Want to add your personality to your home? Some creatively placed layered schemes might just create the individual look you want.
Creating a home, not just a house, can be a little harder than it looks. This is especially true in new build houses. But using layering techniques and decorative schemes will easily add texture and depth in your rooms, for a space that’s perfect to relax in.
My penchant is for the vintage and salvaged aesthetic, but whether your interior love is modern, retro or antique, you can create a captivating layered look by choosing a variety of your most treasured items and displaying them in an interesting way.
So, firstly what do I mean by ‘layering’. I don’t mean adding a few scarfs and extra cardi’s! In interior design terms I am referring to adding texture, depth and levels of overlay that create interest and warmth to a room.
In interior design terms I am referring to adding texture, depth and levels of overlay that create interest and warmth to a room.Jill O’Neill
Layer your Patterns
The beauty of layering is the mix and match opportunity. You don’t have to have all your colours completely in tone; rather, play to the strengths of each colour picking out tones to highlight. The trend for Persian rugs are a great example of this style. They are normally multi-coloured with intricate designs. You could keep it as the only colour and pattern in a room, which would be a lovely focus, however you can also not worry about the rug design scheme and just keep adding more pattern and colour!
The trick is to keep the additional colours in keeping with the overall colour scheme and only add less intricate patterning. Keeping the walls and floors fairly plain will help. Or vice versa – have a patterned wallpaper and colourful window dressing and some furnishings, with the rest being more muted.
Charming Curio Displays
We’ve all picked up nik naks from travels or from family; cards or images from life events; and gifts or forget-me-knots from loved ones… these wonderful pieces are what will add character to a home. So don’t file them away – put them on show! Find ways to display them; layer them or purchase charming display units for your curio.
If you prefer a more minimalist look, simply create an area where you can use a collection of keepsakes to create a beautiful display. A cabinet does help to ease dusting these areas! I love using vintage or antique units for this as it adds to the display beautifully.
A Persian rug looks great in a modern or eclectic setting, but adding a plainer shag rug for example, adds even more warmth and can also help zone an area within the room. The double rug combo creates beautiful texture and adds immediate warmth, or hygge as the Danish say. They are definite fans of a layer or four! The result that the ‘hygge’ idea aims to achieve is a feeling of warmth, cosiness, comfort. Overlaying certainly achieves this.
If however you are not a fan of lots of colour, but still want a splash and touch of antique you could add a small Persian rug to a larger jute or hessian one.
Create Lighting Zones
A wonderful way to create zones in a room, particularly in a kitchen or living room is through lighting. And as you use the room throughout the day you will move into different zones to create ambiance or highlights as you require it. Personally, I love the old factory lights and they work so well in a kitchen. You can get amazing original vintage ones, or the repro versions; either way having a range of sizes and shapes will provide the perfect tools for your layered arrangement.
Stack up your Art & Photography
Too many pictures you say? They don’t always have to be perfectly hung to be seen. A lovely relaxed way to display artwork is by simply stacking them, slightly overlaying each one. This works on a shelf or on a sideboard/ unit. Equally, you could create the look on the floor by stacking a rage of medium/ large artwork along a wall or in a corner. Try using old vintage frames to create a ‘worn-in heirloom’ look!
Try a Salon Style Hang
You don’t have to have gallery size walls to layer the pictures. A tight group of images works well on a wall to create a sort of pattern of artwork. The look doesn’t have to use all the same frames or style of frame but can look great with a mix of frames, sizes, colours.
Create a feature wall
Create a wall of interest with a treasured collection. Beautiful mirrors as seen here, make for a fascinating display without too much effort. Keeping to a simple palette allows you to add depth by layering without having to add colour schemes or pattern. The look simply ‘is’ through having comparable items collected together.
Layering window dressing
Remember the net curtains of your grandmothers’ era? The idea of having layers of window dressing is definitely a lovely way to add visual warmth to a room. Having a pair of curtains with sheer material underneath – either curtains or blinds – also provides versatility. You can use both or just one depending on how the light falls. But this style of layering can really beautifully and softly dress your window area.
Stick to a theme
….and so many to choose from! Perhaps your theme could be from the biggest collections of items you have, e.g. cushions or from a colour scheme. Even just a plant theme can work; also quite a current design trend at the moment. This image shows a boho theme using Moroccan style rugs and cushions of all colours. All the materials are of a similar style which ties everything together nicely. Using wicker pieces and patterned floor or wall coverings creates a souk type of feel.
Whatever your theme, pick items that speak to you visually, e.g. a green leaf pattern upholstered chair, with green leaf framed pictures, some large green plants and touches of similar greens in some soft furnishings. Then leave the rest fairly simple. This way the items can shine and not overwhelm.
If colour and fun is your passion, then the retro kitsch look is a great way to go! Bags of colour makes for such a pleasant place to be. You can go all out, as in the image, or have touches of it in the room. So maybe two really strong coloured walls in a bedroom for example with garlands and fairy lights to decorate picture frames or the headboard. Animal prints look good here and 1950s furniture such as a dressing table and mirror with leopard print upholstered seat. Paint a vintage 1930s wardrobe in a vivid colour and stencil on top. Have fun with it!
Whether layers increase your comfort, please the eye, or hide parts of a room that make you cringe, going multi-dimensional in a few zones will certainly add to your interior comfort and style.
Unit A3, Sydenham Business Park, 17 Heron Road, Belfast BT3 9LE.
Photography is by – bradleyquinn.com