Have you ever come across a picture in a book, or a magazine, or Pinterest, and immediately thought, I love that room… That is exactly how I want my house to look…?
I’m going to bet the answer is yes. I have that thought multiple times a day myself.
It’s easy to look at these spaces as a whole and love them, but have you ever actually broken them down to see exactly which elements of the room are drawing you in? What it is that makes that room so appealing to you?
One of my favorite parts of putting a room together is the styling and accessorizing. The paint colors, and the furniture, and the windows are fun – but those things are usually the “big ticket” stuff, and probably don’t get changed up too often. The accessorizing, however, can easily be changed with just a simple afternoon of rearranging and swapping one thing out for another – and voila! – your room can take on a whole new look.
I also feel like this may be where people tend to get “stuck” when they’re putting a room together – What kind of items do I bring into the room? How do I arrange them? How do I decide what to use where? Have you ever had these questions?
I know I have.
This is such a fun topic for me and there’s so much I want to share with you about it, but I’m going to try and keep it simple today and talk about layers. The layers are what give a room that collected, cozy feel that I think so many of us are drawn to. They also define the personality in a space. Of course, those “big ticket” things I mentioned earlier are a major layer in any room – but since they’re not as easy to change, I tend to view them as more of a foundation – and think of the accessories as the layers.
Whether I’m decorating a room, dreaming up a design, or simply looking through images on Pinterest, I always try to think of a room in these layers. What are the furnishings? The colors? The textures? How is it styled? How are all these elements communicating with one another? Once you have a true feel for what is in the room and how it all works together, I think it becomes easier to actually achieve the image you have going on in your head.
So how do you layer?
Unfortunately, there is no scientific formula for decorating a room. I think everyone has their own process when it comes to completing a space. I noticed as I was putting my house back together after Christmas this year that I tend to follow the same pattern anytime I’m refreshing a room. You may already have a process that works for you, but I thought I’d share my version of layering in case you were looking for a few new tips.
To demonstrate what I’m trying to get at here, I deconstructed my living room a bit.
I left a few pillows on the couch, and a couple items on the mantel (and of course there’s already a lot going on with the bookshelves – to be honest, I didn’t have the time to clear those off). You can see the room is nice – there’s nothing wrong with it – but it appears a little flat to me. So let’s start layering!
Layer 1: The Pillow Layer
The first layer is all about pillows and throws. I always start with the sofa. Even if you hate your sofa, show it some love and pile on those pillows! Yes, your husband will probably complain, but just ignore him. Kidding!! But kind of not. 🙂
With just a few extra pillows to add a bit of texture, you can see how the sofa really starts to stand out. Add in a cozy throw and I dare you not to want to curl up here and take a nap.
Somewhere once upon a time, I read a tip that suggested three to five pillows for a love seat, five to seven for a sofa, and seven to nine for a sectional. If you’re adding a throw, that counts for one pillow. I have found this “rule” to work pretty well – give it a try sometime and see what you think.
Layer 2: The Table Layer
The next layer is all about the hard surfaces like the coffee table, the end tables, the mantel, etc. I’m not sure why but I always start with the coffee table next. I love trays on a coffee table because they keep things contained and are easily removed when needed.
Sometimes I stick with just a tray, but a small stack of books next to it is a nice addition too.
Adding an additional stack of books to a side table as well as the mantel starts to tie it all together…
A chippy white vase on top of an old leather book fill the tray and carry the neutral color scheme of the sofa…
And simple glass votives round it all out.
Layer 3: The This and That Layer
This layer is all about the little extras in a space. These are the little things you might see out shopping or antiquing that you like, but you ask yourself, what would I ever do with that?
A strand of wooden beads tucked in a tray…
A set of old wooden bowls on a side table…
A weathered wood stool alongside a fireplace…
I think the important thing about this layer is that all the pieces “talk” to each other in some way. In this case they all have that timeworn, weathered wood. By having similar traits, a group of random items all feel relevant and purposeful in the room.
Layer 4: Pretty and Practical Storage
This might seem like a strange layer to do last, but that’s how it usually ends up for me. Probably because I’m always left with extra pillow covers, blankets, candleholders, etc. that I didn’t use. They have to go somewhere, right?
A metal bucket holds leftover pillow covers and throws…
A wicker basket keeps favorite magazines within easy reach…
An old wood ladder holds more throws…
Ok, so I may have a slight throw blanket addiction. Just a little one… 😉
Just remember – you don’t have to use buckets and baskets for just blankets and pillows. Feel free to store extra décor, dvds, or even some of the kids toys inside – and then throw a blanket on top of it all to hide the mess. No one will know you don’t have perfectly folded blankets stacked in that basket. 🙂
So we started here…
And ended here…
I know this has been an extremely lengthy post (if you’re still reading – you’re awesome), but see how just taking those few extra steps brings so much more life to this room?
Lately, I have been mulling over a few ideas for upcoming posts along the lines of styling and accessorizing – I’ll admit I am a little nervous about it because they are a bit “how-to”ish. I don’t in any way want to tell you how to decorate your home. There is no right or wrong, what works for me and my home, may not work for you and your home – and vice versa. That said, I would love to share some of the tips I’ve picked up along the way that may help you decorate your home. So if it’s ok with you, I think there may be a series coming up…
With much shorter posts… 😉
Sharing with: Bless’er House, Thoughts From Alice, Finding Silver Pennies, Coastal Charm, Karen’s Up on the Hill, Pocketful of Posies, Craftberry Bush, The Wicker House, Tidbits, Design, Dining and Diapers