What Are Room Layers In Interior Design

What Are Room Layers In Interior Design?


February 28, 2022

What does it mean to layer a room?

Layering a room basically means using different textures, shapes, and colors so that you can add more balance and depth to your living space.

It focuses on all the essential components of a room, such as its lighting and decorative items, to complete the interior design of your space, making it look professionally decorated. If you want to learn how to layer a room, here’s what you need to know. 

Why Is It Important To Layer A Room?

What Are Room Layers In Interior Design

Layering a room basically refers to the practice of building your room from the ground up. It involves taking all the design elements of your room and bringing them together to create a balanced look that has greater depth and personality.

When you walk into a room of your home, you want to feel that the room is in harmony, instead of feeling that its elements aren’t coming together or something’s just not right.

We can say that the idea behind layering a room is similar to how you would bring your fashion look together. You have to focus on colors, textures, and different accessories so that you have a look which reflects your personality but is still cohesive. 

So, with the above in mind, what are the layers of a room, and how do you make them work together in harmony?

The Seven Layers Of A Room

There are seven layers of a room. Here’s what they are and what to know about them.

Ceiling And Walls

We have to start with the basics, which is made up of the ceiling and walls of the room. There are many architectural components to consider with this base layer, such as the shape of the ceiling, the color on the walls, and any embellishments, such as trims, fireplace mantels, and baseboards.

Note that making these elements more decorative can help you to bring greater flair to a room. 


The floor of your room is the next crucial layer to consider. The floor you decide, such as if it’s carpeted or not, plays a big role in the room’s atmosphere and energy.

For example, wood floors give you a traditional and rustic personality; by comparison, tiled homes work well in a contemporary space. The carpets or rugs you choose for the flooring also play a big role in adding texture and color to the room.

Upholstered Furniture

Whether you’ve got furniture in the form of ottomans, sofas, or chaise lounges, these are the items that you should consider when decorating your home’s space.

In fact, they need to be considered early on because they are the basic building blocks of your room’s design. They should also be considered when it comes to the color scheme and their style should complement the overall style of the room. 

What Are Room Layers In Interior Design

Non-Upholstered Furniture

These pieces are important for function and aesthetics in your living space. They include items such as coffee tables and side tables. Think about using them for storage space, too, such as in the form of choosing coffee tables that have built-in storage space or ottomans that double up as side tables. 

Accent Fabrics

Now that you have the basics of the room, you need to think about the fabrics in the form of pillows, curtains, and runners. Here is when you can play with colors and make the space come alive with different textures.

You should also consider the time of year when choosing these fabrics for your home. For example, you might want heavier curtains in the winter and lighter, breezier fabrics for the warmer months.

Decor Pieces

This is another important layer of your room because it also adds color and texture to the space, but it brings your personality and preferences to the room. These items can include mirrors, artwork, and statues.


Your room’s lighting isn’t just about having enough light for your tasks, such as reading, washing dishes, doing your makeup, and more. Lighting fixtures and designs should be statement pieces in the room, providing more aesthetic appeal.

For example, you could have a decorative chandelier in the bathroom to make it more glamorous or three symmetrical pendant lights in the kitchen to provide balance. Therefore, lighting is one of the most important layers of a room. 

Tips On How To Layer A Room 

What Are Room Layers In Interior Design

Now that you know what the main layers of a room are, you might be confused about how to start creating a room that reflects your personality and makes your living space look professionally designed. Here are the steps to follow.

Start With Color

The first step you should follow when designing your room is to focus on its color scheme. Think about the background color of the room, which will appear on the walls and ceilings, as well as the large furniture pieces.

While you might have the same color on all your walls, you could have an accent wall to bring in a bit of contrast. Although you will consider other colors in the room’s decor, for now concentrate on the main colors you want as they will influence everything you bring into the room.

Move On To Patterns

Once you have decided on the color scheme for the room, you can focus on patterns. A good tip to follow is to think about the most prevalent color in the room and use it to bring the entire scheme together.

Then, use different prints and patterns to build interest with that color being the common thread. In this way, patterns can also create a bit of contrast in the room. 

Contrast is an important factor to consider when layering a room. To achieve this, play with different colors and patterns, different sizes, and different textures, such as smooth and spiky items that are brought together. 

Pro tip: When thinking about colors to mix and match, make sure you check the color wheel to see what opposing color shades are.

Layer Your Room With Artwork 

What Are Room Layers In Interior Design

Now you need to go back to your walls and add artwork to them to make your plain walls more visually appealing. If you’re framing the artwork, you can choose to have the same frames to produce cohesion or you can choose different frames to create a more eclectic design.

A piece of artwork can be a statement piece in a room, or you can choose smaller prints on the wall that provide symmetry. 

Decorate Your Room With Rugs 

Rugs are decor pieces that can also have the practical function of making the room warmer and cozier. Consider rugs in colors that work with your color scheme, perhaps by adding a bit of contrast. You should also play with textures for the mood you want.

For example, if the room is a living room, you might want a colorful rug; on the other hand, in the bedroom a fluffier rug could help to achieve a more comfortable, cozier feeling.

Add Smaller Furniture Pieces To The Room 

Smaller furniture, such as in the form of coffee tables and end tables, will bring more materials and textures to the room.

To make sure that adding the furniture helps you to achieve a layered effect, you should choose pieces that are made of different materials or have different textures, such as leather and wood, or metal and wood. This gives your room more personality and ensures it will be dynamic.

Focus On Light 

What Are Room Layers In Interior Design

Light is a layer that is focused on function, but you can also make it decorative. Think statement chandeliers or pendants that become a focal point in a room.

You can use different types of lighting in different ways. For example, downcast wall lights can be used to highlight artwork or other types of architectural features. 

Pro tip: Make sure you have dimmer switches. These help you to better  manage different levels of lighting, conveniently by allowing you to dim or brighten the room depending on your needs. This also helps you to quickly and effectively change the mood of a space. 

Consider The Rule Of Three

This is a quick and easy rule to bear in mind when you’re trying to layer your living space. What it means is that you should think about the following three things:

  1. A vertical item (for example, a candle) 
  2. A horizontal item (for example, a tray) 
  3. A sculpted item (for example, a statue) 

You can use this design rule to help you get started with designing your interiors, such as if you want to decorate your bookshelf or mantelpiece.

Don’t Go Crazy With Accessories

While accessories in your room can add an extra decorative punch to your living space, you don’t have to add too many of them. Remember, one statement accessory can be much more powerful than having many boring or nondescript accessories. 

Accessories are important to add visual appeal to a room, and they are also a nifty way to bring contrast to your decor in a more affordable way.

Should You Stick To Neutral Colors In Your Living Space? 

What Are Room Layers In Interior Design

When you’re choosing a color scheme filled with your favorite colors that you want in your surroundings, you might wonder if you need to follow the rule that you should stick to neutral colors, such as white, black, beige, and grey.

This is a good idea for your base colors, such as when it comes to some furniture and your wall colors, but you shouldn’t be limited by them. You should bring in bolder or brighter colors into your space to make it come alive and have more personality. 

How Do You Make Your Living Space Unique? 

One of the problems you might encounter when decorating your home is that it lacks personality. However, you might worry that if you add too many personalized items to the living space that it will start to look cluttered.

To prevent this from happening while making your space look unique, you should add in a few mix-and-match items. These can include an antique armoire or side table that will add contrast to your contemporary design, or choosing asymmetrical designs in the form of beloved picture frames on the wall that are of different sizes.

Traveling souvenirs and family mementos can also be good choices for injecting a bit of personality into your home’s decor, but don’t go overboard with them. One or two pieces in a room can be enough to make it look more unique than a generic showroom design. 

Related Questions 

What is task lighting?

Task lighting refers to putting lighting in certain areas of a room where you need to achieve tasks, such as by having enough light over a desk in an office or over your kitchen island where you will cook. 

How can you add color to a room without painting it?

You can add color to your living space in various ways, such as by choosing colorful pillows, cushions, tapestries, or artwork. 


It’s not always easy to know how to design a room. It can even be overwhelming at times, which is why it’s good to focus on the layers of a room and start with those.

After reading this article, you now know how to successfully layer a room with essential components without it being a stressful experience.


James Weldon is a professional roofing contractor with many years of experience on the job. He does not only handle large projects and provide excellent services for his company’s many clients; James Weldon also dedicates his spare time to teaching others useful tricks of the trade. Using BuildCampus as an avenue to reach many roofers and aspiring roofing contractors, James Weldon continues to provide high-quality educational posts and buying recommendations for anyone who visits the website.