Five Essential Textures that Every Room Needs – Design Basics

Every home needs texture: it’s essential in decorating and a room will definitely not look as good without it. Today I’m sharing the five essential textures that every room needs!

I’ve talked in the past a bit about different decor items that I love, but today I want to focus on the five essential textures that every room needs! These are the textures that are essential for taking any room from average to amazing. Decorating with texture is key to creating a space that has depth and interest, and something that we all see, whether we recognize it or not.

And sometimes that’s the issue isn’t it?! We know we love a room, and maybe we even want to emulate it. But we aren’t really sure what it is that makes it great! Your subconscious reads those things, but it’s not always obvious. For me, the more textures in a room the better. But there are a few key points to decorating with texture, and that’s what I’m going to focus on today!


Five Essential Textures that Every Room Needs


One: Glass and/or Mirrors


five essential textures to complete every room mirrors french country living room

Mirrors and/or glass items add much needed light and reflection to a space. In my living room, I happen to have a large mirror over the fireplace which is a classic look that I love.

Mirrors are a great way to brighten a room and even make it larger. Even a small one can add tons of charm!


glass is one of the five essential textures to make a room complete

However, if you have art (or a TV) over your mantel, simply make sure you add some glass elsewhere. It could be something as simple as a clear glass vase or cloche, or even colored glass. Even a touch of it definitely brings lightness to the room.


 Two: Metallics 


metals mix in french country living room decorating with texture

Here in the living room I have a mix of gold framed art along with mercury glass candlesticks on the console table. It really doesn’t matter what metal you use – it can be any finish you prefer.

From silver, to copper or brass, or even gold, as long as you have some metals in the room the shine adds some interest to the space and keeps it from looking flat. And if you have a mix of metals, even better!


touches of copper in a French farmhouse kitchen

In the kitchen I have stainless in the appliances, oil-rubbed bronze hardware, and yet I often mix in some copper pots. That mixture makes the room more interesting to the eye.


 Three: A Mix of Woods


five essential textures to any room mix of woods white french country kitchen

Wood is a texture that is a must for every room! Even if you think you don’t like wood, and all your tables are sleek modern pieces or every piece of seating is upholstered, wood really adds texture to a room.
And it doesn’t have to be furniture necessarily. You could add wood with accessories like bowls or vases, or in the kitchen use bread boards as I did above.

It can be any color, mind you, from painted to medium or raw, to dark, as long as there are some pieces in each space.


gorgeous french country living room with roses in urn decorating with texture

I think the design question I’ve gotten the most over the years is about mixing woods. And my answer is – yes, you can mix woods! Not only can you, but you must! In the living room, I have the white washed table above, as well as two different painted wood tables.

Ironically, over the last few years I’ve removed most of the dark woods, and I don’t regret it. But I do think I want to add in a few pieces of raw or even medium wood – just to have more of that mix again.

Using different wood tones adds not only interest to the room, but also more of a collected look – something that is always important to a space.


 Four: Wovens


woven wood shades in gorgeous french country living room

One of my favorite ways to add some woven texture to a room is through window coverings. I love woven wood or bamboo shades, and they come in all sorts of shades and styles these days. They really add a layer of interest to your windows, making a difference in the whole space. 

You can spend a lot for custom ones, but they are also sold online and at places like Ikea or Home Depot for much less.


five essential textures wovens baskets complete a space

But if you’re someone who doesn’t want window coverings, you can easily add woven texture with baskets, or rugs, or both!


five ways to decorate with texture gorgeous French country dining room



Five: Antique and/or Distressed Items


As I’m sure you know by now, I absolutely adore antiques of any kind – the more distressed the better! And I’m a firm believer that every room, no matter how contemporary, needs some distressed pieces. It breaks up the monotony of everything looking so new and perfect, and really makes a difference in the space.


gorgeous French country living room with Mora clock neutral room decorating with texture

The distressed character of the Mora clock in the living room added so much to the space! And you don’t need to spend a lot, either. You can shop thrift stores, Craig’s List or even garage sales and get very inexpensive vintage pieces that will all add that much needed character to your rooms.


five essential textures needed in every room antiques distressed vintage bucket

Or buy something small that’s vintage! Vases, buckets, or other accessories are a perfect way to add that vintage feeling to a space without having to invest in larger items.


five essential textures for every space distressed or vintage items

Even here in the entry way, I have some vintage and heavily distressed candlesticks. I really think they make the difference in the whole display!

You’ll even notice that catalogs like Pottery Barn or Restoration Hardware mix in antiques in the photographs of their rooms because it looks better with something old in every space!


five essential textures every home needs shelf styling builtins french country room

I hope that by talking in detail about the five essential textures you’ll find it easy to decorate with texture in your own home. I touch on even more of this in my How to Get a Collected Look series so you may want to check that out as well.


five essential textures that every home needs graphic Maison de Cinq


If you enjoyed this post, you might want to check out some of the others below:

How to Add Character to a Dining Room: Mixing Dining Chairs

Simply Home Series: My Five Favorite Organizing Tips

How to Decorate Using the Rule of 3




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  1. Shelia,
    Just wanted to say Thank you! I’ve just started receiving your emails and your posts have already been very helpful! I’ve tried other blogs and similar sites but they really didn’t give information, just fancy pictures.
    I loved the 5 elements series, it let me know I’m on the right track .
    I’m doing a French country living room on an extremely low budget, so I appreciate your advice as you don’t just have expensive items listed. This is my first effort for this look , I saw a room online very similar to what I’m doing and it was yours! What a lucky find !!
    Looking forward to your next email !

    1. What a lovely comment Donna – thank you! I so appreciate your sweet message and am so glad you found me!! Good luck with your French country living room!! And thanks for making my day! 🙂


  2. So beautiful. May I ask where you purchased your kitchen chandelier? And living room chairs?

  3. I love all the information you gave. Great Advice on some design tricks!! Thanks so much!!

    1. You’re so welcome Jackie – I’m glad you found it helpful!

      Thanks for stopping by!


  4. just gorgeous. thank you

  5. Rosalind Murray says:

    I liked the way you mixed the gold frames with mercury glass. So much lovely inspiration!

  6. I love your pictures and your advice on mixing woods. Gives me some ideas!

    1. Oh, I’m so happy to hear that!! I’m glad that you found it helpful – so many people won’t mix them!!

      thanks for sharing Coleen!


  7. Thanks for the great tips and photos. Last month I hung my copper bottomed Revere ware pans on one of our old kitchen beam. They make me smile when I look up. Have a good weekend.

    1. Aww I love that!! Nothing like copper in a kitchen!!

      Glad you like the post, and thanks so much for your comment!


  8. Such a gorgeous post, Sheila! Your home is stunning!
    Hugs, Jamie

    1. Aww thank you my friend! I feel the same way about yours 🙂


  9. Another home I’d love to shop! Every detail is perfection and your tips are what truly create a well curated home.

    1. Aww that means so much! Thank you Deb!! So glad you’re a part of Simply Home!


  10. Wonderful!
    Could you share a few large horizontal mirror options that you like?

    1. Thanks so much Courtney! Many of the mirrors I linked can be hung horizontally!! (depending on orientation, of course). Even if they are shown vertically, often times when you read the description you’ll see they can be hung either direction!

      Hope that helps!Thanks for stopping by!


  11. Amen to it all! I love your 5 textures with the examples in your home. That shot of your dining table looking into your living room with the curtains is everything! Love love it!

    1. Aww thanks my friend! Loved your post, too, and couldn’t agree more about your textures! (I may need to add some velvet now!)


  12. I loved all your tips Sheila! I am with you all the way on the antiques and adding old stuff. But of course, that’s why we are friends after all (wink). Haha! Thanks again for a beautiful post!

    1. Aww thanks Cami! I’m such a sucker for crusty, rusty character, as you know! 😉