Have you ever looked at a picture of a home or walked through a room and thought “I don’t know what it is about this space but I love it” or maybe, “I would’ve never put those two fabrics together, how did she know they would work?”. Well the answer is somewhat simple: Layering. This might be a new concept to non-designers but don’t fret! We are here to explain the ins and outs of layering and how it can take your average room design to a show stopping editorial project.
What is it?
Layering is the art of building a room and creating cohesion within a space. Designers do this by navigating decisions within the seven main elements of a space. Those are:
- The shell- this is the shape of the room. 4 walls (usually) and a ceiling (usually). How the room is laid out, where the windows are, how much natural light the room is getting ect. will all inform the design of the room and drive the decisions made within the next six parts.
- Flooring- hardwood, carpeted, tiled. The surfaces you will be walking on can provide impactful visual interest not to be overlooked!
- Upholstered furniture- couches, sectionals, loveseats, recliners. Leather of fabric? Once the furniture starts making its debut, that’s when the fun really starts.
- Accent fabrics- pillows, blankets, rugs, curtains will all be used to create more and more depth
- Non-upholstered furnishings- lamps, tables, hardware.
- Wall art and accessories- This is when the room will look like it has been effortlessly pulled together by adding those odds and ends
- Plants and lighting- the cherry on top of the finished design, once these are in place the full scope of the layering process will be on display in your new beautiful room or house.
What makes layering successful?
Just like with fashion, layering a room pulls together a cohesive and styled look while adding depth and personality. However, we do not want to create visual confusion so curating all of the different elements is a process. We want the room to be balanced but not boring, layered but not cluttered, rich but not gaudy. To succeed, samples are ordered and laid out on our design boards to make sure we are achieving the right layered look in each room AND so that each room will transition smoothly to the next. Texture, color, size and scale all inform what layered elements will go where.
So how will you use layering to enhance your next design project? Maybe start by using two geometric prints in the same room? What are the different colors you see? How can you incorporate those colors into your scheme? Just remember as the saying goes, at the end of the day, just have fun!