Don’t know where to start when choosing interiors for your home? Read on to find out how to tell your unique story with textiles and textures. 

While browsing the internet or skimming through magazines, I see some knockout interiors (like the one above). The furniture is perfectly placed, lighting is on point, and accessories are totally flattering. Everything looks well put together and it seems nearly impossible to replicate. Nevertheless, there’s one thing I’ve noticed - each and every space tells a story.

When deciding how to style your interior ask yourself, “What kind of story do I want to tell?”

To set the tone, you’ll need to start with the basics. You can think of furniture and decor as the characters in your story. Before you think about the starring roles, you might want to start with something a little more abstract. My favorite: begin with textiles and textures; you can think of these as the setting for your interior’s narrative.

Textiles and Textures Light Pink Tufted Bar with Stools Book Shelves Full of Books and Large Bay Window

Via the Tao of Dana

  • Textile - any fabric or cloth, especially woven
  • Texture - the surface of a material, especially as perceived by the sense of touch

By starting with textiles and textures, you are defining how your space will look, and most importantly, feel. At first, it may seem daunting, but once you find fabrics, materials, prints, and patterns that suit your fancy; it’ll become much easier to establish your own unique decorative style.

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Textiles and Textures Rustic Interior Design Sitting Area with Rough Textures

Via Nordic Design


When decorating with textiles, it’s important to know what you want to express and which fabric will deliver that particular message. Solids and patterns can be used together and to varying degrees.

  • Fiber - Textiles are available in a multitude of natural and synthetic fibers. They all have different characteristics, so it’s essential to figure out which materials will suit your needs.
  • Solids - Solids serve as a blank canvas from which it is easy to build upon. It’s a safe move to start out with a solid in one of your favorite colors, so graphic pieces can be added accordingly.
    • Color - Color choice is a very influential component. The sky’s the limit when it comes to options, so don’t be afraid to play with different shades.
    Textiles and Textures Color Blocked Room in Green with Patterned Carpet Modern Coffee Table and Accents

    Via DesignShuffle

  • Patterns & Prints - All patterns have a repetitive decorative motif, and usually act as artistic embellishments. They can stand alone or be used as accessory elements. Like patterns, prints are generally used as complementary pieces or in some cases as focal points. They usually depict text or images, and are not uniform in design.
    • Scale - The scale of a pattern or print refers to the size of the design components. Small scale textile design patterns and prints occupy less visual space than larger designs.
    • Density - The density of a pattern or print is related to the amount of negative space - the space between design components. When a design looks “busy” that usually means it’s dense or compact.
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Textiles and Textures Entryway Interior Design with Patterned Stairway in Black and White Chevron with Yellow and Gray Chair and Black Rug

Via decoist


Not only is texture responsible for how something feels, but it also plays a part in appearances.

  • Material - Material is a key factor in texture. Natural and man-made surfaces look and feel different, which is what makes textured material a fun design element in home decor.
  • Tactile & Visual - Tactile refers to how a surface actually feels. Of course, visual texture refers to the perceived quality of a surface.
    • Smooth - Smooth textures have an even surface, and tend to appear fresh and new. They have little depth or dimension so they reflect light easily.
    • Irregular - Rough textures have an abrasive surface that reflects less light. They can have an aged appearance or a more rustic, natural look. These surfaces are also known as distressed surfaces.

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Textiles and Textures Faux Fur Sheepskin Rug and Neutral Wingback Armchair with Dresser Topped with Candles and Books


This may seem like a lot of information, but you’ll find that your personal style naturally gravitates towards certain patterns and textures. Once you identify what elements you prefer, it will become a lot easier to make decisions. You could choose to add textured fabric to your home decor. You could also incorporate cloth design into your space, working more with the designs of the fabrics rather than the textures. Color blocking is a fun way to add a bunch of bold colors to your home, and you could even toss in some textured fabrics with your choice of pillows, blankets, and even rugs to mix both textile and texture. The possibilities are endless, and you can use these ideas in any room in your home, from the living room to the bedroom!

Hopefully this post helped to inspire your story. If so, please spread the word! Also, tell us your own design stories by leaving a comment below!

For more information on how to play with textures and patterns, take a look at this post by Chris Scheitinger. The featured image is via HGTV.