Tactile Relationships - How Textures Influence Design
June 5, 2017

Tactile Relationships Leave a Lasting Impression

What we touch and feel has a tendency to create a deeper emotional connection than sight alone. Texture is one of the most often overlooked design elements, but it is actually one of the most important. That connection created by touch can shape the overall experience of a space.

Hand touching water

So, just what is the texture of your design trying to tell you? Depending on the nature of your materials, clean solid surfaces can promote clean, minimalist designs with a clinical feel and a "new" and spotless finish. Wood and other natural materials like leather have a tendency to absorb the wear and tear of regular use and tell a story about their age and their journey based on the patina created by natural oils and other environmental influences.

Modern design embraces both schools of thought and merges the two to create a unique character of depth and contrast. This relationship also includes other factors such as: size, form, color, and meaning. These elements can make a space feel warm and inviting or cold and sterile, or create a balanced blend of both. This balance promotes a clean and healthy environment without compromising comfort.

Mixed use hardware is the final finishing touch that has the ability to leave that lasting impression. When you walk into a room, your uncanny ability to take in hundreds if not thousands of data points instantaneously is triggered. Your keen senses translate that data into a mood or feeling based on the surroundings. Giving your senses a bit of a surprise by mixing materials can make for a fun experience that takes just a moment longer to appreciate. More importantly though, since your sense of touch is likely the last to be engaged, this harmonious relationship with the mood created by other elements will put the final piece in place and put your senses at ease. Knobs and handles with contours that fit gently into your grip and soft touch responsive designs that click open and closed help solidify a pleasurable experience.

When specifying hardware, be sure to use more than just your eyes for basic design and finish. Consider the shape; consider the functionality; consider the feeling and the connection you have with that piece. Complementary hardware is more important than most people realize in more ways than one!

DP211 - Straight Edge Pull
DP211 - Straight Edge Pull


Topic: DP211 - Straight Edge Pull

Related Topics: Mixing Metals, Cabinet Hardware History, Selecting the Right Hardware