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It’s something we just seem to know intuitively - nubby throws and soft rugs feel and look good, sculptural vases and ornaments look great - but what’s really behind this design instinct?

The answer may lie in a little home decor secret that’s hit the trends in a big way: texture.

Starting from the great Hygge wave of 2016, with its furs and candles and knitted socks, the principle of incorporating cosy, softer pieces in the home has stuck around. In 2017 though, this has also grown to include textures both hard and soft, visual and tactile, for a look that’s comforting, with a stylish edge.

Here are some of our suggestions on how to embrace texture in your home, while keeping it fresh and not overdone.

Think Textiles

Textured pillows and white sofa.
Furniture Choice

One of the easiest and fastest ways to create texture in a room is to think of the textiles you’re using. Knits, woven throws, and soft faux furs invite touch, and like little else, manage to evoke a space that’s comfortable, lived-in, and welcoming.

Collage of different furniture and decor.
Pop Sugar, Domino, Furniture Choice

The easiest way of getting this look is with interesting pillows and throws. These instantly add colour and character to any space, and can be used in both the living room and the bedroom - and interchangeably, at that, so you can swap them around.

Just as bright colours can serve as a design accent, a strong graphic print or lush fabric can also do the same job. One strategically-placed furry pillow or patterned cushion can go a long way.

You could also choose a larger element in the room to be a textural anchor: sofas or rugs, for instance. A velvet sofa, with its sheen and soft feel, would really work here, whether in a darker shade of black, or in glamorous silver. A good rug can also work miracles for anchoring a room, or adding a dose of subtle style.

Opposites Attract

White dining set against dark wall.
Furniture Choice

Another way to get this look without too much effort is to play with contrasts.

Assortment of sofas.
Gravity Home Blog, Homedit

Juxtaposing a design element with its opposite creates a tension that immediately draws one’s eyes and attention - for instance, pairing a sculptural metal table with soft, natural plants and greenery, or a fuzzy knit throw over a minimal, modern sofa.

Shop the look below:
Collage of texture-inspired home decor.
1. Society6 white marble pillow, 2. Rose And Grey fringed cushion, 3. H&M Faux fur blanket, 4. Athropologie waverly rug, 5. Rose and Grey large gold feather mirror, 6. Barker and Stone House marble pillow, 7. Cult Furniture gold lamp, 8. Swoon Editions Jakob console table

Go Natural

Nature is a wonderful inspiration when you want to add character and texture to your home - both in terms of look and feel.

Assortment of colourful spaces.
Sheer Luxe, House of Hipsters

Different plants can give an entirely different look and feel to the space - lush flowers give colour and softness, while cacti and succulents are perennially interesting in all their different forms and shapes. Bonus tip: dried flowers take no effort whatsoever, and can be quite chic too!

For strong visual impact with a serving of tropical holiday vibes - consider rattan furniture. Its woven, artisanal look imparts lots of character to a space.

Visual Cues

We eat with our eyes first, so the saying goes. The same could be said for how we appreciate the world around us, and our homes - eyes first. Sometimes, it’s all about the look.

Marbled effect table with black dining chairs.
Furniture Choice

Striking pieces of art, and wall hangings can give a strong visual impact to a room, especially when they have a texture that is ridged, raised, embossed, or imperfect - anything that almost tempts touch.

Shop the look below:
Collage of texture-inspired home furniture and decor.
1. Kekliving wall mural, 2. Stylelibrary wallpaper, 3. Anthropologie prisma mirror, 4. Etsy agate crystal poster, 5. Furniture Choice Savoy white table, 6. Furniture Choice Perth chairs white, 7. Agate crystal artwork, 8. Laura Ashley sunburst mirror, 9. Furniture Choice Magnus dining table.