The 7 Layers of Decorating January 8, 2019

7 Layers to Decorating

We can’t create a life we love and leave out the space where we live right?  Creating a space you love is so important.  This isn’t about more, it is about simplifying the process.  In true January fashion we often start to look around and want to declutter or spruce up our surroundings.  A new year a new look. Let’s face it we spend a lot of time in our home.  It should be a haven.  A place to rest.  A pretty place to exhale, inhale, and smile from the inside out.  

Decorating a space can be challenging and costly so many times people throw the towel in and settle.  I am here to encourage you to create a space you love.  You may need to start with one room and that is OK, just pick the room and let’s get started.  

There is a process that decorators follow.  It is easy, and I promise if you follow this process you will find yourself loving your new space and ready to move on and tackle another.  Are you ready to let the 7 layers of decorating inspire a transformation?  Here we go.  

First thing I want you to do is choose your space.  Start with a small one perhaps a guest bedroom and by the time you get to your great room you will be an expert.  Have a budget in mind.  Set aside a Saturday.  Jump in with a “I can do this” attitude.  

Layer number 1 is the anchor, the area rug.  Often times when we don’t know what colors we want to use in a room we start with an area rug.  The rug anchors the room, inspires the color palette, and puts the process in motion.  If you have carpet in the room the answer is yes, you can put an area rug over carpet.  The trick to this is the way you situate it under your bed.  Try placing the rug at an angle to give the room more interest and have the rug coming out from under the bed.  Little peeps of color and texture create interest.  If you have carpet you can probably get away with a rug that is an 5X7 or 8X10.  Can you picture it now?  There is your room with a solid carpet or hard wood or tile floors…. You place that rug under your bed with a few feet coming out the end and side perhaps at that angle we talked about.  You stand back and look at it and you say to yourself, “That looks great and I love the color it adds to my space”.   Now I want you to make a mental note of the 3 (no more than 3) colors that you love in that rug.  Get excited because it is time for Layer #2.

Layer number 2 in dressing a room is your furniture.  More often than not we are working with furniture we already have.  That is just fine.  After all great decorating is all in the layers of detail.  If you are purchasing furniture choose neutral colors and simple details so that when you are ready to change up color and metals it is easy to do and you can keep your existing furniture.  If we are working in a bedroom the furniture is a bed and a dresser.  I will get to those nightstands in a moment.  If we are working in a great room the furniture is typically a sofa and a chair. You may be asking what about end tables and coffee tables, stay tuned, that is another layer!  

Layer number 3, and this is where the party begins and I start to get super excited is the accent furniture pieces.  These are pieces that do not match the bed or dresser…. or the couch and chair.  Accent furniture is like that friend who is always the life of the party.  She walks in and people want to know her!  Accent furniture has a story to it.  As I type this here in my home office I am looking at an antique chair I picked up in my little town at an estate sale.  The chair is a blush color and is from Belgium.  When people come in my office they always ask about the chair.  Every room needs accent furniture.  Pull out a color in that rug and purchase a chair in that color!  Accent furniture can be a pair of mis matched night stands in your bedroom too.  I can tell you are getting excited.  Great places to find accent furniture are estate sales, Home Goods, TJMAX, or you might have some old pieces that you could paint and use as your accent furniture.  

Layer number 4 is textures and textiles.  You have that beautiful area rug that you anchored your room with.  You have placed your furniture and added some accent pieces that may not match but they certainly compliment and now we bring in the pillows, bedding, throws.  Depending on what room you are dressing will depend on what textiles you will be searching for.  Pillows and throws are a great way to add interest, color and comfort.  They are not expensive at all.  Check Wayfair if you love to shop online and the bullseye boutique (Target) because well, we love Target.  Use neutrals and patterns with your textiles.  Play around and find what you like.  A cozy couch has a chunky throw and down filled pillows to curl up with after a long day.  Let’s face it we all love a well dressed bed with a throw laid across the end and enough pillows to make your husband go crazy.  Textures and textiles is layer number 4 and at this moment you will stand back and say to yourself, “does HGTV have any idea how good I am at this”.  Now you are considering a career change.  (I am laughing at myself are you?)

Layer number 5 is lighting.  I have always loved lamps and the soft lighting that comes from them.  Overhead lighting is a necessity as well.  Stand back and look at your room and decide where lighting needs to be placed.  You may want to place lamps on your nightstands in your bedroom.  A lamp is perfect on an accent or end table next to a reading chair in a great room.  Remember, the lamps do not have to match just compliment one another.  Keep the metals and shades within the same color family if possible.  Play around and see what you like.  These details are like shopping for accessories for your wardrobe.  Try a few different styles and placement of them and trust your instincts.  You’ve got this.

Layer number 6 is personal accessories.  Can you believe you are almost finished?  Choosing personal accessories will really make the room feel like it is yours.  You will add photos of your family.  Coffee table books of places you want to travel or the breed of dog you love.  Candles and seashells from places you have visited with those you love.  Arrange your accessories in groupings of 3 if the space allows.  Stand back and evaluate the look you have created and move things around until it feels just right.  You might have a family photo and a candle sitting with a seashell you picked up on your last vacation.  Layer 6 brings the love, the memories, and the magic to your room.  I can see you now standing there in that space as you contemplate the next room on your list.  You are invigorated, you are empowered.  

The final layer is number 7.   Its time to adorn the walls that frame your beautiful space.  We have so many options we can use now.  Look for items such as mirrors and artwork.  Iron and inspirational words.  I have a friend who hung 2 medium sized gold mirrors behind her lamps that sat on her night stands.  It looks so beautiful.  I would have never thought to do that but I loved it.  I recently purchased artwork in the shades of that rug that anchors my great room.  All of us are different when it comes to how much should go on a wall.  Remember this is your space, your haven.  So there is no right or wrong answer.  If you are working with small items like sconces and small pictures, an arrangement in a grouping of 3 is a great rule of thumb.  If you are adorning a mantel then you are super lucky because your husband didn’t put his 85 inch TV up there!  GO YOU!  You will want to decorate that mantel in a way that your eye goes from left to right.  The taller items to the left and the smaller items to the right.  Layering mirrors and artwork is a fun way to dress a mantel too.  

HGTV just called and wants to hire you!  Hey, you never know.  You just learned how the 7 layers of decorating can transform a room into a space you love.  If you want more information on this concept there are many books you can read.  Decorating shouldn’t be difficult it should be fun and rewarding.  Remember,  we are creating a life we love together and this is just one more part of the puzzle.

In Style & Friendship,