5 Ways to Incorporate Texture into Your Home, According to Interior Designers

Add texture to your space in a way that's perfectly on-trend and utterly timeless.

Texture has always claimed a role in interior design, but today's choices are bolder and more statement-making than ever before. "Everything has a texture. For the purposes of interior design, mixing textures is creating a balance of negative and positive space," says Mary Patton of Mary Patton Design in Houston, Texas. But using this interior design staple in a way that elevates a space (rather than making it feel chaotic or disjointed) can be a challenge.

Lance Thomas, principal at Louisiana-based Thomas Guy Interiors, suggests looking at texture in a more physical way. "Texture in interior design is about creating moments that invite touch both in person within the space and through photographs," he says. Here, Thomas and Patton share their top tips for adding texture to your space in a way that's perfectly on-trend and utterly timeless.

pink velvet bedroom gray landscape dramatic wallpaper
Nathan Schroder

How to Use Texture in Decor

When there's a lack of texture, you might find that a room appears one-dimensional or lacking—though you can't quite put your finger on it. "Texture adds warmth and a tactile connection to objects in your home," says Patton. Without it, you'll find yourself surrounded by a flat, ho-hum room, which is why it's a design trick worth getting on board with, even if you're not a pro.

The guidelines for adding texture are fairly simple, as outlined below, but there is one hard-and-fast rule Thomas urges home decorators to follow."Make sure it makes sense with the design concept," he says. "If you are trying to create a contemporary space, choose textural pieces that work in modern design." Check that your elements play nice together and you'll go far in your efforts to create a more multidimensional look.

kohlhepp house living room picture window
Erin Kunkel

1. Layer Pillows

Chances are, layering pillows is something you've been doing for, well, forever, but never realized was a true-blue design concept. "Layering pillows made from different textiles is an effortless way [to add texture]," says Patton. There are so many options to choose from—from vegan-leather lumbar pillows to boucle floor pillows and poufs—that it's fairly easy to create a well-thought-out compilation of pillows of various looks and feels. In turn, you'll design a more well-rounded space relatively quickly and with perhaps less financial investment than reupholstering a chair or splurging for that velvet settee you've dreamed about forever—though you definitely shouldn't give up on that stretch goal.

living room leather chairs painted blue fireplace
Courtesy of Molly Culver

2. Mix Materials

According to Thomas, something as small as a metallic lamp can help elevate a space with texture. At the end of the day, it's all about mixing things up—no matter how minuscule the addition might seem. One of Patton's favorite ways to add texture also plays double duty in bringing a big dose of personality and warmth. "Picture frames come in many variations in terms of materials," says Patton. "I love mixing sleek brass ones with wood options." Arrange them together or scatter them throughout the space to strike the right balance.

vase with leaves on sideboard against wooden decor on wall
Paul Costello

3. Collect Baskets

Remember your collection of baskets that you gave the heave-ho to sometime around 2005? Turns out, you might have been better off sticking with them. "I love baskets!" says Patton, who suggests sourcing handwoven baskets online or even Amazon for inexpensive options. Vintage wares and budget-friendly baskets can be made worthy of a prominent display if hung on the wall to create an art installation of sorts, says Patton. And just like that, you can add an unexpected textural element to walls without calling on even one square foot of shiplap.

backless setee toile wallpaper lime green ottomans artwork
Courtesy of Jen Burner

4. Consider Rugs

What's underfoot is important not only for defining spaces and creating a comfortable environment but also for elevating decor. If your space looks unfinished and you have bare wood floors or tile as your base, try adding a rug for a potentially transformative take. According to Thomas, it can add life to a room in a way that's not as overwhelming as selecting a larger-scale or more attention-grabbing piece.

coral tufted sofas symmetrical traditional living room
Courtesy of Jen Burner

5. Go Big

If you're the type who isn't intimidated by switching up your decor with a risky approach, Thomas suggests using texture in a statement-worthy way. Here, he used two accent chairs to bring a pop of unexpected color and personality to the space. Elements as small as an ottoman, side table, or even floor poufs are all options for adding a dose of texture and interest should a full-size chair or other large-scale piece be too overwhelming.

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