How to use texture in interior design - 5 expert tips to help you elevate your room scheme

1. Layer contrasting materials

Using texture in interior design helps to stop a room feeling flat and one dimensional. ‘Ensure you have a contrast of textures in a room, so think about matt and sheen finishes, rough and smooth materials or tight weave and loose weave fabrics,’ explains Andrew Griffiths, founder of A New Day  interior design studio.

2. Play with light

Materials and surfaces aren't the only way to create texture. Light, and how it’s used in a space, is a key factor. ‘Consider the softening glow in a room brought about by simply covering a bare light-bulb with a rice paper shade,’ explains Jess Binns, founder of design studio Hector & Bailey.

3. Add accessories

The easiest way to add texture to an existing scheme is with accessories. They help too soften a space that feels cool and formal. ‘Too many hard surfaces will inevitably look cold and uninviting, but bringing in softer materials with rugs, throws, cushions and other soft furnishings will help make your space look and feel more cohesive,’ says Anne Haimes, Design Director at Anne Haimes Interiors.

4. Focus on furniture

Introducing larger textured pieces of furniture is a great way to add interest and create focal points in a space when the scheme is neutral. ‘It will ensure your room is the opposite of bland,’ says Jackie Hoyte, a Decorbuddi Designer based in Bath. She advises to ‘think beyond just fluffy cushions and a rug, and bring in highly tactile materials on bigger pieces such as rattan wardrobe doors, a boucle headboard, cement sink or reclaimed wood dining table,’ to add texture and visual interest.

5. Take another look at panelling

Adding wall panelling or cladding to a whole wall or just a section is a great way to add texture to a room that lacks both visual and textural interest, and the options are so much more varied than the traditional tongue and groove or Georgian styles you may be used to seeing. Choice range from flexible ribbed and waved veneers to contemporary 3D slatted designs in oak, walnut and ebony finishes that catch the light beautifully.

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