A room can have little or no style in its furnishings and be perfectly patternless, and the color scheme can be a group of neutrals. Yet these elements can work together to make a perfect background for the many interesting textures in the scheme.
Texture is available in so many different things: nubby or roughly woven texture of a cotton or wool upholstery fabric; the look and feel of wood furniture or wall paneling; the horizontal lines of a shutter of blind in wood or bamboo. Even the aluminum slats of a Venetian blind provide texture in a room because, although they themselves have no texture, the light that shines through each slat contrasts with the dark shadowed part of the slat itself to create texture.
Light creates texture. A wall-washer on the ceiling focused on a brick chimney makes the brick texture twice as visible as it would be unlighted. Wall-washers illuminating a window wall of draperies, for example, bring out the texture of the cloth. Without the light only the color would be visible. Pools of light from table or floor lamps exaggerate and develop the textural qualities of carpeting or upholstery fabrics.
In a bedroom I designed for a couple who wanted texture more than color or style, I decided on an off-white color scheme. The room itself was small, too small for a bold color palette or important furniture shapes, so the idea of featuring texture was logical.
I built a platform bed of natural oak, rubbing a bit of white into the grain before waxing it to make the grain show more. The night tables are cubes made of the same wood. At the window, I used natural, unfinished wood shutters, which had the very same look as the whitened oak. The wood beams of the ceiling were stripped and left in their pale, natural condition. The wood textures in the furniture, at the window, and on the ceiling help establish the visual interest of the texture patterns in the room.
Even the minor furnishings provided texture. The two chairs flanking the backgammon table are chrome framed with woven rush seats and backs. The giant cactus, itself highly textured, sits in a hugh basket of woven reed.
I used light to highlight the texture. A row of wall-washers nestle behind the beam closest to the window, casting a big bath of light on the rough unfinished grain of the shutters: the bed lamps light the deep texture of the quilted spread and another highlights the texture of the chairs, while a floor-based flood-light illuminates the wavy edges and saw-tooth lines of the plant.