Texture is the latest cool tool to introduce the element of interest. Materials are inspiring designers and architects to seriously consider texture even in the smallest of projects, simply by drawing attention to the variety everywhere you turn.
Laurie Baker' philosophy of design highlights the natural beauty and dignity in the humblest of materials. He believes that "most materials have their own special characteristics and if used honestly and simply, they contribute to the 'looks' of the building merely from their color, their texture and the patterns formed by joining them together.
Then there is Charles Correa whose The National Crafts Museum, New Delhi recreated an Indian village blending in vernacular material, stone, bamboo, brick, mud, and thatch–a blend of the vernacular and the modern. There are other projects that blend textures like the spaces and terraces in the Cidade de Goa hotel or metal and stone blend in the Jeevan Bharti building, Delhi.
Examples of what can emerge from the fusion of materials, textures and obvious ability and aptitude.
Concrete: The "molten rock" of Corbusier is appearing in makeovers like never before. New textures, patterns and color stains will make you forget that there ever was anything called "gray" or "unremarkable". Color additives, stamps, molds, new tools and products enable homeowners to boost the appeal of a concrete surface like never before. Glossy finish sealants with a range of "sheens" play an important function in protecting the concrete from stains, weather and scratching.
Exteriors from garden walkways, pedestrian paths to walls and boundaries too have benefitted with these textures.
Flooring: Textured tiles, natural stone and stone finish, parquet flooring, terrazzo, laminate flooring – there has never been more choice of floor coverings. Patterns and texture complement the decorating scheme while dealing with all the required wear and tear.
Wall finishes: These have always been an important feature when it comes to building the character of a room. Texture paints, wallpaper and paneling are coming up with newer patterns and easy to apply conveniences.
For the exterior, glass, aluminum and steel cladding have opened options for shape and structural freedom enhancing design and architectural freedom.
Furniture: Smaller rooms and compact apartments have encouraged contemporary design in furniture. Lighter woods, metals, glass, bamboo, cane, leather textiles, plastics are creating the atmosphere in homes as they adapt to modern living with simple line pieces. Living rooms are most affected as these are the family and social interaction spaces.
Glass: Probably the basis of development of modern architectural design, this material has come up as a versatility strength multiplier. Glass products come in colors, strength and textures. Economics may be balanced out with accessories like protective and designer films to suit the design element.
Overall, architectural materials have reached a level where you think of it and it is probably there in the market.