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Tangible decor: How to decorate your home with textures

Skillful use of textures can jazz up or pare down your living areas and the tactile feel of different surfaces can really bring warmth and va-va-voom to your home. Create effective layers of interest with complex fabrics and carved or sculpted finishes to replicate this season’s glam new decor.

Texture adds a cosy element to smooth and shiny surfaces, like polished slate and glass. It also makes a good contrast to the clean metallic lines which are very on-trend for 2013. By introducing textural items in your home, like sculpted wallpapers and complex fabrics, you add warmth and visual impact.

Pattern or texture?

Make a decision: pattern or texture? If you jumble together texture with checks, spots and stripes, it’s too much for the eye to take in and your living spaces end up looking cluttered and messy. It’s all about creative balance. If you have a lovely cushion with textural interest, perhaps with a complicated weave or embroidered surfaces, then be light on pattern. This metallic, textured cushionfrom Asda is just £7 and comes in gold and sliver. For a bolder, more statement piece , this floral textured cushion from The Flower Shop Greenwich is a beautiful investment for £75 plus postage.

Textural paint finishes

Leaving natural layers of old paint on kitchen tables and chairs provides textural depth. Source second-hand furniture from antique shops or you can create your own “distressed” paint finishes on your chosen pieces. If you don’t have the time (or the inclination) this distressed hand-painted chest from is a fine example of the look, or the A Little Distressed online store has many similar items of furniture.

Incorporate more decor trends into your home. Try adding natural elements >>

Texture on walls

Wall tiles can be sculpted, carved and embellished to add texture to any space. Tiles give you the freedom to use as much or as little texture as you want and you can even mix textured tiles with plain tiles. If you are willing to be a bit more bold with your choice, a textured wallpaper will make a major statement. Wallpaper can be flocked, incorporate wood chip, or be decoratively moulded. Wallpaper is a major commitment and isn’t for everyone. If you aren’t quite ready to commit to the look and texture that wallpaper provides, consider stencilling. Stencilling also produces textural interest but it can be easily painted over if you decide it isn’t for you. Try stencilling natural forms like feathers around a mantelpiece or above a bed or consider more graphic patterns to give your room a modern feel.

Carved detail in wood and metal

For furniture with a real “wow” factor, the “La Rochelle” range from Homes Direct 365 has a French rococo “antique” look in carved mahogany that will introduce glamour as well as texture to your bedroom. Carving can be effective on mantlepieces and frames, like this pretty wooden picture frame from The Holding Company or this antique hand-carved frame by Paper High at Not on the High Street. Grouping together different shapes and sizes of mirrors on a wall also produces texture, as well as interesting changes in light.

Natural textures and forms

The depth of pattern in smooth marble finishes or the creative positioning of pebbles, plants and crystals can all lend textural interest to a room. By mixing rough finishes with smooth, hard with soft,  you build up layers of interest.

Decorating tip

If you have a small space to decorate, remember that adding lots of textures will visually diminish the proportions of the room. If you want a light, airy feeling in a confined area keep textures to a minimum for maximum impact.

Other contemporary decor ideas

Home style goes global: The hottest trends from Europe
7 Secrets of home decorators
Valentine’s inspired home decor

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