What Is Texture in Interior Design and Why Does It Matter?

Texture in interior design is the surface quality of materials that impacts the feel and look of a space. It’s essential for creating atmosphere and depth in any room, whether through the roughness of rustic wood grain or the smoothness of satin.

This article will delve into why texture is vital in interior design, influencing mood and room dynamics. We’ll reveal the types of textures designers employ, guide you in choosing textures, and explain how to layer them effectively. We will also highlight common textural mistakes to avoid.

Stay with us as we unearth the secrets to elevating your interior with texture, turning the ordinary into the extraordinary.

What Is Texture in Interior Design?

Texture in interior design is all about how surfaces feel and look. Imagine running your hand over a smooth leather sofa or stepping barefoot onto a shaggy rug—these sensations are texture at work. It’s not just about touch, though. Even visually, a room’s character can change with different textures. Glossy tiles reflect light differently from a matte-painted wall, for example.

Textures add depth and interest to a space. A velvet throw pillow here, a rustic wood coffee table there—each creates layers that make a room more engaging. It’s like a conversation between the elements in a room, where each texture has something to say. And when they all come together, they create a feeling of warmth, coziness, or even sleek modernity, depending on the mix.

So, texture in interior design is a key element in crafting spaces that are as delightful to touch as they are to look at.

Why Is Texture Important in Interior Design?

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Texture is a major player in interior design because it adds depth and character to a room. It’s the cozy knit of a throw blanket that invites you to curl up or the sleekness of a marble countertop that screams sophistication. Textures interact with light, too—glossy finishes can brighten a space, while matte ones can make it more intimate.

Getting the texture right means striking a balance. It’s about creating a space that feels just as good as it looks, giving your eyes and hands an equally appealing experience. So, in a nutshell, texture is what makes a place feel like home.

How Can Texture Affect the Mood of a Room?

Texture can really set a room’s emotional tone. Cozy textures like a soft rug or fuzzy throw blanket make a space welcoming, while sleek and shiny surfaces can create a more dynamic, modern feel. Rough textures, like raw wood, add a rustic vibe, whereas silky fabrics bring in a sense of luxury.

So, the textures you pick can either amp up the coziness, sophistication, or vitality of your room, directly influencing how the space feels and the mood it conveys.

What Are the Types of Textures Used in Interior Design?

In interior design, textures come in a smorgasbord of styles that can be broadly categorized into two types: tactile and visual. Tactile textures are all about the touchy-feely aspect—things like the grainy wood of a coffee table or the plush feel of a shag carpet under your feet. It’s about how things feel when you run your hands over them.

Visual textures, on the other hand, play tricks on your eyes. They’re the ones you perceive just by looking, like wallpaper that has a faux fur design or a paint technique that looks like suede. You might not physically touch these textures, but they still work their magic on the room’s vibe.

Let me give you a quick tour of some texture examples:

Soft Textures:

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Think velvets, chunky knits, or fluffy faux furs that whisper ‘comfort’ and create a sense of warmth

Rough Textures:

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Raw wood, burlap, or woven rattans add a natural, earthy feel to spaces.

Smooth Textures:

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Polished marble, laminated surfaces, or glass can evoke a clean, sleek modernity.

Glossy Textures:

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Shiny metals, high-gloss paints, or glazed ceramics that reflect light and add a touch of glam.

Each texture weaves its own story in a room’s tapestry, and a designer’s skill lies in mixing and matching textures to create a balanced, inviting space. It’s like a good dinner party; you want a mix of personalities that complement each other, and it’s the same with textures in a room.

How to Choose the Right Texture for Your Space?

When choosing the right texture for your space, consider how each texture will contribute to the atmosphere, function, and visual appeal of the room. Think about the mood you want to evoke, the practicality for daily use, and how different textures can complement each other to create a cohesive look.

Examples of Textures:

  • Chenille Upholstery for Cozy Comfort: Soft to the touch, chenille fabric on a living room sofa adds a layer of comfort that invites relaxation and creates a warm, inviting space for guests to settle into.
  • Slate Tile for Durability and Style: Ideal for entryways or mudrooms, slate tile flooring offers a naturally rough texture that is both slip-resistant and hard-wearing, handling high foot traffic while also adding an earthy, stylish element.
  • High-Gloss Finishes for a Sleek Edge: A dining room or kitchen with high-gloss cabinetry reflects light beautifully, giving the space a modern, luxe feel that’s smooth to the touch and easy to clean. It is as practical as it is attractive.
  • Woven Baskets for Organic Appeal: Adding woven baskets in a bathroom or living area brings an element of natural texture that is both visually interesting and functional for storage, infusing the room with a relaxed, laid-back vibe.
  • Faux Fur Throws for Luxurious Layering: Draped over an armchair or the end of a bed, a faux fur throw introduces a rich, tactile experience that adds opulence and depth, creating a focal point that elevates the room’s overall aesthetic.

What Are Some Common Mistakes When Using Texture?

When it comes to using texture in interior design, a few common missteps can throw off a room’s balance. One typical blunder is overloading a space with too many conflicting textures, which can make it feel chaotic rather than cohesive. It’s like wearing stripes, polka dots, and plaid all at once—it can be a bit much for the eyes.

Another mistake is playing it too safe by sticking to one texture throughout; this can leave a room feeling flat and uninspired. Imagine a living room where everything is sleek and leather—it might look more like a showroom than a lived-in space.

Also, ignoring the scale of textures in relation to the size of the room can be problematic. Large, bold textures can overwhelm a small room, while fine, subtle textures might get lost in a large, open area.

Lastly, consistency is key. While mixing textures is great, they should still connect with the overall theme or color scheme of your space. A random, out-of-place texture can feel jarring and interrupt the flow of the room.

How Can You Layer Textures Effectively?

Layering textures effectively in interior design involves combining different tactile and visual experiences to create richness and depth. Think of each texture as an ingredient that, when blended correctly, contributes to a sumptuous feast for the senses.

Examples of Layering Textures:

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  • Living Room Comfort: Start with a foundational suede sofa that offers smoothness, add a knitted wool throw for a touch of coziness, and complete the look with silky scatter cushions that provide a contrasting sheen.
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  • Elegant Bedroom: Layer a high-thread-count cotton duvet as the base, topped with a luxurious velvet quilt for opulence, and a faux fur rug by the bed to indulge your feet first thing in the morning.
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  • Rustic Kitchen: Combine the roughness of a reclaimed wood dining table with the sleekness of metal chairs, and soften the mix with cotton linen napkins for a tactile and visual feast.
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  • Chic Bathroom: Pair the cool gloss of marble tiles with fluffy cotton towels and a woven wicker laundry basket to balance the textures and create an inviting, spa-like atmosphere.
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  • Boho Patio: Start with a base of natural fiber rugs, layer on rattan furniture for structure, and add plush outdoor pillows and throws to create an inviting space for relaxation and entertainment.

Can Texture Play a Role in Space Perception?

Yes, texture can significantly affect how we perceive space. Smooth, light-reflecting textures can make a room feel larger, while darker, heavier textures often create a sense of coziness. Textured elements like horizontal or vertical lines can visually expand or heighten a space. 

So, by choosing your textures thoughtfully, you can actually “shape” the experience of your room without moving a single wall. Whether you’re fluffing up a small studio to feel like a grand living space or toning down a vast hall to feel more snug, texture is your ally.


Texture is the definitive element in interior design. It adds depth and character to living spaces, influences mood, enhances the perception of space, and provides a sensory experience that makes a house feel like a home. 

From the tactile comfort of plush textiles to the visual depth of rough finishes, texture plays a pivotal role in design. Remember to balance, contrast, and complement different textures to create a cohesive look that suits your style and space.

Are you ready to transform your home with texture? Dive in, experiment with different materials, and see how texture can revolutionize your interior design today!

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