19 Feb 2016

Texture is the secret element that every interior decorator knows will have your home looking its best. It’s what makes a room alive and cozy rather than flat and boring. Texture gives the interior of your home the spark it needs to become an inviting, complete space. Every space needs something to catch the eye. It can be a colourful wall, a heavily patterned lounge, or a shiny centrepiece.

But even if you combine all these elements in one room, without texture you’d be lacking the desire to touch, experience, and feel these elements: a sense of completeness. It’s in the see-through curtains that sway with the soft wind and disperse the sun in different shapes and shades, in the velvet cushion that’s sitting on the lounge, or in the raw, confident brick wall on the back of the bed. It’s these details, these textures, that make you feel part of your home.

There are many ways you can introduce texture to make each room more beautiful than before. Here, we’ll highlight 10 of them.

1. Textiles

Textiles can make a big difference design-wise. We’re not saying choose every single fabric to be patterned or bright yellow, but definitely have a healthy mix. Velvet is a great choice for adding texture, and it looks better on lounges or in cushions. It is elegant, and can make any room look like a million bucks. Go for a dark colour with velvet as they are lower maintenance.

For curtains, lace and linen look amazing. Linen lets the sunlight in beautifully, without the heavy rays damaging your furniture. However, if your room’s windows are facing a location where they receive constant sun in the afternoon or if you really want to keep the sun away, consider attaching a black-out curtain behind it, as it can be quite see-through.

Linen also gets dirty easily, and washing can be difficult. Even with cold water, it almost always shrinks, so make sure you leave a bigger hem in case the curtains look too short when installed after a wash. It can also be used to add texture to your bedding.

Faux fur doesn’t always mean a rug. If you have quite a minimalistic arrangement going on, consider placing it on the corner of the lounge, or as a bed scarf at the end of the bed. It’ll make those comfy furnitures feel warmer.

2. Rugs

Rugs will add texture to any space, and will make a home feel more cozy anytime. In some minimalistic apartments, a woven or fluffy rug can even compensate for a lounge; all you need is a beanbag or big cushion for support and you threw yourself and relax on the floor no problems.

Rugs are a must if you have tiles or floorboards, but they can also be used on top of carpet to add that extra something.

Patchwork and persian rugs look amazing beneath a centre table in the living room, while woven rugs are the better option for the lounge room or ‘chill zone’, as the pattern is not as important as the warm feel.

3. Plants

Plants are the best way to get a natural texture in your home. Having some indoor plants can really add livelihood to your house. Homes that have indoor gardens or courtyards are good example of this, usually located at the entrance of the house, in the kitchen or near the stairs. These gardens are filled with sunlight, and that combination of leaves, trees, and grass gives you the most alive texture you’ll ever be able to get.

You don’t need to build an indoor garden to achieve this, of course. Just make sure you add some plants here and there. The bathroom is one of our favourite rooms to place plants on: below the sink (if you have no cupboard), you could install a shelf and place an ivy there, or alternatively you could place it on top of the sink. If you have the space, consider a small tree and place it on a corner. Some plants are better for the bathroom than others, as some prefer the steam.

For the rest of the house, focus on the common areas like the living/lounge room. If you have a study room or simply a desk where you focus and work, make a spot for a plant. Not only do they purify the air (you can even find special kinds which are known for this), but it’ll give your brain a delightful break to compensate for the lack of nature around you.

If you’re not that great with living things and always forget to feed and water them, cactuses are your friends. They are not a pity prize though, cactuses have amazing shapes and unique and interesting textures.

Can’t keep up with watering at all or are away from home a lot? Try fake flowers and leaves. Long stem ones, so you can create big arrangements: those that make a statement look best. Going fake can be a bit tricky, because you obviously want to get something that looks as real as possible and that can be hard to find, and you do not want to go crazy mixing the whole flower colour palette in one vase.

Alternatively, if you have access to tree branches, next time they are due for a trim, grab some of the excess branches and use them to decorate your home. Dry and all, they’ll still look fantastic. Magnolia trees are perfect for this, as some varieties have a big, dark-green glossy leaf, and the shape of the branches look like a mini tree on their own.

4. Accessories

Sometimes the tiniest change in accessories can help to define to the style of your home. The trick is to always break patterns. If you have more of a classic decoration style throughout your home, consider purchasing a modern ceramic table lamp. If you have more of a rustic thing, maybe placing an iron sculpture can make a difference. Just mix it up, otherwise it looks flat.

Glass is great to add that feeling of simplicity and space, and you can add it in many sneaky ways. Try replacing your white dishes with glass ones. If you’re feeling adventurous, replace them with square glass dishes. Less practical, yes, but absolutely modern and texture appealing.

Add interestingly-shaped lamps, or simply change the lamps’ shade to a more interesting shape. In addition to the shape, the material is also important. Some ceramic lamps have a  great texture, you can even find basket-like lamps that you would definitely want to touch.

You can even add natural accessories you can make yourself. Dry pomegranates, whole pumpkins, and halves of lemons look great all put together in a display bowl mixed with other dry seeds.

5. Furniture

Furniture plays a big role in giving texture to your home. We’d even be inclined to say wood is probably the essential element in furniture texture. Imagine a carved, thick centrepiece table; you cannot go wrong with that.

Different types of wood, with different patterns, colours, and thickness will do the trick. You can even place a certain type of wood accessory on top of another type of wood table. If you’re good on the tools or know somebody who is, you can even use aluminium cans rolled flat, cut cute little corner pieces, and embed them onto the four corners of the table.

Have old wooden furniture that you’d want to modern up a bit? Buy some coarse sandpaper and start scratching. Let the original wood show. If the furniture was painted, even better. Leave traces of the old paint mixed in with the wood.

It doesn’t all have to be wood, though. Metallic and glass surfaces look great too. As they can be a little bit colder though, remember to always maximise their texture with accessories, textiles, or plants, and consider mixing minimalistic furniture with antiques as it always looks amazing.

6. Windows

You don’t always need use curtains to add texture to your windows – although they are a great idea – but you can also paint the window frame a different shade from the rest of the house, if you’re feeling bold, whether it be on the inside or outside of your house.

In addition, installing glass sheets or textured glass to say, your bathroom window, can definitely lift an otherwise rather flat room. If you’re tired of the bath curtains, you could consider something similar as a replacement for this.

7. Floors

Wooden floors and floorboards are often used to add an extra dimension to your home and have the benefit of being easier to clean and less prone to harvesting allergy inducing dust. If your floors are carpeted however, adding a rug on top will add some texture, and can be all you need to liven up the flooring of any given space.

8. Walls

Go beyond colour accented walls to really add texture to your home (although if you have off-white or creamy-ish walls, a chocolate accent wall would look a million bucks). How about a brick accent wall? Not the smooth-face fake looking kind, go more raw with the cobble or sand-blast types. This will definitely add texture while making a rustic statement to any room, especially to the main bedroom.

Alternatively, some older houses have patterns on the wall that give plenty of texture. How about adding some molding to your walls as a weekend project? Or maybe install some woodgrain, wainscoting, experiment with a wallpaper accent wall, or tiling. You don’t even have to tile a big surface- even if you add single patterned designed tiles on the kitchen wall it can look amazing. With wainscoting, a more dimensional feel takes over plain, white walls.

9. Books

A wall of books or a tall bookshelf will, surprisingly, add texture to your home interiors, especially if you mix them around, placing tall books with short ones, thick books with thin ones, novels with encyclopaedias.

Got too many books? Create a table with them! A stack of (perfectly placed together) magazines could easy be the base of a bedside table, and if you got a thousand volumes of the same enciclopedia, separate them into four, same-height stacks and throw a trick glass surface on top. You’ve now got yourself a centre table. You can also do this with different books – it certainly looks cooler, but it can be tricky to make all four stacks exactly the same height.

10. Mirrors and paintings

Mirrors make any room look bigger, and they are a go to strategy when opening up a closed space. They can also add light and texture by reflecting what’s in front of them, the wall, accessories, etc.

If you want to add texture via paintings, oil paintings that utilise a spatula rather than a brush are a great choice. This technique naturally has a dimensional and textured feel and can compliment your existing design choices. Enquire about these techniques the next time you go art hunting – you might find something that you fall in love with.

Yes, paintings can be placed in any room: including bathrooms and kitchens. While there is a chance that some paintings can be damaged by steam, posters in a frame with a glass cover might last longer. If you want to go all the way and are an art lover, try to get your hands on some Impressionist painters posters such as Monet or Renoir – nothing more textured than their pieces. If you’re looking for something less romantic, Art Nouveau posters are the go.