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10 Ways to Add Interest to a Room With Texture

Linda is a seasoned writer and home-decorating authority. She loves sharing design trends, decor ideas, and useful tips with her readers.

How to Use Texture as an Element of Home Decor

Adding interest to a room is a fairly simple task. Color goes a long way to create interest, and so do unique artwork, patterned fabrics, and dramatic lighting. But what if you tend to shy away from color and anything that’s too trendy or bold?

Fortunately for you, there are sneaky and subtle ways to create plenty of interest by adding textural accents throughout your home.

1. Use Organic Accessories

Go natural by accessorizing with items like sculptural succulents, handmade artisan ceramics, woven baskets, raw geodes, and wooden spheres to create a tactile and organic look and feel. Bringing nature into your home has popular appeal. Organic elements give a room the feeling of calm, serenity, and a warm welcome.

Many retail stores offer a wide variety of natural accessories.

Many retail stores offer a wide variety of natural accessories.

2. Use Sculptural Wall Decor

The beauty of sculptural wall decor is in the eye of the beholder. Incorporate personalized touches that make a design statement in your home. Metal wall art, macramé wall hangings, and even antique advertising signs can work with a variety of decorating styles such as modern, bohemian, and country.

This textural wall art creates interest without having to add color.

This textural wall art creates interest without having to add color.

3. Don't Forget Pillows and Throws

Add comfort and interest by layering pillows and throws. Decorative pillows come in a myriad of weaves and naps to make your spaces come alive with touchable textures. Sumptuous throws help keep us warm in the winter but also look stunning draped over a chair or across the foot of the bed.

Decorative pillows and throws visually and literally warm up a room.

Decorative pillows and throws visually and literally warm up a room.

4. Consider Wood Grain

What has more texture than wood grain? Consider introducing a piece of reclaimed wood furniture or a shiplap wall into your home.

  • Salvaged lumber can be used for a fireplace mantel, flooring, and ceiling beams.
  • Wood grain tiles are an economical way to get the look of real wood flooring.
  • You can even fake the beauty of real wood by using a wood grain painting technique to transform virtually any surface into a warm and cozy space.
Wood grain can be applied to the walls, floors, ceiling and even fronting a kitchen island.

Wood grain can be applied to the walls, floors, ceiling and even fronting a kitchen island.

5. Focus on Architectural Details

  • A simple crown molding is an understated textural element that will take your room to the next level.
  • Give plain old white walls dimension and texture by adding wainscoting and picture molding at waist level or higher.
  • Beadboard on the ceiling or installed on the back panel of a bookcase is another way to add depth and dramatic character.
Picture molding can create wainscoting and wall frames to give a room depth and texture.

Picture molding can create wainscoting and wall frames to give a room depth and texture.

6. Employ Various Upholstery Techniques

Texture can be added not only with fabric, but with different upholstery techniques. Tufted upholstery creates built-in visual texture. If you’re not sure about the look, start by incorporating a small piece like a tufted ottoman. Purchase a pack of nailhead tacks and dress up an uninspired chair. Making a tufted headboard will give your bedroom an elegant look and feel. Pintucked comforters, pillows, and curtains transform flat weave fabric into something magnificent.

Tufted upholstery and nailhead trim add glam and sparkle.

Tufted upholstery and nailhead trim add glam and sparkle.

7. Use Tile and Masonry

Contrasts between smooth and irregular surfaces give a room a distinct personality. A wall of stacked stone, a glass tile shower, slate floor tiles or weathered brick veneer creates a tactile feel. Other masonry and tile surfaces can add slight tonal variations to make them appear visually textural.

A stacked stone fireplace has a rough feel to the touch.

A stacked stone fireplace has a rough feel to the touch.

8. Use Wall Coverings

When it comes to wall coverings you might be tempted to go for regular wallpaper which is generally a safe bet. However, textural wallpaper makes everything extra special and adds richness to any room. A new generation of flocked or reflective designs and more casual styles like grasscloth and cork are loaded with character to serve as an interesting departure from ordinary flat wallpaper.

Using woven grasscloth in a powder room creates a small but mighty textural design.

Using woven grasscloth in a powder room creates a small but mighty textural design.

9. Combine Textiles

Use a combination of textiles to give your room a curated feel. Velvet upholstery is not only beautiful to look at but has a decidedly sensuous feel. A natural fiber rug like jute mimics the color of a wood floor and makes it interesting and unexpected underfoot. Silk curtains add a sheen that cotton or synthetic panels just can’t match.

Velvet seating and a jute rug makes for contrasting textures.

Velvet seating and a jute rug makes for contrasting textures.

10. Follow Animal Instincts

Distressed leather adds warmth and dimension with its natural texture and uneven grain. Fluffy fur, mink, cowhide, cheetah or Mongolian lamb is the stuff of dreams when it comes to adding texture and interest to boring furniture. Although if you’re a true animal lover go strictly faux.

Animal skins, faux furs and prints bring in a nature-inspired patterns, texture and warmth.

Animal skins, faux furs and prints bring in a nature-inspired patterns, texture and warmth.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Linda Chechar

Start a Conversation!

Linda Chechar (author) from Arizona on February 07, 2019:

Liz, there are lots of little, inexpensive things to add texture to a room. It makes it relatively easy. Replacing dark to light wood will cost quite a bit but it does change visual texture. Light woods are extremely trendy. I still have quite a few dark furniture pieces but they're going to have to stay around for a while.

Liz Westwood from UK on February 07, 2019:

You give such a comprehensive list of ideas, that there is something to suit a wide range of people. Only today I jave been admiring changes friends are making in their lounge, by gradually replacing dark wood furnishings with lighter wooden furniture.