Designer Decor Secrets: How to Pull Off the Art of Layering in Interiors

Designer Decor Secrets: How to Pull Off the Art of Layering in Interiors

Adrienne Breaux
Oct 4, 2014
(Image credit: My Cakies via Sfgirlbybay)

There are just certain rooms that look incredibly rich, full and interesting. They tell a story with every turn of your head, with every glance in another room. They're at once eclectic, but also focused with their style. They're the kind of rooms you want to be in — and the kind of spaces you aspire your house to look like.

Photo above from My Cakies via Sfgirlbybay.

A design secret that could be playing a big part in these rooms is the idea of layering — the conscious effort of stacking design element on top of design element in such a way that an entire room feels very textured and unique. You can use these ideas in super small spaces to really enhance the feel of coziness, or you can use these ideas in very large spaces where it feels too empty. Here are some tricks to pulling off the look of layering:

(Image credit: Isabelle Selby for Design*Sponge)

Start with layering in your vignettes
Rich spaces feature things on top of other things, most often framed art leaning on top of each other, then small knick knacks partnering with stacks of books to create more layers. But don't stop there. Bring a plant into the mix, and have a branch or two just overlap your layering work, adding even another layer into the mix.

Don't be afraid to obscure
I know what you're thinking...what's the point of having things you like in your space if you can't see them in their entirety? Well because there's a bit of mystery — of discovery —that you cultivate in your spaces when you're not afraid to plunk a plant or lamp in front of an art piece, nearly obscuring all of it. It'll make your guests want to explore your space, and make you feel like there are still things for you to discover in your home, too.

Make furniture arrangement adjustments to layer
Having a room with everything sort of spread out, not touching — little design islands — is a fast way to have a room that doesn't feel comfortable or cohesive. So make furniture arrangement adjustments to create layers. Can a side table or ottoman be moved closer, and slightly in front of, a lounge chair? Can some baskets be placed in front of credenza? A bench partially blocking some art? Don't be afraid to put things in front of other things — and experiment to see what happens.

Layer in unusual places, big and small
You can start small and create layers on display shelves. Or you can find a spot that already doesn't have a lot going on, like a hallway, to experiment with layering. Even next to a doorway. Layering is a way to create unexpected moments of richness in a space — and take your home to the next level of sophistication.

Do you incorporate the idea of layering in your interiors? How have you pulled off the look — and what effect has it had on your home's design and feel? Share in the comments below!

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