HomeExpertSpeakUse of Colors & Textures with Wood Finishes, Shami Goregaoker, GA design

Use of Colors & Textures with Wood Finishes, Shami Goregaoker, GA design

Warm color scheme using reds, oranges and yellows always compliments wooden furniture in the best possible way

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photographs: Shami Goregaoker, GA design

I design a wide range of interiors from luxury residences to office spaces and clubhouses in and around Mumbai.  At GA design, we offer complete design solutions for any kind of space and provide services for site execution too. I work closely with my clients to help them create uniquely personalised homes. As a designer and design strategist, I keep myself updated with latest market trends and new materials. My designs have been published in several leading design magazines and newspapers.  My passion for colour and aesthetics has helped me nurture a profession where I can create beautiful homes for people.


There are various styles of home decorating which include Bohemian, Classical, Sophisticated and Minimalist. The one factor that is likely to remain constant in all these styles is wood. Be it teak wood, rough wood, veneer or laminate, it becomes an important part of décor. As color is the most emotional element in design, it is ideal to start by understanding how it works and how it can enhance your life. Along with adopting a decorating style, it is necessary to analyse a room’s decorating requirements, together with the importance of tone and texture in design.

The first step is to understand and address proportions in a space. Colors are best used in unequal proportions as they compete for attention when used equally. To make it simple, one needs to know the basics – that your walls are likely to have the largest surface area of color while the floor and ceiling have the 2nd largest proportion of color. Next come the furniture finishes be it wood, paint, fabric or leather. And lastly the smallest proportion of color would be the accent color which could be cushions, rugs or art work.

Colors are most effective when one understands the concept of neutrals. Neutrals are essentially natural looking colors which don’t have an obvious color; and these can be used as bases for color palettes. Generally dark neutrals can be brown, grey or even black and light neutrals can be beige, light grey or white. Neutrals are mostly colors linked to the natural environment and are non-intrusive. They don’t demand attention and are soothing even if used in a larger proportion.

Brown is a neutral found in nature in abundance as it could be barks of trees, soil, ground or even sand. Any wooden texture therefore, is a reflection of Mother Nature and is sure to look good with most colors and under any kind of light.

Having said that, a warm color scheme using reds, oranges and yellows always compliments wooden furniture in the best possible way. Alternately, greens, limes and yellows equally compliment wooden finishes, as is evident in nature. You can extend this natural color palette by adding shades of the colors you have selected. You can develop this further by creating a proportionate color palette for your walls, ceilings, floor and furniture.

Once you have achieved an extended color palette you can decide on an accent color. This could be the ‘color pop’ you may want to use on a feature wall, cushions, rugs or even wall art.

Styling tip: Light and cool colors appear to recede and create space. Warm and dark colors appear to advance and create cosiness. Remember this simple tip to help you manipulate the sense of space in your room.

And finally, texture, which is also an important element in your décor scheme. Even the perfect color scheme needs a little bit of texture for it to come alive. Texture refers to the quality of a surface such as fabric, wall paint or even a rug. Fabrics and soft furnishings are the most effective way of adding texture to a room. The variety of colors and textures available in fabrics can inspire you to develop many color schemes to choose from.

Using texture as a decorating element is similar to color, as the mood or style of your room dictates the type of texture to use. For example, if you have a bedroom that has a romantic, soft mood it’s likely you’ll want to match it with a soft texture such as a transparent fabric on a curtain, a satin cushion cover or a high pile luxurious carpet.

It’s also important to address the proportional use of texture in a decorating scheme in the same manner as you would color. It needs to be balanced with the other elements in the room and enhance your scheme rather than overwhelm it.

Styling tip: Keep it simple – don’t over use texture. Lots of contrasting textures will clash and are unpleasant to be around. Bring in textured elements like floor cushions, throw rugs, or funky table runners as accents. In most spaces, texture should enhance your scheme, not dominate.

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