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Designer Secrets: Everything You Need to Know About Layering Your Interiors

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The best interiors are the ones where all the pieces in a room work well together while also making an individual impact. Whether it’s rugs, cushions or items in a vignette, layering is how you create depth, texture and a home with heart. Here is our simple guide to layering like a pro.

Getting Started

Layers work best when you can clearly differentiate between them. Some simple ways to create contrast are:

  • Colour – choose opposite shades on the colour wheel
  • Pattern – Pair a bold design with solid colour
  • Materials – Team metals and natural materials
  • Texture – Juxtapose hard and soft pieces with smooth and rough ones
  • Size – Group big and small items together

To help tie a room together, it’s also important to include a few common elements. For instance, if you’re layering contrasting solid and patterned fabrics, use a similar colour to tie them together.

How to Layer Pillows and Cushions

Instantly update your bed or sofa by layering pillows in different sizes, colours or patterns. To keep things from looking too contrived, stick to odd numbers. You can also have too much of a good thing, so don’t overload the space with too many cushions!



How to Layer Rugs

Whether it’s on carpet or timber flooring, layering with rugs is a clever way of pulling together a room and defining a space. You might even like to double down and layer two rugs. For instance, large rugs that take up almost the whole area of a room look great with a smaller rug on top that helps define a ‘zone’.

The most successful looks play with colour, pattern and size. Contrasting texture is also important.  For example, two shagpile rugs on top of each other looks a little confused, but a shagpile on top of a flat weave works beautifully.

How to Layer Objects

There are three things you should always vary when layering decorative pieces to give your home personality – height, shape and texture. Start with big objects like large vases or an artwork and then work back to the smallest ones. Keep to odd numbers of pieces and create balance, not necessarily symmetry.

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