As a self-proclaimed maximalist, one of the things I obsess over when designing a room is how many different elements I can tastefully layer without the room feeling overpowering/borderline belonging on an episode of Hoarders.
I literally and metaphorically try and look at blank room through a different lens. Meaning I want the room to not only look beautiful in person, but beautiful in photographs too, and a layered room achieves just that.
Layering a room really comes down to using different patterns, shapes, textures and colors to add depth, balance and create contrast.
Via House Beautiful
Just like with fashion, layering a room pulls together a cohesive and styled look while adding depth and personality. Do I need to sell you on why I love the art of layering any further? No? OK great. Now for the fun part…
1: Layer rugs
My go-to for rug layering is a cowhide on top of an area rug. This is a great way to mix textures and depending on the look you’re going for, you can go bold (i.e. zebra, antelope) or keep it simple with a solid cowhide. I also think the shape of a cowhide on top of an area rug is an amazing contrast and breaks up the room a bit.
Styling tip: When I’m layering a cowhide, I angle it so it’s partially “hanging off” the area rug versus in the same straight direction as the area rug.
2: Layer window treatments
Window treatments are like the earrings of a room, and one of the best decisions I made for the bedroom was layering contrasting window treatments. Again, it’s yet another way to bring in different colors and textures to the space, like the caviar linen Roman Shades paired with Chartreuse velvet curtains.
Curtain & bamboo shade layering in my office
You can layer window treatments with by pairing a linen/bamboo/wood shade with patterned or textured curtains. Windows offer endless possibilities for layering if you’re willing to get creative.
Curtain & bamboo shade layering in our living room
4. Layer lighting
Achieving the layered lighting look can be done in two layers: your first layer as your ceiling lighting and the second as task lighting (i.e. table lamps, floor lamps, sconces, or picture lights).
6 . Create a vignette
One of my favorite things to photograph: vignettes. There are a ton of ways and places to do this, but styling a coffee table, nightstand, fireplace mantle, or credenza are the first that come to mind.
Creating a photo-worthy vignette can easily be done with layering objects of different sizes and shapes. I like to set the scene with first using something tall, then build out the vignette with items like books, flowers, a lamp, a candle, a decorative box or an object of interest.