Trying to luxe up my computer desktop
June 27, 2010 10:39 PM   Subscribe

My current crop of desktop wallpapers are too distracting. Crashing waves, sunsets, streaking meteors, and galactic vistas sure look nice, but they make my eyes stray from the work in front me. I want to find hi-res, high quality shots of fabric, quilted leather, wood and other materials to "upholster" my digital desktop and make it look luxe. Help!

Basically, I just want the desktop to look like a flat surface, covered by a nice fabric, stitched leather, quilting, whatever, as though it were taken to a luxury retailer and fixed up by artisans. I've googled till my fingertips bled but I can't seem to find any worth using, save one mediocre leather one. I'm just wondering if anyone has come across any out there. Thanks.
posted by teedee2000 to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (16 answers total) 27 users marked this as a favorite
Have you tried a google (or google image search) for "free textures"? I just did and got back a number of reasonable "quiet" textures.
posted by maxwelton at 10:44 PM on June 27, 2010

posted by ErikaB at 10:57 PM on June 27, 2010

Try and their subcategories of Fabric, Wood, Marble, and so-on. You might have to do a little resizing to get what you want, but it would take about three seconds and if you like I'd be happy to resize something for you.

If nothing there strikes your fancy, there's actually a good amount of free textures available on places like DeviantArt in wallpaper-friendly sizes.

For a more minimalist approach, I also sometimes like to make my own tartan or stripe with or peruse their gallery for something suitable.
posted by Mizu at 10:58 PM on June 27, 2010

Try They may have what you're looking for.
posted by goblinbox at 11:13 PM on June 27, 2010

lots of nice stuff here
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 11:18 PM on June 27, 2010 [4 favorites]

There's a few "fabric" wallpapers here.
posted by qwip at 11:43 PM on June 27, 2010

Speaking of Flickr, Wallpapr will show you only images from Flickr in desktop sizes... I like to use it to find nice wallpapers. I typed in fabric and it showed some great ones.
posted by IndigoRain at 12:14 AM on June 28, 2010 [2 favorites]

P.S. A tip to help your Googling... try searching the name of a pattern, like argyle desktop, tartan wallpaper, etc.
posted by IndigoRain at 12:18 AM on June 28, 2010

I really like these wood backgrounds.

Makes your desktop look like a real desktop!
posted by Blorg at 4:50 AM on June 28, 2010

Best answer: I just found this guy on deviantART last night. He makes some great galactic swirls, too, but I thought of him because has some really nice "wood" and "fabric" walls; keep clicking through to the next two pages of his wallpaper gallery to see more. He's also a member of this minimalist wallpaper group, which has a great Patterns + Textures gallery.

I think kano89's pretty connected to the desktop customization community, which tends to really love the type of wallpapers you're looking for, so you might go back to his profile and look at some of the things he's made his favorites, or some of the other groups he's part of, to find more with that aesthetic.
posted by limeonaire at 5:54 AM on June 28, 2010

Oh wow—and don't hesitate to follow links from the minimalist wallpaper group or its Patterns + Textures gallery. I just found this guy, who does some of the type of wallpapers you're looking for, by clicking on his username as the author of the Victorian fabric wallpaper set in that gallery.
posted by limeonaire at 5:56 AM on June 28, 2010

OK, and one last thing: Try searching for "fabric wallpaper" or "wood wallpaper" in the search box on deviantART. You'll immediately have a ton of leads.
posted by limeonaire at 5:58 AM on June 28, 2010

If you have a digital camera, it would probably be possible to take some of these pictures yourself. This would also give you the opportunity to hang out at luxury retailers and make small talk with artisans.
posted by box at 6:14 AM on June 28, 2010

Mandolux may have something in the archives. There are loads of high-res low impact wallpapers there.
posted by chazlarson at 6:34 AM on June 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks so much for all the replies.

1) Some of the locations were great, but I found the most wallpapers that fit my criteria at deviantart.

2) is good as well, not so much for the wallpapers I wanted, but for sheer diversity of high-quality images.

3) Used to love Mandolux but it has flagged in recent years.

4) Great idea to take my own photos. I'm eyeing my leather armchair now as I type.
posted by teedee2000 at 10:36 AM on June 29, 2010

Glad devART worked out! So you know, another place I like to go for textures and the like in all kinds of categories: stock.xchng. Most of the stock photos there are free for personal use; all of my desktop backgrounds have come from there for at least five years now.
posted by limeonaire at 11:57 AM on July 3, 2010

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