Using Texture and Pattern to Enhance Your Outdoor Area

Using Texture and Pattern to Enhance Your Outdoor Area
April 2, 2014 Cushion Factory
outdoor cushion


Texture and pattern play an important role in interior and exterior design. They both add interest to what would otherwise be a plain and boring space, so if you are looking to enhance a patio, terrace or decking area, one way to do this is by using texture and pattern.

Different textures and interesting patterns can really make a difference to an outdoor space. Textures stimulate our sense of touch as well as sight, whereas patterns are mostly visual. But there is an overlap between the two and a heavily textured fabric or material can have a discernible pattern, too.

Spatial Awareness

Pattern and texture both affect how we perceive a space. Textures are very tactile and can appear warm and natural whereas smooth surfaces often appear colder. Texture is also affected by light—smooth, shiny surfaces reflect light whereas rough surfaces absorb light. Pattern and texture are more visually engaging. A plain, smooth surface lacks interest whereas different patterns and textures engage the eye and add character to a space.

Create a Harmonious Space with Texture

Because texture draws the eye, it can easily fill a space. In an outdoor space, feel free to experiment with different textures, but since it is possible to overdo it, don’t go too mad. Natural textures such as timber, pebbles and foliage work well together—think of a Japanese Feng Shui garden if you need some inspiration. Or you can adopt a more modernist approach and use glass and stone with water features, perhaps adding a splash of colour in the form of patterned outdoor furniture cushions.

Using Pattern Outdoors

Pattern, like texture, has a tendency to fill a space, but if you use too much pattern in a small space, it will look ‘busy’. For best results, use pattern in moderation. Instead of buying patterned fabrics for your outdoor furniture and then adding lots of outdoor cushions in loud patterns and bright colours, use pattern as an accent instead.

Another way to successfully use pattern outdoors is to use different patterned fabrics within the same colour scheme. For example, buy some outdoor furniture in a neutral colour and then add a selection of outdoor cushion covers in different patterns, but with just one dominant colour. Your outdoor space will be greatly enhanced and if you add some texture in the form of natural materials such as timber and stone, it will become a warm and welcoming place to relax and entertain.

Pattern and texture should always be used wisely and preferably in moderation, so bear this in mind when planning a decorative scheme for your outdoor space.


As the unofficial ‘cushion experts’, Outdoor Factory would love to help you create a space that you and your guests can’t wait to relax in.

Say goodbye to those old, faded cushions or that bare space, order your new cushions today.


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