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  • Gina Everett

Layering in the Bedroom

One of the most important elements and lesser-known parts of the design process is the layering stage. This balances the entire design and gives it a cohesive and liveable look. It involves the designer breaking the design down into individual layers of items within the space in a visual context.

How do you achieve layering in your room?

Imagine your room is a blank canvas. Start with walls and floors; this is visual layer #1. The foundations of design, they will tie everything together.

Furniture is our visual layer #2. This stands on top of layer #1. This adds forms and functionality to the space. Generally, the essential pieces that define the use of the room. A bedroom has a bed, a kitchen has units and appliances and so on.

Bed-linen, curtains and lamps are the beginning of adding personality and usability to the space. These are on visual layer #3. They make the furniture usable within the room rather than just looking like a furniture shop! Like bed-linen for beds, curtains for windows and lights for navigation. This layer makes the house a home, and you’ll notice that they’re sometimes used to dress furniture in showrooms to give them that homely impression to encourage us to buy. This is sometimes the layer where homeowners choose to stop.

There is then the crucial visual layer #4 which adds real personality: the addition of personal accessories, cushions on the sofas and art on the walls. This is what makes your home yours and most unique to you. It may be a preference of the individual to avoid too many layers, and you can appreciate how if you’re trying to achieve a minimalist design you would stop at layer #3 and avoid further personalised flair.

If want to add more individuality and richness to the design you can even add a fifth layer, e.g. another row of cushions, perhaps a throw over the arm of sofa or at the bottom of a bed. Another common technique is placing magazines casually on a coffee table or adding a flickering candle for those relaxed evenings.

These layers combine to create the holistic design and the room is ready to be used as your personal space.

Why do we layer?

It’s remarkable how our brains subconsciously react if a layer is missing. Usually we just have a feeling that something is unbalanced or absent but its the in-cohesive layers that our subconscious has noticed.

You're subconsciously aware when a picture is missing from a wall, or a room feels flat and cold. It’s normally simply a complete layer missing or a layer incorrectly placed, not that your design is doomed. Having balance is essential to achieving a room configuration we feel comfortable with. What is missing from the design below?

When you begin planning be aware that we don’t always purchase items for the visual layers in the order above, as explained in our post about colouring walls from July 20th, It’s actually best to start with fabrics and working onward from there. We recommend starting a scrap book or sample board to add these layers and ensure they are being thought about at the early stages of your sourcing.

Now we’ve mentioned it we bet you’ll begin seeing layers everywhere in room designs!

If you’re having trouble putting your finger on what’s missing from your layering or need help designing a space that is personally tailored to you, feel free to drop us an email at or see our services page to book your free consultation.

Happy layering!

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