The term layered is used as a catchall for interiors with many elements. But there’s more to the idea of mixing patterns.
At its most obvious, layering is hanging pictures on a papered wall, adding multiple quilts to a bed, or stacking up vintage trunks to occupy corner space. At worst, it’s overcrowding a table with too many objects or seeing a home that’s so over decorated it descends into clutter. At its best, layering can — and should — be artistic, with focus and specific visual intent. And while it’s rare to find a single photo that explains that really well, I feel this one does.
Styled to be an inspirational piece for spring flowers, the photo takes the motif of English roses on various surfaces and develops it vividly by mixing patterns — dark to light — which are variations on the same floral theme.
Both the carpet and the background are dark and linked by intense indigo blues almost as if they are one continuous surface. However, roses on the carpet are large scale and almost abstract while on the screen they are smaller and contained in the hexagonal, repeated pattern. Then there’s the chair. With its white background, the chair fabric pops against the dark elements. And while blossoms in the fabric print are anemones — not roses — the green and rose and lavender flowers are tamed by the dark pillow thrown on the seat. Did you even notice the difference in the flowers? It took me some time.
As an accent piece, even the vase of roses conforms with the overall scheme. The glass vase is dark blue while the blooms it contains are the same pinks, reds and lavenders — real three-dimensional roses in a room full of representations. Teachable photos like this one are difficult to find. Yet they are valuable because they give us good examples of how thoroughly a single idea can be worked in any room.
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