How to Decorate by Layering Your Artwork, Mantle & Bookshelves

Today we're chatting about one of the things I get the most questions about-- how to layer your decor. Some of you might be thinking "why would I need to layer decor?" Well, good question ;)
1. We layer accessories and decorations to create a collected-over-time and aesthetically pleasing vignette. If we put everything in straight rows and spaced evenly our decor might fall flat and look a little lack-luster. 

2. Think of layering your home decor like you think of layering your outfits. You look more put together when you have multiple items on. For example, you might put on a cami, layer with a chunky cardigan and then throw on a long necklace to finish it off. Think of those items like you would a sofa, layered with a throw blanket and topped off with fun pillows! It looks more finished and put together.

Today I'm going to show you 3 places or objects where layering can have a huge impact: styling artwork, mantles and bookshelves. After the photos of each I'm giving you a couple of practical styling tips. Let's dive in!

Styling Tips:

- Lean art in front of other pieces of art to create the layered effect. The farthest one back can even be hung on the wall.
- Stack books or set a tray with objects on it in front of art as the second layer.
- Art and frames should be different heights to create interest.
- In the case of mixing art, it looks nice when you keep it in the same color palette, or keep most pieces neutral and then pop one piece with bold color (like the last photo). In the first example you can see they kept it very colorful, but the palette is relatively cohesive. 

Styling Tips:

- Stack frames in front of frames like the first example and anchor with taller objects (like plants or a sculpture) on either end to anchor it. Different color frames are okay, just keep balance and visual weight in mind.
- In the second example you can see how simple this can be. One large mirror layered with a vase with tons of greens crossing over the mirror and then a stack of small boxes. This looks collected and effortless, not fussy.
- In the third example the layering is done by leaning (or hanging) something large against the wall, then setting airy plants in front of it and anchoring with skinny black candlesticks (black brings weight, tall candlesticks bring height and the thin sticks make sure it's not TOO heavy).
Michaela Noelle Designs

Styling Tips:

- The takeaway here is that art doesn't have to be HUNG on a wall. It can be leaned. 
- Layering not only has to do with putting art behind shorter pieces, but it also has to do with where on the shelf (how far back) it sits. See how the taller blue patterned vase on the far left is set farther back than the shorter one?
- Almost any time you have a stack of books, an object can be set on top of it (unless it's a tall stack as seen in the last photo). This object is a layering piece.
- You can layer by adding items to bowls or trays, beads to boxes or vases, plants in front of candlesticks, etc.

Hopefully these inspiration images give you some ideas on how to layer your decor! It doesn't have to be expensive or hard-- just start by using what you have. Let me know if you have any design questions! I love answering.

Happy styling!

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1 comment

  1. Im at a loss with my mantel. The room has to be painted. Have no idea what color. I get tired of artwork. Have no ideas but this did help. Thank you.


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