10 Simple Ways to Add Texture to Your Home

home décor: 10 tips to add texture

Tips and tricks to make your home more interesting to look at and inviting to touch.
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A crucial but often overlooked component of interior design is texture: you can have the most beautiful décor in the world, but if it strikes the same visual tone throughout, it can feel flat.

"When people think of adding texture, they automatically just assume fabrics," says Rosemarie diSalvo, an interior designer and partner at diSalvo Interiors of New York. "And fabrics are part of it. But texture is created in many other ways, like with lighting and color."

Here are 10 tips to enhance a room's texture and add depth, without having to completely redecorate or spend a lot of money.

Go tonal.

 Decorating a room in all the same tone is a wasted opportunity. "Tonal color variations add instant visual interest,” says diSalvo. Using only one shade of a color looks flat; choose two or preferably three and mix them between accessories, furniture and paint. Try a subtle two-tone effect on a wall, with the lighter shade on top and subtly darker shade below, perhaps even separated by a molding.

Glaze over paint.

 "Adding a glaze to paint on the wall adds automatic texture," says diSalvo. "It gives off a subtle glow when light hits it." A glaze also reflects the natural lighting in the room, creating a warmer effect. (See sidebar.)

Accent one wall.

 There's no need to spend money wallpapering an entire room when one textured wall is all it takes to peak visual interest. DiSalvo has splurged on suede for some clients' walls but suggests textured wallpaper as a more accessible counterpoint to painted walls.

Emphasize the ceiling.

 "The ceiling is an important fifth wall in a room that a lot of people forget," diSalvo says. "Paint it an interesting color, to give the room a textured feel." Try using complementary colors or shades, like a lighter gray ceiling with medium gray walls (a lighter shade on the ceiling can often make it feel higher), or go bold with a color that contrasts with the walls.

Get scent.

 Scent is an important part of a room's texture, but not if it's overpowering. A subtle option is Glade® Scented Oil Candles, which melt into a pool of scented oil wax to gently yet quickly fill the room with fragrance. One particularly relaxing scent is Lavender & Vanilla. Keep a separate Glade® Room Spray on hand, in a complementary fragrance (like French Vanilla) for a multi-tiered effect.

Don't repeat a texture.

 When it comes to fabrics, those four words are one of diSalvo's biggest mantras. For example, "If you have pillows on the sofa in the same color family," she says, "make sure they're not all the same fabric." Instead, look for a variety of textures—chenille, silk, linen, leather—to automatically add interest to the entire space.

Focus on what's underfoot.

 "A throw rug instantly defines a space," says diSalvo, noting that natural wood flooring is always beautiful, but looks far better with the layered, textured effect a throw rug lends. She suggests choosing a rug in a material that's as natural as the wood itself, like wool, which could provide insulation and cut utility costs.

Rethink your tabletop.

 Choose faceted crystal or nubby wood napkin rings instead of plain smooth ones. And try an organic or raw cotton tablecloth with inherent color variations, rather than the typical bleached-out white.


 One of the simplest ways to add texture to a bland room is to swap existing door and furniture knobs. Standard ones are usually dull, and most local home furnishings stores carry a variety of inexpensive knobs, from textured wood to colorful ceramic and brushed stainless steel. If you can splurge a bit, go for faceted glass or crystal.

Layer lighting.

 "Come up with a lighting plan that takes into account how a room will look throughout the day." DiSalvo suggests having overhead lighting, task lighting (for reading and working) and soft tabletop lighting for evening—and adjusting your scheme accordingly to how and when natural light comes into the room. Dimmer switches are another solution: they're inexpensive and a great way to have unlimited lighting options.
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2/11/2012 , 
Beth Ann  D.
I am the new wife in my husband's child hood home and wanted to make it my own, I found some of these tips very helpful in making my marital home more fresh and my tastes. Old wife's looks out and mine in with some great ideas. I do agree with seeing something on area rugs in the future.
1/19/2011 , 
Lashon  H.
This idea was very helpful. Especially for modular homes which tend to become dull after some years. Thanks and looking forward to learning more.
1/13/2011 , 
Karen  V.
Love the tips. Would love tips on inexpensive rug options!
1/12/2011 , 
Loretta  T.
We have looked at an older home to purchase, and these ideas will certainly help as we are going to do the renovations ourselves, especially the cosmetic ones. I love the suggestions with color for ceiling and accent wall. Thank You so much for your money-saving and useful ideas.
1/11/2011 , 
gail  s.
Thank you for all the information and great ideas to help make my life a little easier. I really liked the idea of not doubling texture, but it is ok to use saame family coloration...Thanks
Showing 1 - 5 of 21 comments:
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More about Paint Glaze

Glaze is a liquid easily applied over a paint to add sheen, much like glaze on a donut. It's most often clear (but available also in tints) and generally inexpensive.

Glaze is widely available in paint and home-improvement stores, which may also carry easy how-to books or videos that can help your technique.