Some designers look at a blank canvas and feel inspired, and their minds immediately start filling with many creative ideas.
And they start piecing together different materials, samples, design trends, and colors to help bring their ideas to life.
However, it’s also normal (especially when you’re first starting out) to feel somewhat intimidated by all the potential choices of new materials and finishes in your interior design projects.
In this article, we’ll cover every aspect of choosing materials for interior design, including some of the most commonly used materials, and how to pair different materials together.
Importance of material selection in interior design
All good interior design starts with answering questions about layout, flow, and focal points
and patterns and other conceptual elements.
As the project progresses, designers eventually need to start making recommendations for very specific interior details and materials.
These materials are often called “finishes,” and are the elements that will be used to accentuate a design, cover up structural components, and add any notable functionality that is still needed.
And decisions about materials and finishes will really determine how the whole design comes together, and whether it meets the client’s needs and feels complete, cohesive and intentional.
Materials used in interior design
What types of materials are most often used in interior design?
Unless the material you choose is part of the structural integrity of the home, almost nothing is off limits.
However, the list below is a good starting point for brainstorming during your next project.
Often used for countertops, granite is a naturally beautiful and incredibly durable material
Makes a great prep surface.
Granite also looks great with a lot of different interior styles, and you can choose paint options that will bring out the natural color of the granite.
While polished granite is usually preferred for countertops that are used for food preparation (or to go on top of vanities), unfinished granite can make a beautiful backsplash.
Wood is one of the most versatile building materials, and is used throughout both indoor and outdoor areas for many
From floors to ceiling beams and decorative walls, wood can adapt to many different styles and is often more affordable than other options.
Although it can be expensive, copper is already making a comeback, as copper can raise the bar
room with ease, and it works well in many home styles.
It is not always practical to use real copper, so you may end up choosing materials with a copper color.
As with many materials, less is more with brass, and a little discoloration from the range hood opening or drawer knobs can get you the look you want without much effort.
Fabrics like silk, cotton, suede, wool, and more can add a nice finishing touch to your look
The room combines complete design in a welcoming and comfortable way.
Hemp, bamboo, and other sustainably harvested materials may add a personal touch while catered to
The customer’s desire to reduce its impact on the environment.
Other eco-friendly and natural materials that are growing in popularity include cork, concrete, recycled glass, and reclaimed wood
Often used in kitchens, bathrooms, and other multipurpose rooms, ceramic tiles are favored for their clean looks, ease of care, versatility, and ability to match many styles.
Synthetic materials such as vinyl and laminate are usually used when budget is a concern.
This choice of materials is affordable and gives the look of tiles, wood or other natural components when used as a wall covering or flooring material.
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