Textured Tips: The Art of Layering in Interior Design

If you’ve ever wondered how interior designers are able to make a space feel cohesive despite the fact that that space is seemingly filled with a vast array of contrasting elements, then you’re on the verge of diving into the wonderful world of ‘layering.’

What is layering?

Layering is the subtle art of arranging and organizing colors and textures in your interior space in a way that attains total balance. Although this can sound like a tricky task, there are, in fact, some methods you can follow to simplify your design process. Read on for a little insight into how you can rapidly become a learned layered.

1.Identify the different zones of your space

First and foremost, you’ll want to break your space down into simple categories, like walls, windows, floors, and lighting. All you really need to do is consider what feel you’d like for each zone to have, and then really think about what elements you can use to create a sense of cohesion between these separate zones. It’s also worth thinking about the common elements that can be attributed to these zones, just to strengthen your understanding of how to achieve total cohesion.

If you’re designing a bedroom or living room space, you’ll also want to differentiate between your soft and hard furnishings too, just to ensure that your wooden or metal furniture has a uniform color and design. If you’re unsure of where to start, just feel free to browse through paint swatches or even curtains on websites, as your walls and windows are essentially the foundations of your space.

Once you’ve identified the look and feel that you’d like your walls and windows to have, building off from there can be a pretty easy endeavor. How so? Your walls and window coverings make up essentially all of the vertical real estates in your space. When you consider what relationship you’d like for that vertical space to have with the rest of that specific interior space, then you’re basically halfway done with your overall design plan.

It’s also worth paying attention to orientation or the availability of natural light in your space. If you have an interior space with windows on the eastern side, then chances are you’re going to have a lot of natural morning light in that space. It’s up to you to decide with the use of your window coverings just how much of that light you’d like to enter your interior space, whether you’d prefer all of its golden glory through the use of some sheer curtains or just snippets of filtering sunlight with some modern Venetian blinds. Whichever you decide, it’s highly likely that that decision will, in turn, influence other decisions as you progress through the development of your interior design plans.

2.Find the colors and textures of your design scheme.

Next, you’ll want to think about what colors and textures you’d like to use in your space, alongside the interior design style or styles that you’ll be using as references for your personal design scheme. It’s important to have at least one or two styles in mind just to support you in your quest for cohesion.

Take layering with rugs as a perfect example of why reference styles are a good tool to have up your sleeve. If you’ve selected some colorful rugs and runs to do up your flooring, try and identify which design styles they may be most at home in. For instance, traditional Turkish rugs are very visually noisy as it is, and so they generally respond best to layering if they’re used in a similarly noisy setting, like bohemian-inspired spaces. Layering with Turkish rugs in a typically more toned-down style, like contemporary Romantic or European styles, can leave your floors looking way too visually noisy.

When it comes to colors, a good method of ensuring that your design scheme stays well-balanced is by utilizing the popular 60-30-10 color rule of interior design, where you select three colors to be your main, secondary, and accent colors, respectively. This rule can also work splendidly with textures, so don’t be afraid to mix and match!

3.Complete your cohesion with accents

Finally, it’s time for you to bring it all together with your chosen accents. Designing with accents is likely to be the trickiest part of your design process, simply because the elements you’ll be working with are naturally going to be the smallest and most subtle pieces in your design scheme. Have fun placing your wall art and decor in a manner where they complement larger furnishings, window coverings, and also each other.

Be mindful of not just the style but also the placement of your accent pieces. If it feels like a particular piece of decor isn’t working, try changing up its placement. A mirror may feel out of place if it’s placed directly opposite another accent. However, if one accent is diagonal across from the other or higher or lower than another, they’re less likely to clash.

Designing with accents is also a fantastic time to return to your initial exploration of orientation, as light availability can play a huge role when it comes to figuring out where to place specific accents and other elements in your space. If you’re designing with indoor plants as accents, naturally, you’ll want them to soak up as much sunlight as possible. Other fixed elements such as television sets or bookcases, however, can be damaged by excess light exposure and are thus worth keeping in mind as you continue to play around with your interior space.

Remember that the devil is really in the details here

For seasoned interior designers, layering can feel like second nature. Even so, it certainly is an acquired skill, so try to be patient with yourself as you take your first steps into this fantastic practice. Just have fun, let yourself be bold, and don’t be afraid to design and redesign! Your interiors will be sure to flourish with every passing experiment.


Thank you for reading!

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