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6 Tips for Adding Textures in a Small Space

Textures are the soul of any home. They add dimension, making for a visually more interesting space. But for small space dwellers, texturizing a home isn’t usually in the forefront of their minds. More often than not, it’s neglected over more pressing matters like say, storage, or it’s intentionally snubbed for fear of cluttering up an already small space.

Textures are an important part of your home. They prevent your apartment from looking to flat and one-dimensional.

Design: DB Studio

But if you want to take your home to the next level, textures are completely necessary even in small spaces. The good news is that layering your apartment with textures doesn’t need to take up a whole lot of room. Even if you’re going for an understated theme like minimalist or Muji-inspired, you can still work in textures without going off tangent from your interior design.


1. Try out a variety of finishes for your furniture 

A suede tufted couch juxtaposes alongside a leather easy chair while contrasting with the polished surfaces of the coffee and side tables.

Design: Weiken

You don’t need extra home décor to add textures to your space. Focus on the finishes of your furniture pieces instead. Think faux fur armchair, weathered wood coffee table or a well-worn leather sofa. It could even be a simple fabric couch with wooden arms and legs. The key to achieving visual balance and to keep visual clutter at bay is to have one or two pieces of furniture in similar textures.


2. Textures can do double duty

A wall of mirrored panels help to enlarge this living space visually, while adding a shine to the room. 

Design: Ehka Studio

When incorporating textures, consider those that are functional (rather than just fancy) so that they won’t take up unnecessary room in your small space. Mirrors are a great texture option for a tiny apartment. The shine adds an added dimension, especially when paired with unpolished or natural surfaces, and they can help brighten up the area and make your home appear larger. Baskets made from rattan can work as a texture and a storage piece. Plants bring life and purify the air around you. A knitted beanbag is a cosy touch and a seating option.


3. Work those vertical walls

Wall moulding like this wainscoting effect adds textural interest to your walls, making them pop out.

Design: Shijin Design Consultancy

Another way to work in texture in small spaces is through adding texture to walls. Textures on walls make a big impact and they don’t take up any floor estate. You can do so through a variety of ways including wallpaper, textured paint like Dulux’s Ambiance Paints (the paints can offer up anything from a rustic linen feel to a luxurious marble finish), wall cladding or wall moulding.


4. Don’t forget your flooring and ceiling

Though subtle, these concrete hexagon floor tiles bring out a depth to this serene apartment setting.

Design: Story of Us

Besides vertical walls, incorporate textures in the other surfaces in your home like your flooring and ceiling. Go for a patterned flooring such as by laying it with wood-like tiles in a herringbone fashion or clad your ceiling in shiplap or wooden beams for a rustic, farmhouse style look. Rugs are also great for adding warmth and softness, especially if you’re going for a flooring like cement screed. For a small space, go for a larger rug which helps to draw the eye wider and thus make a room appear larger than it is. A small rug tends to highlight the lack of square footage in a tiny room.


5. Think about window furnishings

Contrasting a thick drapery with a sheer curtain is a great way to layer textures in a small space.

Design: Charlton Design

Blinds, shades and curtains make for a great way to add textures to a small space since you’ll need them anyway to block out the sun or for privacy. Play around with colours, patterns and fabrics when it comes to window treatments if you want to add a little zing to your room. Go for a thicker material if you want to increase the luxe factor, and a thinner material for a casual look. Opt for a metallic finish to contrast a neutral coloured room, or bold, geometric patterns for an instant visual impact in a modern apartment. Wooden blinds are perfect for adding warmth to a sterile space, while a handwoven fabric can give off a casual, bohemian vibe.


6. Play around with lights

Shadows derived from how you place your lights can create an added dimension to a room.

Design: The Monocot Studio

A large, ornate chandelier can be an unexpected touch in an otherwise modern room. A cluster of pendants can create a statement in a minimalist space. A row of vintage brass lights over a dining table can be a breath of fresh air in a contemporary setting. Be unpredictable when it comes to adding textures through lights.

Besides the choice of your light fixtures, consider how they illuminate a space and what effect they provide. Cove lights give off a very different mood compared to pendants.  Warm lights and cool lights provide very different ambiences. Also think about how the lights cast shadows over the objects in a room when you’re incorporating textures.

A metallic backsplash shines through the matte white kitchen cabinets.

Design: Voila

FINAL PRO TIP: When adding textures to your space, use juxtapositions e.g. metallic vs matte, weathered vs smooth, see-through vs opaque. Keep in mind that textures don’t have to be felt to be sensed; they can also be visual to make an impact.


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