When it comes to interior decorating, your mind probably immediately goes to colour palettes, furniture styles and the decor you love best. But as any pro interior designer will tell you, to truly elevate a space, we need to incorporate plenty of texture. One great place to start is your living room, where the possibilities of incorporating texture are endless and the results are transformative (think textiles, wallpaper, wood grain, etc.) From sisal to grasscloth, here are 10 design textures that we love to see – and feel – in living rooms.
Jute & Sisal
Jute and sisal rugs are made from natural, eco-friendly fibres. This material instantly adds amazing texture, warmth and visual interest to any space and is suitable for a wide range of styles. Obviously, jute and sisal are very often seen in Bohemian spaces. But they’re also neutral enough to bring coziness and colour to minimalist living rooms without being too distracting.
Here’s a real easy way to add plenty of cozy texture with just one item: A chunky knit blanket. Drape one of these comfy beauties over the arm or back of your sofa and reach for it when you want to snuggle up. A beautiful throw is also an effortless way to change up the accent colours in a room on a whim, so a chunky blanket will do double duty.
Leather is a staple for a reason: Its timeless beauty and versatility makes it an inoffensive addition to practically any style of room or colour palette. But leather can be pretty pricey, so you’ll be happy to know that this gorgeous textiles isn’t just for sofas and chairs. Try smaller accent pieces like ottomans, poufs, coffee tables and coffee table trays to add just a touch of leather.
Sometimes you don’t have to look beyond your living room walls for textural inspiration. If you have an exposed brick wall, use it as an accent in your space! Cool as heck but warm in colour, an exposed brick accent wall never goes out of style and will always make a statement. Plus it’s a great base for decorative touches like mirrors or framed art.
You’ve Seen it Everywhere: Bouclé
Design is cyclical and everything old is new again, including bouclé in the living room. Reminiscent of a fluffy slightly-shorn sheep, bouclé was first used in the late 1940s. The term describes a fabric made from a series of looped fibres like wool, cotton or even linen. Not in the mood for a huge furniture splurge? Have no fear! You can also use bouclé fabric for window treatments, accent pillows or to re-upholster sofas and chairs you already own.
Wicker & Cane
While a popular choice for outdoor living rooms, wicker and cane also look gorgeous indoors. While both wicker and cane are made from the same Southeast Asian plant called rattan, the rule of thumb is that wicker refers to the thicker material used to make whole pieces of furniture while cane is a thinner webbing often used as a chair-back or the screen on a cabinet door.
But don’t think you need to splurge on big pieces of rattan furniture and totally change the aesthetic of your living room. Wicker baskets are cute and highly functional. If you have a green thumb, place your greenery in a wicker planter. You can even adorn your walls with wicker decor. Or, if you’re really crafty, try your hand at this DIY IKEA TV stand upcycle with cane drawers!
Wood: Both Refined & Unrefined
You’ve probably already got plenty of this timeless building material in your house, and it never hurts to have more. Wood furnishings, whether carved or left as close to its natural state as possible, are a stunning way to add natural texture to any living room. Bring the outside in and consider live edge pieces for coffee tables, side tables and shelves. If you prefer something sleeker, wood is still the material of choice for furniture made with expert craftsmanship (like the custom-to-order creations from young Black Canadian female woodworker Daej Hamilton of Daej Designs).
For subtle, delicate texture, consider lightweight linens for your living room. Keep an eye out for sales because this material can be an affordable luxury. Linen is timeless for a good reason: Available in an endless array of colours and patterns, this textile can be used for throw pillows, coffee table runners, or curtains.
There are so many ways to incorporate embroidered fabrics in your living room. If you’re looking for something bold, try a statement chair upholstered in colourful embroidered textiles. For an easier introduction to incorporating embroidery, try smaller touches: Cushions, curtains, throw blankets, and even wall-hangings like tapestries.
We saved one of our favourites for last. If you’re not afraid to make a big change and a bold statement that you just can’t achieve with a little rug or accessories, use grasscloth wallpaper. This textural beauty can be used on just one wall as an accent, or multiple walls for an all-over cozy feel. Thanks to its texture, grasscloth of any colour imbues a room with warmth and visual interest.