31 Days of French-Inspired Style Day 18: Layering


This is a design trick that is commonly used in French-inspired spaces. Well, really it’s used in all good design.

It makes items look interesting and when it’s done well, if looks effortless. I must confess, that layering is difficult for me and it’s a skill I have to work at.

Layering is very important if your room is monochromatic because you must have several layers of texture and slight variations of color to keep it from falling flat….


The room shown above has several textural layers: a woven basket, a silkier fabric on the pillows and drapes, and a natural cotton or linen for the chairs. It also has several layers of white and cream.

Layering can also be done with pattern….


The room shown above has layered 2 small to medium size patterns (the stripes and the checks) with a larger scale pattern (the toile).

Layering is also important in accessorizing.

You can layer horizontally from the front to the back like the items on this mantel….


For my autumn mantel, I layered a boxwood wreath over an empty frame and layered that over a mirror….

mantel layers_opt

Layering can also be done vertically by creating differing heights on tabletops and in bookcases…..

Love the layering on top of this buffet….


The only way to get better at layering is to practice. Practice layering colors and pattern by experimenting with fabric samples.

Practice layering your home accessories by “shopping” your house and playing around with what you have. One trick is to use items like books as risers to make certain objects stand taller in a grouping. Another trick is to study arrangements that you see in magazines, blogs, and at stores to learn what you like and to get ideas.

See you tomorrow!


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