Interior design is like cooking. You may add a sprinkle of this, a dash of that, or throw in some last-minute seasonings to achieve a tasty result. Designing is similar; trialling and testing what works and doesn't helps achieve successful installations. Here are our guidelines for working with layering ……But don't forget it is all about personal taste!
Layering is the key to the success of a rich, characterful scheme. So, what exactly is interior layering, and how do we approach it? 'Layered' refers to the art of blending a variety of fabrics, designs, colours, and textures in a way that adds character and warmth to a space. A new pattern gives vitality, energy, and personality to a place in a way that a simple palette rarely can. But why limit yourself to using only one texture? The skill of layering is learning how to use each of them separately and making them function together cohesively - essentially, creating a room from the ground up.
Did you know that the skill of layering is important to every interior and external space? Layering can involve bringing together numerous pieces of décor, furniture and accessories that must work cohesively to create a room's atmosphere, depth and identity.
Layering with Colour
The first layer to think about is colour, which is the starting point of most schemes. It's said that white provides a blank canvas, but any colour in a room can do the same. If you desire to have an overall single-coloured theme, then the use of layering and texture is essential. A current trend is an earthy, natural palette, and Green seems to be leading the way. By mixing different tonal greens with texture, you can create a peaceful and welcoming look. Elgin, our new textured woven fabric, is perfect for bringing that added design element to a room. Colours like Honeydew, Amazon and Tawney fit well within the earthy theme. A softer surface with a heavier texture can offset the fabrics nicely, whilst mixing velvet with a rougher texture can add dimension. Below is an example of mixed texture centralising around a single-coloured theme.
Layering with multi colours is different again. Getting the balance right is trickier than it sounds. When layering around a sofa or chair design, one must consider how the colours will interact with other aspects of the room, including flooring, tables, wall colours and doors. Colours have different appearances next to other colours and also in different lighting. The best way to test fabric is to use samples to see what colours go together or don't. Cushions are a great way of adding colour to a room; these can be bright and bold or more subtly used. Our Elgin, Richmond, Amara and Opulence ranges are great cushion fabrics.
TEXTURES AND PATTERNS
Using a heavy multi-coloured texture is fine, but not all over the room! It's important when styling with texture to consider how much is too much. Fabrics like Elgin are lovely, but they need to be used carefully. Offsetting heavy textures with more subtle fabric creates a blended palette that compliments itself. Using fabrics like Richmond (cord velvet) and Elgin together gives a balanced texture.
Pattern fabrics need careful consideration; patterns can be over-facing when used without thought. Often one bold design is picked to take centre stage, and other more subtle fabrics are selected to compliment. An accent chair is a great way to add patterns to a room. Fabrics such as Savannah, Orion and Heritage bring that wow factor when used as a featured piece. Colour again drives how this will interact in the room. A soft tone in such fabrics will not stand out as much as daring shades like Saffron, Petrol and Plum.
If you want to take a more refined approach, small-scale patterns like a herringbone can be used in other ways. Scatter cushions, curtains and beanbags are great ways of introducing a design into a scheme. These can also be easily interchangeable and a less costly way of reimagining a space. These small-scale fabrics also work great on more traditional style chairs, creating a more sophisticated, timeless look.
Accent fabrics can be anything from curtains, cushions, chairs, and so on. By adding accent fabrics to a room, the character of the space can be easily changed. These items can easily be switched up and change as trends and seasons shift. A neutral palette on bigger pieces like sofas and chairs creates a canvas to add the accents further. Cushions are a great way to add different styles and patterns to a sitting area. By mixing up different colours and tones, interesting palettes can be created. Accent chairs can be used to add a statement to a room. Elgin is a great accent fabric; whether upholstered on a chair or used in various cushion styles, the texture and multi-colour effect provide an exciting yet pleasing look.
Mixing texture with plains adds another level. Elgin paired with a soft plain velvet like our Avalon range can bring out the colours in the room more. Elgin Spectrum sitting with Avalon Grape is a beautiful example.
Furniture comes in different shapes and sizes, and people's taste varies dramatically. The furniture picked by consumers will be driven by age, room size, trends and budgets. We're in a period of change where consumers consider more about sustainability and longevity but are also restrained by cost.
The popularity of neutral, safe-coloured upholstered furniture is still strong. Still, over the last few years, colour has been making a big impact, and the furniture industry is seeing more trend lead requests. Choosing furniture for a room is a big decision as it tends to be the most prominent feature. The room shape often dictates size and shape, from corner groups to two-seaters and love seats. So why is furniture part of layering, and what should be considered?
Often the furniture dictates the rest of the room. If you want a green sofa, you're unlikely to paint your walls blue. The sofa, chairs, and table are part of the layering process. If you want your sofa to be the statement in the room, you're likely to go for something bold in colour and maybe heavily textured. Moving on, the accessory layers will be more muted and subtle to allow the sofa to take centre stage. Often plain cushions, rugs and curtains will be used to soften the room. However, if bold isn't your taste, then neutral, softer colours can be used to create a calmer ambience. Using more neutral colours on bigger pieces allows brighter accents to be used. These might be a mix of colourful cushions, a patterned footstool, throws and rugs.
The best way to explore our fabrics is by using our search function. It allows you to filter by colour and style, giving you an overall view of what Mobus has to offer.