Design Trend – Mixing Textures

  • 4 minutes
  • 1 August 2018

Mixing textures is the surest way to add visual depth and interest to your outdoor space. The beauty of this design trend is that it can dramatically enhance any outdoor design, no matter the size (or budget). Here are some trending textures to give your outdoor space a little ‘oomph’ — it’s time to choose your ingredients and get mixing!


Raw, carved, polished, varnished, stained, aged or sun bleached, wood offers a stunning array of textures that is near unbeatable. Simply mixing up wood grains and finishes, instead of matching them all, can make a world of difference.

With the huge boost in outdoor fireplaces this year, unique firewood storage designs have really harnessed the textural appeal of the patterns that circular logs make.


Carrying on with natural textures, stone and rock finishes bring a rustic element to your design. Stack stone offers a more modern finish, while rock filled gabions or boulder features are great for creating that ‘urban jungle’ feel. For a Palm Springs aesthetic, create rockeries filled with succulents, cacti and ornamental grasses, with a scattering of pebbles!

Three Birds Renovations | Feature Walls | EstateWall | Stone | Veener Stone | Stone Cladding | Mixing Textures


When mixing textures, metals can bring a sharp contrast to the palette. For an industrial look, look into tarnished or ‘rusted’ finishes. If you prefer a more elegant or high end look, introducing polished and brushed finishes to your theme can offer a touch of luxury and shine.


The plants you choose within your landscaping will largely define the overall balance, as little else brings such life to a space! Architectural plants, like yucca, snake plants, hedges and horsetail reed offer structure through clean, sharp edges. On the other hand, moss, bedhead and ornamental grass gardens, weeping tree varieties and feathery ferns can help soften a space.

Mixing plants of all textures — delicate, waxy, spiky, trailing, spiraling, dense, wispy, structured or flowering — will create a mesmerising array that will please the eye and calm the mind.

Water, glass and mirrors

Reflective surfaces can help make spaces appear bigger than they are. Water features help bring a moving, shimmering element to the aesthetic, while glass, reflecting pools and mirrors will reflect designs, gardens, rooms or the sky to create a sense of openness.

Rendered finishes

If you begin with a smooth canvas, it allows textural contrasts within your outdoor space to truly pop. From smooth finishes to more textured techniques, there are a variety of renders to take advantage of! For a more richly textured render option, raw concrete has also been a favourite in outdoor design this year.

Decorative tiling

Your choice of tiling can play a huge role in bringing some visual interest to a space. While extra large paving tiles were a huge hit this year, smaller tiles and decorative tiling are both making a comeback as features along benches, counters and garden beds. Feature 3D tiles can also offer a striking, edgy focal point that looks phenomenal with sleek, contemporary style homes.

Breeze blocks

Mid century modern architecture is back in the spot light, bringing with it flat roof lines, floor to ceiling windows and stunning breeze block feature walls. Not only do they look stunning and add significant visual depth, but they also allow that fresh air to flow through!

Jimmy & Tam Breeze Blocks | Mixting Textures | The Block

Woven materials

Coarse jute rugs, loosely woven throws, intricate place mats and relaxed macrame wall hangings soften a space and add an atmosphere of comfort. Woven planters are the latest gardening trend, contrasting beautifully against green foliage and rendered or concrete-look surfaces.

Tapestries and patterns

Little else brings such depth of colour and visual appeal than a well executed pattern. Tapestries have grown in popularity with the indoor-outdoor living trends, as well as Turkish and Kilim style rugs. For a less dramatic effect, add some patterned pots or throw pillows around the space for pops of colour.