Too often in interior design, textiles are seen as an afterthought. People view them as a finishing touch rather than a crucial component of the design as a whole. In reality, however, you can’t design a room without them.

That’s why we’ve dedicated this piece to textiles. Read on to learn how they contribute to a room and how to use them in the right way. We hope you gain a new appreciation for your home’s fabrics.

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what

The term “textile” refers to anything in the room woven or made of fabric. Image: DHD Architecture and Interior Design

What are textiles?

In interior design, the term “textile” refers to any product that’s woven or made of fabric. It may sound simple, but these pieces are used in a variety of applications throughout any room. You can see them in design elements, such as:

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why

Textiles help set the mood for the space. Image: Relativity Textiles

Why textiles matter

Textiles go a long way toward helping set the mood of a space. Imagine how different it would feel to stand in a bedroom that’s draped in silk and velvet than a living area that’s mainly made up of bamboo and cotton. When buying your textiles, you should consider the type of mood that you want to portray in each space and choose your fabrics accordingly.

Textiles also work to unify the room and help bring the space together. This is where your color palette comes into play. Once you have one in mind, you can take one or two of the colors – usually your secondary and accent shades – and use them in various textiles throughout the room.

Take the photo above as an example. Here, the faux-fur gives the room a glamorous and feminine feel. Since it’s white, it ties in with the walls, the bedding, and the furniture to help the room feel cohesive. Meanwhile, the patterned throw pillow in the center of the bed adds a pop of contrast to keep the space from feeling too boring and repetitive. Notice that the pattern on the pillow has a little dark gray in it. This ensures that the pillow still ties in with the rest of the room.

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textiles

Follow these tips on using textiles in your interior design. Image: Laura U, Inc.

How to use textiles

Now that you know what textiles are and why they’re so important to your design, the next step is to learn how to use them correctly. Below is a list of tips to help get you started.

Use them as inspiration

Textiles may seem like accessories or the last design elements to purchase but they’re actually the opposite. They can serve as the inspiration for the space, providing a color palette upon which to build the room. When you’re not sure where to start with a room, turn to a rug, accent chair or even a throw pillow to give you a sense of direction.

Mix patterns, not colors

Once you have your color palette in place, stick to it. Using too many colors in a room can make it feel hectic and confusing. That said, it doesn’t mean your room has to be boring. You can still add plenty of visual interest to the space by mixing patterns. Make an effort to use multiple patterns  — and solids — that fall within the same palette.

Layer textures

Another way to add visual interest to the space is by using textiles that come in a variety of textures. Remember, in this case, texture refers to the way in which the fabric looks like it feels. Try mixing and matching different textures throughout the room or even layering them together in order to create a sense of contrast.

Let us know what textiles inspire you and how you incorporate them into your designs.