An overview of commonly used materials in interior design
Every interior space has some unique qualities attached to it.
If you have visited a natural outdoor space like a forest, you
will notice thousands of varieties of “textures” in the form of
wooden barks, leaves, ground surfaces, stones, water etc…
All these natural elements create a unique visual effect and
all visual effects have a corresponding effect on human mind.
That’s why when used carefully textures can create wonders in
The most commonly used materials in interior design and decoration
are wood for furniture, cloth for linen, rubber/leather for flooring
or upholstery, paper as wallpapers, plastic for accessories like
lampshades and other decorative items, steel for furniture.
Let’s take a closer look at these materials and their textural
Most commonly used for furniture, door frames, shutters. The
main reason behind this is it is easy to work with wood. The
art of carpentry is an age old profession. Because of the
nature of wood like softness and the same time the amount of
strength it can withstand, makes it a popular choice amongst
A fully polished wood surface gives a very rich finish and
projects user friendliness. Also wood comes in many varieties
and colors, each having its own pros and cons.
A very natural choice for linen. Since a cloth finish is a smooth
one it is most suitable in a bedroom where comfort is a very
vital factor. The biggest advantage of various types of cloth
is that most types are washable so maintenance is easy.
Cloth has one more important quality that it can be “painted”
for expressing detailed decorative patterns, that can greatly
add to the beauty of the space.
It is also possible to do “embroidery” on cloth, if painting is
not a good choice or budget doesn’t allow. Depending upon the
weave of the cloth strands the thickness, transparency, etc. can be
easily achieved. This makes the cloth most suitable for various
kinds of uses such as linen, curtains, bed sheets, etc…
Rubber is used in the form of PVC flooring, is easily available
and most importantly is wash proof and durable. It can be printed upon
using design patterns of any style, rich with colors. Comes in the
form of large sheets or even individual tiles.
Unlike tiled flooring the PVC flooring is much less affected by
atmospheric changes. Other types of tiled floorings or even wooden
flooring can have a direct effect on the surface because of the
expansion and contraction of the flooring material. A PVC flooring is
glued to the tiled flooring I hope you have benefited from these
There are infinite uses of this great material. The only disadvantage
environmentalist have pointed out that it is not bio-degradable.
Because of its artificial nature it can be “manufactured” in various.
colors, shapes, sizes, strength. The biggest advantage of plastic is
it is waterproof and electrical shockproof. That’s why mainly
used for electrical accessories. It is lightweight as compared to other
material types. Entire furniture pieces such as chairs, tables
can be easily molded out as a seamless model in plastic.
Steel is mostly used in interior design where the main purpose is
to give support and carry weight to the floor. That’s why main
use of steel is done to create the structural frame that carries
the weight of the people who are going to use the furniture
A very common type of steel is the “Stainless Steel”. Because of its
shining nature, it very quickly gives a rich quality to the object
being used on and enhances the overall quality of the interior
Furniture objects that have been designed with a combination
of wood and steel look much balanced from aesthetic point of view.
But doing so requires a careful study of the joiner details,
especially where wood and steel joint together.
The following discussion was only a brief introduction of the
types of material being used in interior design industry. Every
day more and more good quality and cheaper material types are
being presented in the market. I hope this article was informative
Copyright Shrinivas Vaidya