Simple interior design layering tips – an interior designer’s guide

Simple interior design layering tips – an interior designer’s guide

This week I had a photoshoot for an apartment interior styling project I completed late last year. The client’s style goal could be defined as a bright boho style. But her style was rooted in her European heritage. For the photoshoot I knew I needed lots of props to create a layered and interesting space for the camera. So here are my simple interior design layering tips for your own home.

What is layering?

Layering refers to arranging a variety of objects in a cohesive way in a space. The objects may be books, art, cushions, sculptures, candles or any other object that is arranged in a way so that all these pieces complement each other.

The way these various objects or pieces complement each other is through a balance between different interior design elements such as colour, shape, texture, pattern and so on.

When layering multiple items keep in mind that collections work well in odd numbers. Shapes and heights are also important. For example, a tall vertical candlestick would not work well with a short round candle.

Pick a theme

Starting with a theme for your range of objects is a good place to start. For example, the theme for layering my client’s lounge room for the photo shoot was colour, floral, and geometric patterns.

So the props I brought ranged from canvas paintings of colourful flowers to framed geometric patterned postcards that I bought on a visit to Granada.

The theme for layering your objects may also be inspired by your specific style goal. For example, in a Hamptons space your theme could be based on the colour blue or on coastal ornaments.

Decor colour, shapes, textures

Once you collect all the objects you want to display, begin the layering process by reviewing the colours, shapes and textures of all the pieces.

Pieces with similar colours, shapes and textures should be groups together. Once you’ve found the similarities, look for the differences in each piece while keeping a connecting thread. For example you might want to combine pieces that a different but are all ceramic.

Another example might be different colour prints that are all floral. Finding the connecting thread will help you make sense of all your pieces and layer them cohesively.

Final tip for successful layering is trial and error. It’s unlikely you will get it right the first time. Put pieces together following the above guide, take a step back and critically look at all the pieces.

What the connection between them all? Are there any odd shapes, colours, textures or patterns that don’t fit the theme.

I usually take a picture so I can look at the pieces closely and use the grid on the camera to see where the ‘gaps’ are.

Layering can be fun, but’s also not ‘easy’ or done successfully quickly. There is a knack that comes from experience but you can achieve an interesting layered display in your own home by following some basic simple interior design layering tips.


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