Bring your Design to Life with Materials and Textures

Over the last few weeks, we’ve taken a glimpse at just a few of the ways you can make a room more inviting and lifelike with the help of lighting and proper rendering techniques. Now, we’re diving just a bit further to explore what it is about texture and materials that makes them so essential for your space.

Texture is all around us. From the smooth, yet subtle curves of an ebony wood coffee table, to a beautifully tiled mosaic floor, our world is full of materials and patterns that add depth and interest to our everyday surroundings. It should come as no surprise then that these materials, while sometimes overlooked, can make or break the feel of a space. And when it comes to room planning on a digital level, material is an absolute must if you’re looking to create a realistic experience for your viewers.

Take for example the two images below. Same room, same furniture placement, but just a few texture and color changes made an enormous difference in the look and overall feel of the room.

Let’s take a look to see how you can incorporate different materials into your designs to invoke a particular feel and atmosphere, and better yet, how you can accomplish this with the help of pCon.planner.

Light reflection

Nothing adds depth to an image like reflection and shadows can. By incorporating materials such as a glass countertop, marble floor or smoothly lacquered chairs, you can help to bounce light and really open up a room. But be careful! Too much reflection and smooth texture can create a cold atmosphere.

>> The Reflectivity and Shininess settings in pCon.planner can help to add depth and light to your plan. Within the Material Editor, you can adjust the amount of light a certain material reflects, as well as the intensity of its shine.

Appropriate Textures

You should also keep in mind the size and type of space you’re working with. If you’re working with a small space, a light, airy fabric for your sofa may be more appropriate than a chunky velvet or leather couch. On the other hand, a large space may come across unappealing and odd if the materials are too thin. By adding deeper and more extreme textures, like leather armchairs or a carpeted floor, you can make objects appear heavier, creating a much more inviting space.

>> The Materials catalog in pCon.planner is the perfect place to find inspiration for your plan. Simply click on the Materials icon to open a browser full of surfaces, textures and fabrics. To insert a material, select it in the catalog and you will be taken back to your plan to add it to a particular object.

Mix and Match

The last thing you want is a space that is monotonous or boring. Who said you have to stick to all smooth textures and bright colors? Play around with your materials, mixing and matching to create focal points in the room. If you have a room with reflective wood floors and lighter furniture, try a warm colored rug to add depth to the space. Or, how about a nice brick wall as a focal point for your living room? Again, be careful! If you have too many patterns and color spectrums, your room will come across busy and untidy as opposed to modern and fun.

>> Haven’t found the perfect material for your space? Then create your own! In the Material Editor, you can let your creativity run wild. Click on the Create New Material icon, and you’re free to customize your material, basing it on a color or texture and adding a normal map. You can also adjust the height, width and rotation of the material.

With all the material options at your fingertips, the possibilities are endless. Keep in mind the tips and tricks we’ve given, and give it a try yourself. Better yet, share your final designs with us; we’d love to see what you come up with!

For more inspiration, be sure to take a look at our Image Gallery.

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