It adds more light to the space because it reflects light differently," he says. "I use it as a minimal approach of adding something to a wall without adding too much."

Photo by: Jim Tschetter, IC36O Images

Jim Tschetter, IC36O Images

Sometimes texture can be mostly functional in nature while still managing to add to the look of a room. For the church conversion project, Linc installed a climbing wall with movable holds in the kids' bedroom that highlights the room's lofted ceiling while encouraging fun. In the home's living area, stacked firewood within the two-story fireplace doubles as a rustic art installation that ties in well with the room's light wood flooring.

Pop Art Gallery Wall With TV and Faux Deer Head

Pop Art Gallery Wall With TV and Faux Deer Head

A clever gallery wall turns a wall-mounted flat-screen TV into part of a pop art collection. A silver deer head nobly presides over the colorful scene.

Photo by: Jim Tschetter, IC36O Images

Jim Tschetter, IC36O Images

In the pop-art home, Linc used an assortment of the homeowner's favorite books and "Naughty Nelly" boot jacks as art installations. "The client had a collection of them, and I said, 'We should hang these up,'" he said. "It's all about taking something you can collect and making art out of it."

Black and White Dining Area with Mirror and Chandelier

Black and White Dining Area with Mirror and Chandelier

This dramatic cottage dining area features charcoal gray walls and a coat of black paint on the hardwood floor. The room is a good example of how dark walls can help a small or narrow space feel more intimate.

Photo by: Jim Tschetter, IC36O Images

Jim Tschetter, IC36O Images

In a French-inspired dining room, Linc used tufted panelings to add texture within the wall paneling but matched the fabric color to the wall for a unified look. It's important to be mindful of how much attention a textural feature demands, Linc says.

Photo by: Jim Tschetter, IC36O Images

Jim Tschetter, IC36O Images

"Everything can't be a focal point," he adds. "Everything can't be the most important thing in the room. Even though (textural features) are not taking precedence, they still need some strength to them. They're still rich and very attractive, so they don't need to be a center point."

Love Linc Thelen's Designs? Check Out More:

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Modern White Great Room With Stained Glass Windows

Is it a cathedral or a kitchen? A crisply modern aesthetic pairs with sky-high ceilings and arched stained glass windows in this incredible room that includes a kitchen, dining and lounge area.

White Modern Great Room With Stained Glass Window

Kitchen, dining and living areas breezily connect in this incredible cathedral-like great room. The soaring ceiling is broken up by the exposed wood beams and vertical lines of the pendant lights above the island.

White Open Plan Modern Kitchen With Pendants

This streamlined kitchen creates a dynamic play of vertical and horizontal lines. The narrow workspace and long counters are juxtaposed with the pendant lights, stained glass window frame and bars of the nearby door.

White Modern Open Plan Kitchen With Vaulted Ceiling

Dark accents unify this soaring open plan space from the wood beams in the vaulted ceiling to the window frame down to the black barstools. The pendant lights literally and visually help draw a connecting line from top to bottom.

White Modern Kitchen With Stained Glass Window

The simple black-and-white color scheme of this open plan kitchen draws full attention to the stunning golden stained glass windows. The high ceilings enhance the airy, cathedral-like feel.

White Modern Dining Room With Stained Glass Window

In the dining room, the green and gold stained glass window becomes the main attraction in a simple setting of white walls and furnishings.

White Modern Great Room With Gray Fireplace

Pops of gold and accents with unusual shapes and textures give dimension and visual interest to this vast great room. The light-colored hardwood floor maintains the airy feeling throughout the space.

White Modern Living Room With Gray Fireplace

Painting the fireplace and chimney a dark gray helps pull the eye up through this vast airy living room. The crowning glory is the starburst pendant lights twinkling overhead.

Gray and White Modern Living Room With Firewood

This modern living room turns its firewood storage into an eye-catching part of the decor! The dark gray of the wall helps the color and texture of the stacked wood pop.

Black and White Modern Living Room With Fireplace

This living room punctuates a light, airy interior with black accents like the fireplace and rug. The simple color palette allows for the stunning stained glass, cathedral-like windows to take center stage.

Urban Foyer With Stained Glass Windows

A refurbished pew at the top of the entryway stairs is a cute nod to this gorgeous home's cathedral-like architecture, enhanced by beautiful yellow and green stained-glass windows.

Contemporary Wood Stairs and Glass Railing

Pale hardwood floors and a glass railing along the upper level make this tucked-away stairwell feel airy and light instead of dark and cramped.

Black and White Contemporary Powder Room

Black and white powder room with fringe wallpaper? Yes, please. The graphic tile floor is the perfect punctuation to this whimsical space.

Urban Living Area With Arched Windows

The designers showed off the architectural bones of this beautiful cathedral-like building by keeping furnishings simple and elegant. A clear floor on the upper level maintains the soaring feel of the space by letting occupants see all the way through the structure.

Neutral Urban Living Room With Leather Sofa

This super chic living room mixes rustic elements (the cow hide rug and brown leather sofa) with urban edge and results in a room that's both cool and comfortable. Instead of closing off the space with a ceiling, occupants can see past the exposed wood beams up into the level above.

White Contemporary Bedroom With Stained Glass Windows

The interior decor of this bedroom plays off the beautiful stained glass windows for its color palette. A fun graphic pattern rug makes a splash underfoot in blues, yellow, white and gray. And a navy blue upholstered bed anchors the space with its neat, tailored lines.

White Spa Bathroom With Stained Glass Window

Now that's a sanctuary! A gold and green stained glass window reigns supreme in this breathtaking bathroom above the luxurious soaking tub.

From: Linc Thelen Design and Linc Thelen Design

White Spa Bathroom With Marble Shower

In this bathroom, the creamy marble shower and backsplash take on rich depth in contrast to the flat white cabinets and countertop of the vanity.

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