Interior designer speak: Layering

Lets be honest, the language that interior designers use can sound a little pretentious. It often seems that the more abstract the description of something really very simple, the better. Things like describing furniture arrangements as ‘moments’ does little to endear the layman to our profession.

A word I find creates a lot of confusion is the word ‘layering’. Interior designers use it all the time and often clients haven’t got a clue what they mean.

The average dude on the street that doesn’t spend his life reading décor magazines might think it’s about putting as many throws and cushions on a couch as possible, but really this is not what it is at all.

While some interior designers use the term to describe quantity – many throws on a chair, under heaps of cushions, on two rugs, we like to look at it a bit differently, because when understood properly, the concept of layering can really add extra dimension to your interior design.

If you think about a home as a 2D image, layering turns that 2D image into something 3D. It creates depth of field and dimension. It adds interest and surprise to multiple levels rather than just one.

So when we consult with our clients and try and explain the concept of layering, we like to start with a focal point. When you’ve decided on your focal point and the arrangement of furniture to create that focus, now it’s time to add layers to that picture.

Perhaps a chair in the foreground completes the picture? Or pulling your couch away from the wall and putting a standing lamp in the gap creates a look that is dimensional and captivating rather than flat and boring.

Of course groupings of accessories count as layering as well, but what we try and encourage is that clients add dimension and interest, rather than just random of groups of little shit everywhere.

Why don’t you play around with layering in your own home, and see if you can add a little bit of charm that wasn’t there before?




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