Monday, March 5, 2012

Layering: One way to achieve it

I like layers.  It's really hard to explain (to someone not obsessed with interiors) what that means.  But the other day I was browsing Tommy Smythe's portfolio and I saw a very clear example of layering. I thought it was a brilliant idea and wanted to share.

Do you see the stool/bench underneath the night table?  Its purpose is like a nesting table, individual tables inside one another, providing more surface area for your things.  However, unlike a nesting table, the upholstered bench adds another dimension/layer for your eye to look at.  The light fabric on the bench breaks up the wood, creates contrast and softens things up.  If the bench wasn't there, it wouldn't be as interesting.  Now, that is a layer!

We see Tommy do this again in another one of his bedrooms.  Now, this could have been purely done for styling purposes, but I tend to doubt it.  Here, we see the exact same bench used exactly the same way.  Like a nesting table, the bench could easily slide in and out from underneath the table.  Practical. 

Here is another example of a similar layer (not Tommy Smythe).  A round garden stool underneath a night table.  The circular shape of the stool breaks up all the straight lines in the room and creates another interesting thing to look at. 

Here, in one of Ashley Putman's older bedrooms, we see a bench propped in front of a chest. I think this might've been done strictly for styling purposes, but nevertheless do you see how it adds one more dimension for your eye to study?  The white painted bench with the black and white damask fabric creates contrast and adds another page to a virtually all black and white color scheme.  

So, do you like layers too? Would you try this in your home?  I just posted this idea in bedrooms, but you could try this in any room, really...

All images via pinterest


  1. I'd love to add a small bench into a room as an extra layer - I really like this idea and also creates an extra means of storage too or just a place to throw a magazine or book.

  2. These are great examples. Clearly, the small benches or stools in these rooms double as secondary storage for books and other accessories. Plus, they can be pulled out into the living room for extra seating in a pinch--love that!

  3. I'm with ya, Fran--love me some layers. I'm constantly on the look-out for smaller tables/stools to layer underneath larger tables. I also have several in my living room layered in front of a chest that act as tiny side tables. I think they just bring more interest in a room. P.S. I'm thinking those are the same room that Tommy designed--same bed, same table, just different angle and two totally different looks. Love that guy!

  4. Funny, you have chosen some of my favorite images here. I do love the layered look and have studied these many times. The stools add so much and I love that they act as nesting tables while still being functional.

  5. You know, I didn't really understand the word "layered" when I first started blogging. You're right that it's kind of hard to define, but the pictures you've chosen are great examples of layering and could help anyone to understand what it means to layer! I have a little stool under one my bedside tables which I added right after studying Ashley Putnam's bedroom! I stack magazines on top of it. A huge ungainly stack, I might add.

  6. I do love this when I see it in magazines but find it very hard to achieve at home. I am always picking up and putting away and streamlining. The layering in reality doesn't come easily to my need for simplicity!