Velvet: Why we at Layered Lounge Love It
Interior Style Tips

Velvet - why we love it

There is no better material for adding luxury and a feeling of warmth to your home than velvet. A material which oozes elegance and sophistication, velvet is once again set to have its moment this season. A pleasure not only to look at but to touch, adding velvet cushions to your sofa or a velvet shade to your lamp can instantly exude style and comfort. Whilst traditionally velvet has been synonymous with darker colours predonimantly a material for the rich it is often associated with stately homes adorned with antiques upholstered in velvet frequently having seen better days. It is now being used in abundance in headboards, sofas and accessories in a wide variety of colours. But you don't need to go overboard with the fabric, you can introduce it in smaller accessories which don't cost the earth but instantly update your look. Cushions So you can never have enough cushions! So using velvet cushions in your displays is an easy way to introduce an on trend refresh at any time of the year. A simple plain colour is striking enough to break up pattered fabrics or can compliment other plain colours and the beauty of velvet is that it sits perfectly with most fabrics. Take this deep rust cushion toned with the navy. And the white sits perfectly on it's own or with both. All enhance each other very well, but mix with a patterned linen cushion or a heavy cotton loom and they will look stunning together without you even trying! A selection of our Velvet Cushions beautifully piped with linen. Lampshades The trick with velvet if you are not adventurous enough is to add in small doses and a lampshade is perfect because it can be used on a small scale but can have a very satisfying result. Shown here is our Shiva black lamp base with petrol blue shade. The base is fairly plain but the texture and the colour combined with the gold inside gives that feeling of warmth and decadence with or without the bulb on. Shiva base and Petrol velvet shade Upholstery You just can't beat a velvet chair or sofa, they are timeless! Being expensive pieces if you choose a hue that you love it will definately stand the test of time. Think about this time of year snuggling up on a velvet sofa with the fire lit under a sumptuous throw. As well as being a soft, comfortable fabric velvet will not clash with other fabrics within your home. A large sofa instantly draws you in and if layered with cushions and throws correctly can look even more inviting. If your space is limited why not go for a more streamlined armchair or a bench at the end of your bed. Image from Pinterest Curtains The Theatre springs to mind with this one. The huge red stage curtains filling the audience with anticipation as to what dramas unfold once the reams of fabric are elegantly pulled back! Unless you live in a Palace the majority of homes can't take this with such scale but if proportioned properly can still look amazing. A big bay window dressed with velvet can look amazing and particularly in the winter months could help with the drafts. If you don't want such a heavy look why not combine a heavy linen with a velvet border edge to still give that feel of luxury to your room. Wallpaper Sometimes called Flock wallpaper this originated in Ancient China. The styles generally are inspired by India, Arabic, Rococo, Boroque and China. Not only does it look luxurious and expensive there are a lot of advantages to using velvet on the walls which you may not have realised. The product has excellent thermal insulation. They are of high quality, durable and soft. Easy to use and can be cleaned with a damp cloth often. It can perfectly hide uneven walls and is considered the most environmentally friendly. A+ fire resistance so does not ignite. Who would have known! So why not give it a go even if it's on an accent wall. So why not give it a go this season and give your home that luxury but understated update it deserves! We're here to help as always if you need us.
Candles at Layered Lounge
Interior Style Tips

Why you should fill your home with candles...

In religious practise, lighting a candle signifies a prayer being said for someone and it can also symbolise purity and goodness. In every day life for us, lighting a candle is synonymous with the end of a work day, a time for calm and relaxation. A point in the day when work is over, dinner is done, the little ones are asleep and the teenagers chilling in their rooms. Sound over indulgent or trivial? Certainly not. In an era of heightened mental health awareness non of us should feel ashamed for taking some time out to work on our own well-being and even a simple lit candle can help you to do so... Beautiful Glass Candlesticks available online The Science Part It's been scientifically proven that candles have meditating qualities. Their soft mesmerising light provides a soothing aid to help create a sense of peace and tranquility. This is great news for those of us who find it hard to switch off. The simple lighting of a candle will encourage our brains to enter into a more relaxed state resulting in a reduction of stress. The Experience The low light level of a candle is immediately cause with our sight which sends a mesmerising message to our brains and enables not only our minds but our bodies to relax also. Its no wonder then that spa and yoga retreats and even restaurants aiming for a romantic ambience place candles in strategic places to encourage occupants to gain a relaxed sensory experience from their visit. Table styled using Astoria Dinnerware, Grey Glassware and simple glass tea light holder and candlesticks Scented Candles A scented candle can also be a powerful trigger. The choice of a fragrance depicts a mood which is unique to each person who smells it. Whilst some may be drawn to certain overtures, others may find them repulsive. Also changing your scented candles for the seasons can evoke feelings of a fresh start in Spring or cosiness in Autumn. During Autumn/Winter for example we favour the heavier woody scent of our Louisa candle. Whilst the Tranquility candle is more akin to Spring/Summer months with a combination of floral and citrus scents. The uplifting aromas of spa-like Tranquility scent... Let's not overlook style! So whilst we can now appreciate the health benefits of candles, you can also use candles as a design statement. It's the finishing touches of a room which are often overlooked but are so key to a design success. Layer your home with accessories to create a warm inviting space. Candle holders come in all shapes and sizes and designs. So there is something for everyone available out there. Large pieces such as our stunning metal lanterns can have a wonderful impact on a room. Equally smaller colours glass tea light holders placed on a coffee table add style and provide lovely low level lighting. One again we always recommend placement in odd numbers for visual impact so choose one large or small piece depending on the area you wish to style. Alternatively a group of 3 will look stunning too. Grey Vases and Frosted Candle Holder, all from Layered Lounge. (Plus visit our new Dried Flower Collection!) So however busy your lives are, remember to take time out for you. Remember that no matter how guilty you feel at putting the breaks on, moments of relaxation will result in a better nights sleep and that will only make you more productive tomorrow! So stop what you are doing, light a candle, sit down and just breathe...
The Balance of Symmetry
Interior Style Tips

The Balance of Symmetry

Balance is something we are all trying to achieve in our everyday lives. One of the most relatable examples is the ongoing struggle to balance life between work and leisure. Similar to when we are off balance in various aspects of our lives, an unbalanced interior space can be uncomfortable.To achieve balance is a game of distributing the visual presence of objects within the space to create a feeling of equilibrium. Size, colour, shape and texture all play a major part of the visual impact of balance. Larger, darker items of furniture will typically feel heavier in a space. Whereas flooding a room with natural light will counteract that. Symmetry is achieved by arranging items with a focus on a 50/50 balance or to look like a mirror image. Example Take this beautiful lounge area. Despite having dark window frames and items of furniture on the far wall, the look is light and airy thanks to the high ceilings and large amount of glazing. The positioning of the furniture helps create the symmetrical balance. The result being a sense of calm and tranquility. Symmetrical interiors are often viewed as more restful and peaceful than an asymmetrical room as our brains don’t have to work as hard to figure out the use and flow of the space. That’s because it’s familiar. We are used to having balance right in front of us, i.e. when looking in a mirror at ourselves. So when designing a room, consider what mood you are looking to achieve in the space. Balance is key if you want your room to feel calm and actually symmetry is quite easy to achieve. Here are 3 tips: 1. Focal Point The central point in your design, should be the element that your eye is drawn to when entering a room. This can be a fireplace, built in storage unit or simply some detailing, around which you can create the symmetry. 2. Visual weight Generally the focul point should be the heaviest item in the room, but this can be balanced by actually framing it. For example, if you have a large fireplace then frame it with similar heavy objects like 2 large matching sofas. If your dining room contains a large dark dining table, couple this with visually lighter chairs. 3. Scale & Proportion Try and keep your room in proportion with the space. For example, an ottoman should be two thirds the length of your sofa. Artwork should take up no more than three fifths of your wall. The same rules apply on a smaller scale if styling a sideboard. The focal point in our image is the white ribbed vase, this is then framed by the 2 Harley Lamp bases with navy shades. The balance is easy to achieve because of the scale and proportion of the items on the slim sideboard. When all else fails take a step back literally and tweak your pieces until you are happy with the symmetry and achieving a flow that feels right! If you wish to Shop This Look, see below for the items used to style this image Harley Lamp Base CLICK HERE Large White Ribbed Bud Vase CLICK HERE Shell Bowl CLICK HERE
SH Nordic styling of Layered Lounge products
Interior Style Tips

3 is the magic number

When it comes to styling your home there are no hard or fast rules. Ultimately personal choice should be the deciding factor, its your home, your space so you should really dowhatever makes you happy. Yetwe can always learn some tricks of the trade from stylists and designers. Interestingly onerecurring concept is styling with odd numbers. Below we take a look at the why and how this processseems to work time after time... In styling terms odd numbers area good thing. As a rule even numbers create symmetry but odd numbers create an interest. Too much symmetry can make a room feel staged and cold whereas asymmetry creates a more natural environment. The visual detail of odd items also encourages the eyes to move around the display with your focus generally being drawn to the centre andresting on something making it more balanced, thus giving the brain a better visual experience. The number 3 specifically, has long been heralded by designers and stylists as the magicnumber that should be applied to interiors and vignettes to make them more appealing. Two items placed together looks like a coupling, whereas three suddenly gives the impression of a collection.Let's take a look at some styling examples.. The beautiful kitchen of "Just a little build" Styling your lighting. A lot of our living and entertaining happens in the kitchen/living room areas. Pendant lights have become a key part in framing most of our "islands" these days and gone are the quick decisionsofadding a few down lighter to get the job done!Why do pendant lights work best in threes? Its all to do with the rule of odds and the curious way our brains make aesthetic judgements. Theyharmoniously sit as a feature but not by taking over the room. This image to me just would not sit well with only 2 lights! Cushions & throw from Layered Lounge Styling your soft furnishings:Think pattern, texture and shape -mixing up patterns with the same colour palette and layering with different shapes(square, rectangle or circular) will keepit interesting. Pulling room schemes together is no easy task, but this is why cushions and throwsare so effective. The image here is styled with the magic number of 3 cushions of3 complimentary colours. Placing the cushions in an asymmetrical way (two cushions one end and one the other) helps to create a more relaxed vibe than the formal alternatively of one or two either end. Placing the coral cushion at the other end of the sofa will also create colour balance ensuring that each end has a bold colour but similar texture to link them. Fabulous styling of Layered Lounge Bud Vases by SH Nordic Styling your accessories: Placing items in 3's or 5's or even 7's actually gives the impression that the items have been carefully put together rather than giving the sense of clutter. So simple yet so effective. When styling your vignettes always aim for a collection that offers different heights, sizes and textures as that will ensure the overall look is more aesthetically pleasing on the eye. Here the vases have varying shapes and sizes but with the same colour that binds them together. Simply styled with succulents it straight away evokes calm. Image courtesy of Go Antique/rigalio.com Styling yourartwork:What a striking wall of what is actually 4 pieces! - however the eye is drawn immediately to the 3 main features. The offset placement of picture 4 means that the 3 pictures still act like a collection, yet the asymmetrical way in which they are all hung creates greater visual impact. Thesimplicity of images and monochrome colours brings the overall scheme in this room together.So as you can see there are no realstrict rules to the power of odd. Image courtesy of freshome.com Again we reiterate that styling your own homes really does come down to personal taste and choices yet for some the whole process can be a tad overwhelming. Wanting to achieve that relaxed yet beautifully styled homecan be intimidating, but with a few guidelines such as this onethe process can be broken down into more manageable steps. That's not to say you should never use symmetry however. There is a time and a place for everything, but without a doubt the rule of 3 will add a relaxed vibe.Take a look at the image above, the cushions and ceramic jars have a formal look yet the mantlepiece with 3 objects positioned off centre immediately adds a sense of calm to what would otherwise be a highly formal affair.
The Safari lamp is perfect for adding texture to your room
Interior Style Tips

5 elements to layering your lighting

Lighting is such a key aspect when designing a room. For anyone embarking on a major refurbishment project or simply giving an existing room a bit of an overhaul, adapting the lighting can completely change its atmosphere. Just as you would layer your overall interiors scheme, so too should you think of a lighting scheme as being a process of layering. Outlined below are the key elements of lighting layer. Natural Light - When you start your designs or plan always consider what natural light the room benefits from. Even the most sophisticated lighting scheme is no substitute for natural light so try to find ways to enhance as much of it as possible. In a full refurbishment this could be adding floor to ceiling windows, skylights or even a glass roof. For more minor alterations, position mirrors to bounce light back into the room, adjust curtain fixtures so they sit as far bask as possible from the window panes or change inner doors into glazed versions. The beautiful home of "Just a Little Build" with large sliding doors and skylight Ambient lighting - The most generic lighting, this is the layer that which replaces natural light. Most popular forms of ambient lighting are overhead recessed lights. Here are some top tips when selecting your ambient lighting: A good rule of thumb for the number of spotlights is 1 light for every 4 square foot. Recessed spotlights give a much softer and sophisticated ambience. You can either choose fittings which actually recess in the ceiling or fitting with recessed bulbs. Whilst chrome fittings used to be fashionable, a white fitting blends into the ceiling and diverts the eye. Controls should include dimmers to allow for a changing of atmosphere as your and if your budget allows you, a centrally controlled system helps preset various moods. John Cullen Lighting really are experts in the field of lighting design. Here they show off perfect use of a variety of recessed lights Task lighting - pretty much what it says on the tin! Task lighting allows specific areas to be lit in order to get tasks done. For your kitchen think pendant lights over your island unit or under counter lights to illuminate food preparation areas. It can also be a table lamp in a reading corner of your lounge or a ceiling mounted light fitting over the dining table. When designing the task lighting requirements, first think about the way in which you live and how your room will function. Make a list of all the activities you will be doing in the room, and where they will occur. Once again image courtesy of John Cullen Lighting, pendant lights & down-lights illuminate key task areas Accent Lighting - This is really the styling layer. When planning this phase, consider those areas you really want to show off. Are there any architectural features in your home which deserve to be highlighted with uplighter or downlighter or tracked spots? Does a cosy corner of the room deserve to be highlighted with a statement lamp? Perhaps you have some artwork that you needs to be illuminated? Lamps are in fact a fabulous way to add style to your room and illuminate spaces with soft low level lighting at the same time. You can add warmth and texture with a lamp and in the case of the Anna Jacobs range, some lamps even act as works of art. More isn’talways better though so don’t overdo it. A single statement lamp such as our Sefuri (below) is often more effective than an array of lamps scattered randomly throughout the room. Our Sefuri lamp with its beautiful stone effect adds warmth and texture to this white based room. Candle light - never underestimate the power of candles to create that romantic relaxing mood. But if lighting a whole host of candles in your room every night is not your bag, then the faux LED versions offer an easy alternative. Ours have built-in timers too, so they will light up every night at the same time. One less thing to worry about… Beautiful styling of our LED Candles and Metal Lantern by the uber talented SH Nordic. For further inspiration for light fittings take a look at high end experts John Cullen Lighting, who have worked in the industry for over 35 years and Creative Director Sally Storey has written numerous books on the subject including this one. “Perfect Lighting: inspiring solutions for every room”, available on Amazon.

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