One of the biggest problems most of our clients experience in their homes is the room not feeling finished. They want the look of comfy and cozy, finished, lived in and yet polished. 99.9% of the time that is accomplished through layering. Sometimes its as simple as a throw over the arm of a sofa, sometimes it’s layering on a coffee table, sometimes it’s adding something textural to the walls, often times it’s adding a layer of softness at the windows. 

Yesterday we met with a new client. She has a beautiful new home that has all the finishes most of us desire. Her taste in furnishings is on point. The floor plan is incredible with well thought out spaces. It really has it all! She is starting from scratch in furnishing it. She has a few pieces that she has purchased to get a start. A beautiful dining room set, a drop dead bedroom set, a yummy leather sofa and a nubby chair and ottoman. But she is stuck as to where to go next to make it look cohesive, to warm it up, to give each room interest. Layering will go a long way to get her there. 

Layering is an art. There is a point where it tips from layered and cohesive into messy, unkept and distracting. There is a starting point and an ending point. You have to know when to stop and where to edit. Every space in our opinion needs an area within the room to rest your eye. Layering isn’t about filling a space with things but rather adding interest and texture in specific areas while leaving others more simply decorated or even blank. 

We found this awesome article at Stonegable. You can read it here. She demonstrates taking a chair from plain to perfection in a few easy steps. But it’s not easy. Anyone that has tried this knows that. It takes trial and error to get it just right. 

She starts with a simple chair. It’s white here so the sky is the limit as to the direction she could take this. Look at what happens just by adding a pretty, textural throw in a warmer tone! You could stop right there and it’s a quick improvement. Notice that she also has texture behind the chair in the chippy frames.


She adds a pillow. In this case a larger print with blues and greens. Again, you could stop right there. It’s pretty and already more interesting and inviting for the space. But she takes it a step further by adding a second pillow in yet another print (this one complimentary but not bringing in a new color) in a smaller pillow (layering one behind the other) to give even more interest. She also adds a small ceramic jar that picks up the green in the first pillow. See how she made that color travel in the space from pillow to jar?


And finally she adds a tray to the jar making a side table with predominately white items on it (chair color) that have blue accents (pillows) and some greenery to balance the jar and the green in the pillow while keeping the tray in a dark color to ground it all. She also added some height by introducing a floor lamp (read link for all her steps).

So it looks super pretty but let’s keep it real. We are all about keeping it real at Cotton and Clay Interiors because like we say over and over again, we aren’t fussy or fancy.

There isn’t a lot of room to sit on that chair with all those pillows. Fine if you have the room to stage a sitting area that will never get used or want it to look pretty when no one is sitting in it. But why? The throw could have been the color or you could stop with one pillow. 

The tray perched on top of the jar? What happens when something on the top gets moved? Will the whole thing tip? Is there room to put a cup or wine glass down? You could use a more traditional side table, perhaps bringing in a wood tone for texture and doing some editing on the top. A stack of books with the plant on top and a small photo perhaps?

The example is perfection in showing you how to add texture, color, and general layers to a space but it’s an example. Each space is unique, as it should reflect YOU!

Layers that we like to include in a space include rugs, throws, interest in artwork, little vignettes throughout the space, green plants, tall lamps, short lamps (lighting in general is a whole other way to add layers), pillows and fabric at the window. The possibilities are endless, which brings us back to our new client with the gorgeous home. She has all the pieces for beautiful spaces, now she just needs to furnish it and layer it to make it a home. We are going to help her do just that with a design plan to follow. Rugs, furniture selections and arraignment options, placement for art, window coverings where applicable, and suggestions on where to layer and with what. If she gets stuck along the way, we’re a phone call away. 

So dear followers, go forth and layer! If you need help getting started or are at a point where you’ve lost your way, shoot us an email and we will schedule a time to come out and help.

Happy Layering!