What, When, Where: The Layered Look

October 3, 2011

By Erin Marvin

On a recent afternoon, I was sitting at my desk eating a petite baklava from Masmoudi, a Tunisian patisserie in Paris, and I got to thinking about layers. (I was also thinking about how lucky I am to have family members who bring back–and share–sweets from their trips abroad.)

Just as layer upon layer of paper-thin filo dough, chopped nuts and golden honey are stacked atop one another to create a perfect pastry, layering new and antique furniture, a mix of smooth and textured fabrics and favorite beloved accessories can create the perfect, and personalized, interior.

So in tribute to my favorite layered sweet, here are a few great examples of how layering can really make a room:

Twin Siamese figures stand guard over French chairs, bamboo bird cages, a tapestry-covered stool and pale Oriental rug.

Design by Joe Minton. Photo by Emily Minton Redfield, courtesy of Southern Accents

A mix of layered mirrors, Lucite end tables, a custom velvet sofa and a Frances Elkins–inspired circle-back chair gives this modern room a real sense of depth.

Design by Mary McGee. Photo by Miguel Flores-Vianna, courtesy of House Beautiful

Modern poufs, antique rugs and sterling-silver servingware are all ensconced in a warm palette of saffron, ruby and bittersweet.

Design by Dinyar Wadia. Photo by Michael Partenio, from New England Home; click to see more

Plaid throws, nineteenth-century Persian carpets and tartan-covered pillows, oh my.

Design by Ward Denton and Christopher Gardner. Photo by Thibault Jeanson, courtesy of Elle Decor