Layering your lair with flair

Anyone who has been to one of my Design Schools knows how obsessed I am about layers. No layers = no intrigue, simple as that. Layering is one of the most important components in the decorating puzzle so it takes skill. It’s an art form actually (not trying to put you off here!).

Layering in a nutshell means looking at everything three-dimensionally. It’s not as simple as adding something bold and crazy, it’s more subtle and cleverer than that so takes a while to master. But get it right and it can create the most beautiful visual interest.

First rule – no gaps! There are no empty spaces in my pad whatsoever. I can’t stand completely unadorned consoles, unloved side tables or cold little empty corners on hallways and landings. You don’t have to go totally overboard, even just a plant, lamp, sculptural bowl or sweet little stool will brighten up most awkward spots. Check out my failsafe guide to vignettes to get you started! 

I accessorise all the time with little heaps of books that I put on small occasional tables, bedside tables, my kitchen island – everywhere and anywhere. Although they’re not the highest impact pieces they add vitality, personality and a lived-in feeling to my scheme. They’re a subtle but important layer – my low down on decorating with books will show you how to take a reading library to the next level.

Lastly, checking up on your walls and floors will complete the picture. I went into detail last week about the zillions of ways you can fill a blank wall. Just please don’t leave them bare! Art and mirrors are obviously the biggies here, but a cool wallpaper or cladding effect can work wonders too. Rugs are great for adding that tactile element, and softening a space. Use them as a pathway to lead a flow through the room, mix and match them, and overlap one over another if you dare. Happy layering!

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