Exclusive: Tan France says this eclectic design technique made 'all the difference' in elevating his space during a redesign

The guru is rewriting design misconceptions – starting with how we find the pieces that are good enough for our homes

Tan France
(Image credit: 1stDibs)

It is certainly not uncommon for design experts to discuss the impact that color has in a room, but Tan France is just as concerned with another design component: texture. 

The Queer Eye guru, celebrated for his fashion knowledge, is just as much a trailblazer in the interiors industry (for those who haven't already spent hours browsing his Utah abode via Instagram, we recommend it as our favorite past time), and the secret to sucsess, he says, comes down to how we play with fabrics. 

'Texture is so impactful, and many people might not understand what it does for the dimension of the space,' France says in an exclusive interview with H&G. 'Years ago when I renovated a house that felt flat, I decided to go eclectic and use a combination of different fabrics and finishes. Now, it feels so much more elevated. That mix of fabrics made such a difference.'

Experimenting with eclectic textures is increasingly becoming known as a way to make our homes feel more expensive, and with France's endorsement, it's only natural to want to follow suit. However, knowing exactly where to find pieces that stand out from the crowd can be tricky. France's solution? Go online. 

'The biggest misconception is that when it comes to homeware, you really have to shop in person. Quite frankly, I was that person like six or seven years ago. Maybe that was for me personally. It makes sense to shop online because I can price compare, I can compare dupes, and so, those features really make a difference to me,' he says. 

To make the process yet more seamless, he recommends Citi Shop, a new browser extension designed to assist shoppers looking for deals on decor (of all forms) online. 

'The extension is a game changer as far as I'm concerned when it comes to shopping online; most of my shopping is done that, quite frankly, it's hard to shop in person because of what I do; it feels very intimate and personal,' he says.

'I'm obsessed with homes. I am a very keen shopper. My whole life seems to be spent shopping at this point, whether it's for myself or the people I work with on multiple shows – whether it's for my personal life or a wardrobe for every show that I'm on, and now I am on four it's a lot. Whether it be fashion or interiors, I do both at this point, which makes me very, very happy.'

Tan France
Tan France

France is a British-born designer now living in Salt Lake City. He is best known as the fashion expert in Netflix's Queer Eye, and host of the web series Dressing Funny, and co-host of Next in Fashion, alongside Gigi Hadid. He also released a memoir, Naturally Tan in June 2019.

Shop H&G's textured edit

The best textures for a room depend on our home's overall aesthetic, but we can't help but share the pieces in our baskets at the moment. 

Megan Slack
Head of Celebrity Style News

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.