Surface Design is often described as the development of prints and patterns that can be applied to any surface. A Surface Designer spends time working through the design process to develop prints and patterns that can be applied to one or multiple different products or spaces. It can be any type of artwork (pattern, illustration, hand lettering, etc.) made by a designer that is intended to be applied to a surface to enhance its visual appearance and functionality.

In Interior design and Architecture, this is a vital element which if not done precisely and correctly, may lead to ugly bold, kitsch and unpleasant spaces. So be aware of the textures that the materials in your interiors have.

Tip: “Quality over quantity” is the single mantra that you will benefit from the most if you decide to match textures in your home or office space. This will give a good result of balanced textures and therefore, a sense of ease and calmness to you.

Light, color, balance, scale and repetition: these are 5 extremely important elements when designing and balancing textures.

Light: Even light has texture. It ‘lights up’ an embossed item next to it, or if the item has various shapes,  the light shadow ‘hits’ the surface in a specific way. Therefore, it should always be taken into consideration as a means of producing texture.


Whether its wood, metal, glass, marble, bronze, metallic finishes, even liquid metals and velvets, they all have textures and simplicity is the key in keeping them balanced. A shiny gold, piece of furniture will not be favored infront of a busy wall covered with a flowery concept wallpaper. It will look ridiculous. That same gold furniture though, might look stylish and bold infront of a grey painted wall, or a wooden panelled wall with simple shapes.


Equal color that fills a room might seem or feel quite dull, boring or even depressing. If we match it with different types of textures, it just might surprise us as to how well it may become! A black basin in a bathroom that is in matte finish, perfectly combines itself with a total black matte floor but most importantly, a very busy wall filled with at least 10 different types of textures in tiles! Attention though: the basin should be minimal and simple in  shape and design, and the floor should not stand out at all. This allows the wall to proudly stand out and shout: ‘Look at me, aren’t I beautiful?’

Same example applies for all types of furniture infront of busy or simple walls and types of architecture with textured materials and finishes. These are details that need to be treated correctly in order to have the desired outcome: harmony of simple lines and perfect geometry.

Art in Interior design:

Art adds color to the room and helps you decorate it more adequately but it also introduces a ton of texture. Whether we opt for a sculpture or practical piece of wall art, it will bring the whole room together quite effectively, and that’s what we all need when it comes to interior design. Checking the already existing textures, materials and finishes will lead to a wiser decision for an art piece. An interior composition with framed walls, matte gold accessories but overall neutral color tones, allows for a big, colorful art piece on the wall. It’s always good if its colors are linked a little bit with the rest of the interior. Let its frame be simple and thin though.

On the other hand, a bold contemporary living room with a black and charcoal finish, matches harmoniously with similar colors on the painting situated on a neutral grey wall.The philosophy is clear. Keeping one item simple, allows for a good match of textures in the rest of the space, whether this is a home, an office or a public area. It applies everywhere: in architecture, interiors, products, websites, art, magazines and any composition one may think of.

Thanks for reading.

Nicole Ioannides Varnava