Situations have recently come up wherein I need to explain how "layering" works in interior design.
Sometimes clients just don't understand how "layering" can create balance in a space by using dissimilar things to swing from opposite to opposite in a pleasing way.
I start by explaining that it consists of many juxtapositions, like rough vs. smooth or shiny, traditional vs. modern, curved vs.angled lines, neutral vs. vibrant, saturated colors.
Texture is no. 1 in my style book. So, for instance, I might pair a grasscloth wallcovering with velvet upholstery and lacquered finishes on wood. Perhaps a bit more shiny with mirrors or smalls to round out the texture story.
I like to use color as part of the layering picture but mixing periods, while being very stylish can be tough to convince a client to do.
If you can talk to someone in simple terms of textures and finishes, i.e. rough vs, smooth and of traditional vs. modern the conversation gets easier.
It recently came up with a client that actually had wonderful taste but could not find her balance between "mother's traditional" and a not too modern updated chic version of something that had relevance to her, like her mother's home.
I showed her a few classic fretwork patterns, mixing color, scale and purpose while keeping her hardworking needs in mind for finishes and it made sense.