Texture design - how to create a beautiful home using this new decor idea

Ever wondered what texture design actually means? We show you how you can easily add texture to your room decor, from wall textures to tactile fabrics.

industrial boho style loft lounge living room with navy walls, blue sofa with textured cushions and accessories - dunelm
(Image credit: Dunelm)

Texture is a bit of a buzzword in interiors at present…  without texture design, a scheme can fall seriously short of the mark.

Simply put, texture is an object's physical feel or look, and is a key part of modern interior design. Everything from a boucle throw or a fringed cushion to textured furniture or a marble backsplash count as texture. 

Experts at Amara say, 'Interior designers are trained to always look at the room as a whole and one area they give as much attention to as possible is texture. Using texture in interior design will bring the decor of a room together and is a powerful finishing tool when redecorating.'

'Although often forgotten about by non-designers, texture can be an incredibly simple way to turn your interior from missing something to must-see and it should be on your mind when shopping for furniture and accessories.'

And a room's overall textural feel includes the look and feel of tactile objects, but it also focuses on how we see things, like how an area of a room is able to draw attention to itself.

Colour is often the first thing we turn to when our home is feeling a little lacklustre, yet texture is an equally - if not more - effective tool for zhuzhing up a space.

So let us take you through all the ways you can add texture to your room decor.

Texture design – 5 key approaches 

1. Layer different textures

industrial boho style loft lounge living room - dunelm

(Image credit: Dunelm)

Layering tactile materials is key to producing a scheme that’s full of depth and interest. 

As a start point, try blending multiple textures so you’re not solely relying on fabrics or furniture with a tasselled rug, a bookcase full of books, sculptural wood or even a collection of striking pieces of (affordable) artwork.

This hotel acts as a great lesson in mixing materials for executing a textured design.

2. Mix contrasting fabrics

blue living room with art work, white lamp and different fabrics, textures and patterns - Katherine Howard

(Image credit: Katherine Howard)

If your room’s decor is made up of similar shades, break up the colour palette by changing up the textures or patterns of any fabric in the room. 

And if your room’s scheme is made up of a number of different shades, use contrasting fabrics to shake things up a bit.

Look beyond the fabric on your sofa and armchair and try not to overlook fabrics on cushions, curtains and lampshades. 

As seasons change you can swap out these fabrics pretty easily, switching winter’s velvets and corduroy to linens and cotton for the summer.

3. Add texture to your walls

wall paneling with orange strip in a living room with zebra print carpet and retro accessories in a Hollywood Regency style

(Image credit: Michael Sinclair)

You can add a touch of luxury to your walls using tiling, wood panelling or a textured wallcovering – or even paints and wallpapers with perceived textural effects – which will instantly liven up a room that's falling flat without taking up surface space. 

4. Play with textured home accessories

colorful living room with yellow sofa, wall paint effects mural, bookshelf with colorful home accessories - Habitat

(Image credit: Habitat)

If a textured wall gives you the fear, why not display objects in your home? Creating an arrangement of vases, ornaments, sculptures, mirrors and accessories with various textures will make an equally strong statement.

But try not to overdo it... Welcoming a collection of textured objects that harmonise with each other is enough to inject variation and intrigue in a room.

5. Decorate with plants and flowers

Living room with house plants

(Image credit: Future)

Finally, experimenting with greenery will add texture to a scheme. 

Choose plants and flowers that link to other textures in the space, such as the glossy leaves of rubber plant linking to the sheen of polished wood furniture, the velvety leaves of eucalyptus to go with a plush sofa or soft pampas grass highlighting rattan home accessories.

Jenny McFarlane

I'm Jenny McFarlane and I'm Senior Digital Editor working across five amazing interiors titles, including Livingetc, Homes and Gardens, Ideal Home, Gardeningetc and Real Homes. I also work on the brands' homes video show, on the Future Homes Network, which is packed full of ideas to help you make the most of your home and garden.

After studying for a textiles degree at university, I lived and worked in the arts in Washington DC. On returning to the UK I kickstarted my career on women's and lifestyle titles such as InStyle, Red, Handbag.com, SUITCASE and LUXE City Guides. Fast forward 5 years on and I was heading up the content strategy and digital presence on interiors brands Good Homes, Grand Designs and ICON.

When it comes to my home's style, I relish finding unique pieces and collecting wall art. I love finding bits that remind me of home (Ireland), places I've visited and things that inspire me or make me feel happy, interspersing them with photos of my favourite humans and postcards from here, there and everywhere.