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  • Writer's pictureStacy De Terlizzi

Creating a Layered Look

Updated: Jul 29, 2023



I remember my first day in design school in my very first Introduction to Design class like it was yesterday. It was so simple, but something I had never consciously thought about. The discussion was on all the ways to add interest to a space, specifically color, pattern, texture, size, shape, and shine. It was a lightbulb moment for me and I wanted to share this information with you!


Color:

Many people are familiar with color and know to add pops of color to the space. There is an actual science to color theory and which colors are complimentary to each other. More on that later. The point is that color, whether it’s complimentary colors or tones of the same color can add interest to a space.


Pattern:

Pattern is the second way in which we can create interest. Patterns can be bold or very subtle like a faint pin stripe. And you can, with consideration, mix patterns. As a general rule, I suggest no more than one bold pattern per space with any other patterns being simple so as to not conflict with the focal point, bolder pattern.


Texture:

Texture is a beautiful and simple way to create a layer of nuance. It can take place with a handcrafted solid color tile, a linen textured pillow, an area rug that is monochromatic but has an interesting weave pattern, etc. Texture, much like adding a very subtle pattern can be extremely impactful in a space, especially one that already has bolder areas of interest.


Size:

Size is often not considered, but can also change the way a room comes together. While I don’t recommend mixing and matching the scale of larger pieces, one can use different sized pillows, smaller or larger format tiles, and accessories of different sizes to create the layered look and make the space look thoughtful and finished.


Shape:

Shape can be used to soften edges or make a bold modern statement. Mixing shapes artfully can create another layer of interest. For example, using a round bolster pillow with square pillows or a round serving tray on a square ottoman can add dimension. Shape is also a very important consideration in furniture selection to aid in proper circulation through the space.


Shine:

Shine can add just enough pop that it stands out and adds that last dimension of interest. This can be accomplished with a mirror, a shiny glass vase, a metallic pillow, high gloss drawer hardware, etc. Another option is using matte finishes, the opposite of shine, to create the same effect of a contrast in materials.


As you can see, there are many moving parts to creating a dynamic and layered space that looks thoughtful, carefully curated, and intentional. Knowing the vocabulary is a helpful tool, but if you would like professional advise on how to execute these nuanced gems of information, contact me today for a consultation!

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