As little kids, my two brothers and I battled winter boredom by using our home’s carpeted staircase as a downhill race course. Beneath the landing’s smoked-glass chandelier, we’d sit side by side on pillows, perched atop the flight of gold-shag-covered stairs below. With a unified “go,” we’d push off the top step, propelling ourselves into a back-jarring, elbow-throwing descent that ended with us in a howling heap on the hallway floor. After untangling ourselves, we’d race back to the top of the flight for another run. This would go on for hours, or until our parents broke it up for fear of fractured bones and threadbare carpeting. 

Then one day, a burly man in white coveralls showed up with a long folding table, a bucket of goop and rolls of paper tucked under his arm. By that evening, our white-walled race course had been transformed into a swanky space sheathed in shimmering metallic wallpaper finished with thick swirls of velvety flocking. 

With martinis in hand, my parents looked on approvingly as Dean Martin crooned in the background. We boys were less enthused. The fancy update totally changed the disposition of our rough-and-tumble race space. But before long, we succumbed to that wallpaper’s textural allure. The excitement of running our grubby little hands along the undulating flocking and foil while racing down the thickly carpeted staircase was irresistible. It became a daily event. Unfortunately, Dad and Mom didn’t appreciate our heightened attraction to the staircase, and they banned the competition permanently. 

Decades later, texture still thrills me and I’m not alone. This issue is packed with design pros who embrace texture’s tactile and visual qualities to elevate the look and feel of the spaces they create.

As showcased on the cover, designer Anne-Marie Barton teamed nubby boucle-covered seating, whispery sheer draperies and glistening rock crystal chandeliers to create alluring, hands-on luxury and to connect the room to nature. Inside these pages, Carrie Delaney chose natural stone, oak paneling and a grasscloth wall mural to warm a Victory Ranch decor, while wooly textiles and reclaimed wood-clad walls become heroes in a Deer Valley interior dreamed up by Danielle Domichel Hickman. In snowbound Park City, Stephanie Hunt channels her love for textural interest with glazed, “perfectly imperfect” tile and an oversized tumbleweed chandelier, and our avian-inspired fabric feature celebrates winter’s textural palette and artistry. 

Page after page, this issue puts us in touch with texture’s power to transform any decor, even yours. Are you feeling it? 

Flip through the first issue of 2024 here.

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Brad Mee
Brad Mee is the Editor-in-Chief of Utah Style & Design Magazine.