Have you ever asked yourself upon entering a beautifully designed room, “What makes this space feel so special?” or “What makes it look so complete?”
I have always told my clients that a successfully designed room is not accomplished by showcasing one fabulous piece of furniture. It is achieved by layering, by playfully orchestrating all of the elements in a room to create a point of view. Whether your style is traditional, transitional or modern, it is important to incorporate items that have meaning or personality to express who you are. I often walk into rooms where all of the individual pieces of furniture are beautiful; however, it still feels like something is missing. Without layers and contrast, the most expensive room can look stagnant. Many people are surprised how some of the smallest additions can make the biggest of transformations.
Here are some great ways to add more layers in your home:
It is amazing how a new piece of art can completely transform a room. Art is a great way to add new color and life to a space. An oil painting can add drama, where a watercolor can add lightness. A still life can be interesting, where a jazz scene can be uplifting. Paintings can sometimes be overlooked if you keep them in one location for too long. I recently rotated all of the art in my house. Not only do all of my rooms feel different, I appreciate and notice each piece of art in a different way. It is as if I have a whole new art collection without having to purchase one new piece.
Throw pillows are a great way to introduce a new pattern, color or texture to a room. You can make a basic tan sofa look exciting with fun patterned pillows. A chocolate velvet pillow added to a blue silk French chair can suddenly make it feel more approachable. I tend to stay away from fabrics that are too “matchy- matchy”. There is an art to coordinating fabrics without it being too obvious. Often times, I use bold patterns on pillows instead of reupholstering a whole chair out of it. This way, clients can easily switch them out for a new look if they are ready for change.
Ask yourself what your interests are. The accessories that you incorporate in the design of your home should be a reflection of those interests. Accessories can make a room soulful, playful or musical. Antique boxes, a collection of shells, a series of vellum books – these are all things that make a room interesting. It does not necessarily matter how much things cost or how “fine” they are. As long as your accessories have meaning and history, you are on the right track. Make sure that you don’t clutter every surface with accessories. More times than not, one special bowl on a coffee table can say it all.
Click on the slideshow to see images that illustrate different layering techniques.