Texture in Interior Design: What You Need to Know

Sep 23, 2021

Interior Design

Farmhouse Style Bedroom

Most of us haven’t studied interior design formally, but that doesn’t mean we can’t create beautiful, stylish spaces in our homes. In today’s blog, the furniture experts at Star Furniture discuss how to utilize texture in interior design. 

What is Texture in Interior Design?

“Texture” in interior design refers to the way an object looks and feels. A boucle sofa, for example, has a different texture than a metal bench. While the boucle feels softs to the touch and features a curly, knotted appearance, metal is hard and features a smooth, shiny appearance. While texture often refers to both the visual and the tactile, a sofa with a floral pattern, for example, might have more visual texture than tactile texture. In interior design, texture can be used to add depth, create balance, and add visual weight to your space.

What is Visual Weight?

Visual weight refers to how effectively an element attracts the eye. Visual weight comes from a wide range of factors, including size, shape, color, texture, and orientation. A large red sofa in the middle of a room, for example, would have more visual weight than a small, neutral-colored sofa in the corner of the living room. That said, visual weight is relative, so a red sofa in the midst of a room full of neutral colors would have more visual weight than one in a room with red walls or other red furniture.

Using Texture in Interior Design: The Basics

Whether you realize it or not, texture is impacting your interior design. Here’s how you can thoughtfully use texture to your advantage when decorating your home.

Find Contrasting Fabrics

Interior design is all about balance. That’s why using contrasting fabrics can be so powerful. In your living room, for example, you likely have an upholstered sofa with throw pillows. In most cases, the throw pillows are either a different material, a different color, or a different pattern than the sofa itself. In fact, many sofas have pillows of varying shapes as well. This helps create balance and visual interest. This principle extends out even further for people who purchase living room sets. Most of the time, any chairs that come with the sofa will have a different material or pattern. When using texture in interior design, try to utilize contrasting fabrics. While this includes your sofa and armchairs, it extends even further to your curtains, rugs, blankets, and lampshades.

Layer Different Textures

While using contrasting fabrics is one great way to add texture to your interior design, texture isn’t just about textiles. Texture can come from all sorts of different materials and finishes. To start, think about the difference between a marble top coffee table and a rustic oak coffee table. While one is cold and smooth, the other is warm and rough. But texture can be even more subtle. A glossy finish paint, for example, will have a different texture than a matte finish, and wood furniture painted a solid color has a different texture than wood furniture that’s stained. While contrasts are visually interesting, the goal isn’t to fit in as many textures as possible. When layering different textures, you’ll want to consider how they work together. The ultimate goal is to get a nice array of textures to help create balance in the room.

Pepper in Some Patterns

While material plays a big role in tactile texture, there are other ways to create visual texture in your home. Choosing items with fun patterns, for example, can create texture in the room, even without varying materials. One inexpensive place to start is your throw pillows. By including stripes, polka dots, florals, and other patterns, you can add texture to your design. You can also choose patterned accent chairs, rugs, curtains, and wallpaper to include in your design. If you’re decorating a bedroom, for example, a patterned duvet can go a long way toward the look and feel of the room. Regardless of what you choose, you’ll want to be careful not to create discord in your home. Mixing patterns can be tricky, so try to use simple colors, blend simple and complex patterns, and stick to a few patterns.

Get Creative with Décor

While your large furniture items can help create texture in your design, home décor pieces can also make a surprisingly large impact. When it comes to wall art, there are plenty of ways to create texture using only the artwork you hang on your wall. From brushstrokes to colors to the imagery itself, wall art can play a huge role in the texture of the room. Even the frame can add texture to the room. Then you have lamps, vases, sculpture, mirrors, and plants, all of which can contribute to the depth, balance, and visual weight of the room. Be sure to pay attention to how your home décor plays into your design. If, for example, you don’t have a lot of textural difference among your furniture pieces, you can sprinkle it in with your home décor. Three different plants, for example, can have completely different textures, based on their height, leaf shape, color, and the design of the planter, hanging basket, or terrarium. Ready to start utilizing texture in your interior design? Visit a Star Furniture store near you to browse our huge selection of furniture for every room in the house. In the meantime, check out our home inspiration blog where we cover everything from 12 simple ways to refresh your home to how to coordinate furniture.