Walls don't have to be flat or covered in paint to be attractive. There are numerous other textures that can be used on interior walls.
Rock is most commonly used to construct exterior walls and allow homes to blend with a natural setting. However, a natural rock wall can also be used on the interior of a home to create a warm, earthy environment.
Pebble Wall Texture
Smooth pebbles evoke the image of stones on a river bed. Textured pebble walls in both stone and glass are becoming a popular choice for walls in wet rooms such as kitchens and bathrooms.
Using irregular pebbles can result in a retro look while darker, more uniform pebbles can be more appropriate for a modern space.
French limestone is an incredibly hard, durable stone with a unique texture. Even when the stone is honed, it has a natural porosity that shows through.
It's hardness means it can be found in tiles up to 36-inches square; this is perfect for tiling a modern, interior wall with some texture.
Textured Concrete Wall
While many people consider concrete to be too "cold" for a wall surface, there are many ways to add texture and interest to this material.
After the concrete wall is poured, the surface can be roughed up with a variety of tools. Board-formed concrete takes on the wood grain of its mold, resulting in a texture that is appropriate for interior or exterior walls of a home.
Travertine is a natural stone formed inside hot springs. The escaping water vapor leaves behind holes and pits in the stone that stay behind even when formed into tiles.
Travertine tiles make excellent textures walls for any room of the house.
Wallpaper doesn't have to be a smooth, flat surface. Many wallpapers are textured, which can add a lot of depth and dimension to the wall.
This striped wallpaper is subtly raised, which adds a richness to the room.
Wood Paneled Walls
While wood is a popular flooring material, it also is an appropriate wall finish in paneled form for interior walls, or as siding on the exterior.
Wood can painted and aged, or stained and sealed so that it looks sleek and modern. If using wood paneling on the interior, avoid the thin vertical slats that were popular in the 1970s and opt for larger, horizontal panels.
Textured Sheet Metal
Sheet metal makes a great wall covering in an industrial decor scheme or for exterior siding. It is available in many finishes that can add a lot of texture to a space or the exterior of a home.
Mosaics are small tiles that pieced together form a big picture. Hand poured and cut glass tiles and many types of stone tiles can give a mosaic wall a lot of texture and depth. In fact, some glass mosaic walls are so textured, they can't be touched once they are up; the corners are too sharp.
Mosaic Tile Patterns
Mosaic tiles don't have to come in a solid or even varied group of colors. Mosaic tile wallpaper and murals are a great way to add a picture to any wall, along with some built in texture and interest.
Venetian plaster and other faux-painting techniques can create rich texture on a wall. If you want color, but don't want a flat look, consider doing a textured faux-wall paint instead.
Paint can be used to mimic natural stone, leather, wood and even pitted metal.
Wood and Metal Cladding
Sometimes the best way to add texture is to combine different materials.
These horizontal wood panels are broken up with metal divider strips. The lightly textured wood contrasts the metal, which also has a slight texture or grain. Together, they add depth and interest to the wall.
If you like the idea of natural stone adding texture to your wall, but want something more exotic than fieldstone, granite or marble, consider onyx. Onyx tiles have a natural texture to them that is enhanced by their extreme color variation.
This honey onyx features shades of one color, but red, blue and rainbow onyx all showcase a full spectrum of different colors.
Another way to add texture to a wall is to apply some types of wainscoting. Wainscoting does not have to be formal, decorative panels; this country-fresh beadboard can add color and texture to any wall. Pair it with a textured paint or wallpaper above for even more depth.
For more ways to add some interest to your walls, check out this slideshow on painting techniques.