Modern Coastal Decor
Interior Inspiration

Modern Coastal Design

When we think of coastal design we an be excused for thinking of lots of blue stripes, chintzy lighthouse ornaments and "this way to the beach" signs. All of which is very much out of date these days! Well, coastal design is having a revival thanks to Scandinavian/Australian influence and now we honestly find ourselves immersed in huge desire for Modern Coastal design. Modern coastal design is all about creating a sanctuary. A place that reminds us of the great outdoors, nothing over styled but an abundance of cool comfort and relaxation, tranquility and calm. So if we want to evoke those feelings in our own home and add a touch of modern coastal design, how do we do it? The overall look centres around clean simple lines, textures and a muted colour palette. A distinct nod to nature, but lets take a closer look at how we can incorporate that.. Colour - when you look at Colour Psychology (more on this in a later blog), you realise how colours can have a huge impact on your emotional state. In general any modern coastal colour scheme will be influenced by the natural environment, think blue for the sea, green for the vegetation and soft beige hues for the sand. Blues and neutrals are used to evoke a sense of calm, green adds balance and harmony, whilst white is illuminating and creates freshness. The Australians have replaced stark white walls with a more milky white tone which is warmer and more relaxing. Furniture - when choosing your bigger items such as furniture, lamps, mirrors, its often a case of less is more. Think oversized yet simple shapes. A deep relaxed sofa in a neutral colour is perfect for creating that relaxed vibe. We absolutely love Timothy Oultons Noble Souls range of sumptuous comfortable sofas which are created with natural linens using 100% natural veg dyes. Materials - again these take their influence from the outside and the more natural the better. Think linen, cotton, wood. The modern coastal style has been derived from traditional coastal design but with a lot less formality and a more rustic flair. So textures are more rugged, wood more natural in colour, elements of clay or ceramics are handmade and not finished to perfection. Which leads us nicely on to... Accessories - this is a simple way of bringing the materials into the scheme. Try to include an abundance of texture, beach living is very tactile (think sand between your toes) and hence your accessories should be too. A woven rug example, handmade wooden objects and natural linen and cotton cushions. Glass pieces keep the scheme light & fresh, whilst decorative objects again should be more naturalistic. Replace the chintzy objects with natural looking faux shells or coral for example. You can also use books to decorate your coffee table or sideboard as this should be a place to encourage relaxation. Don't forget to include some forms of life too, we're talking plants here. A large oversized green plant is exactly what the Aussies would use and with their experience with outdoor life, who are we to argue! Here are some of our favourite pieces to help recreate that modern coastal scheme.. NEW Monty Lamp Base & Shade combines texture with beautiful sandy hues and looks fabulous alongside our Macy plant pot. Blue & white tones with varied textures add a sense of calm and interest to your scheme. Here we have styled the Flint Linen Cushion, alongside Graphic Print Dove Cushion the and the White Velvet Cushion. Also added in for extra comfort is the Grey Fishbone throw.
5 Top tips for Easter table styling
How to..

5 Top tips for Easter table styling

We love Easter, a long weekend away from work, filled with fun. For us it's also the perfect excuse to set abeautiful table, gather the family, cook, eat and just enjoy being together. But if being the hostthis weekend fills you with dread,we're here to help. A tablescape should be a joy to create and not a stress, and it shouldn't take you too long either.. So here are our top tips for giving your Easter table that "straight out of a magazine" look. Table Linen Nothing says special occasion more than a lovely tablecloth & napkins. Personally we love a linen, for it's modern yet relaxed look. Stylists also love use linen because it has texture and depth. But the most important benefit has to be that it actually looks better when it hasn't been ironed! So adorn your table with your favourite tablecloth and mix and match you napkins for a less formal look. Featured products: warm white linen tablecloth, napkins and bud vases. Centre piece Create a wow factor with a magnificent centre piece. Clearly we would remove this oversized version when eating but as guests walk in the room it really is an amazing site. Don't over complicate it, limit your stems to 2 or 3 types and decorate with some lovely Easter eggs. Like us, you could use faux flowers for a lasting effect, adorned with decorative eggs or you could replace with fresh stems and chocolate egg treats for the kids!Featured Products: Faux Gysophilia and Pussy Willow, decorative plastic eggs. Spring Blooms Nothing screams Easter more than spring blooms. Scatter smaller vases along your table filled with a few fresh stems to add layers and focal points for each place setting. Daffodils will add colour, Gypsophilia is dainty and oh so pretty, both cheap yet effective. We've used a mix of our lovely ceramic bud vases to add colour and texture ( a professional stylists favourite combo) but you can easily replace these with small glass jars instead. It's all about adding layers to the look! Decorations You can't beat a few quirky Easter decorations, well worth the investment, you can bring them out year after year and they will symbolise memories your kids will cherish for years to come. Our simple rabbit figures add a bit of fun for all the family but without too much fuss. Tableware Finally, bring out your favourite tableware and pile high. Layer your plates and bowls to add height to your display, even if you remove them when guests sit down. If you are serving a starter, mix and match the top plates or bowls for a less contrived look. If not then don't be afraid to fill your bowls with treats or adorn your plates with stylish napkins (see our bunny ears video for styling ideas! Click here) Our tableware ranges are perfectly designed to take you from everyday dining to special entertaining, so theres no need for a formal and informal set! But if you have still got a special set lurking somewhere in a cupboard then get it out and use it! Wishing all of you a lovely break and a very happy Easter, Much love Lou & Suzy x
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
Layered Lounge - Top 10 tips on how to style your cushions
How to..

How to style your Cushions Our Top 10 tips

We all love a cushion and like shoes, you can never have too many right? Wrong! Whilst our love affair with these comfy, cosy and stylish accessories is sublime, your sofa or chair still remains somewhere you need to sit. So do you need a little help on how to style your cushions? Well here is our top 10 tips. Crowding - Don't overload the space, ensure there is enough room for you, your family, guests and maybe even the dog to curl up on. Size - start with the biggest pillow at the back and build layers up from there. Vary sizes and shapes of cushions to add interest on your sofa. For example, on a large sofa place a 50x50 cushion at the back and finish off with a simple rectangular cushion at the front. This helps to break up the uniformity Balance - We are all programmed to be drawn to symmetry, yet symmetry can sometimes look to formal and contriving. Creating asymmetry helps make the overall look more natural. Again on a large sofa we would place 2 cushions at one end and 3 at the other (as in the image above), connecting the two areas by colour and creating balance in the process. Numbers - This brings us nicely onto numbers, generally aim to go for odd numbers, 3,5 & 7 cushions depending on the size of sofa. For a two seater sofa we would suggest 3 cushions, a 3 seater sofa go for 5 and so on. Texture - the secret weapon! If strong colours and patterns aren't your bag then be sure to go for texture (see image below) to create the interest in your scheme. Soft velvets combined with natural linens, a touch of wool and perhaps even some faux fur in winter to create a cosy inviting space. Tones - these are your friend if bold contrasting colours are not your thing. Varying shades of grey for example, from light grey to charcoal will prevent the scheme from looking too flat. Patterns - if you love a pattern then don't be afraid to mix them up rather than have 2 or 3 identical ones. Again just ensure there is some cohesion in colour or texture. Matchy Matchy - In a traditional setting you would match all your cushions together. There's nothing wrong with doing this but it can look a tad old fashioned. Perhaps instead match one cushion either end and vary from there in (as we have done above). Positioning - If you have a light sofa start with the darkest colour at the back and work forward and the opposite if you have a dark sofa, it helps to create that contrast. Chop or not ? - here we refer to the karate chop styling of cushions and indeed its a frequently asked. Indeed when Sophie Robinson, interior stylist & bona fide cushion lover, was asked the question at a recent Layered Lounge function her response was... "whilst I'm not against the chop, I tend prefer to give them a good old punch!" Styled above are a wonderful blend of textures which include the heavy loom cotton cushion in blue, Oxford stripe pink cushion which has been made entirely from recycled plastic bottles and grey strip wool throw.  
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/ 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 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.
Honey tones combine with rich terracotta at the Paris Maison & Objet Fair
News & Trends

Trends? This could be our favourite year yet...

Whilst we've always said wepay attention to trends but aren't slaves to them, this year could see us eat our words!Yes, this could just be our favourite year yet in design terms. Butcan we really call them trends or is the interior design world experiencing something more? Perhaps a permanentshift in consumersmindset. Whatever the case, arecent buying trip to Maison & Objet, Paris left us openly falling in love with so much. Why? Because this years "trends" are so much greater aligned to our own values and desires.... 1. Colour - overall the look this year is much warmer and more fresh. Grey as a neutralhasto an extentbeen replaced with strong ormilky whites. The kind featured in many an Australian interiors magazine.Dreamy tones of cream and soft honey alsoprovide the perfect backdrop upon which to layerpops of colour such asblush pink bronze or indigo. Funnily enough there wasn’t an awful lot of Pantone’s Colour of the Year Living Coral about. Instead a lean towards a softer more palatable tone of rust orange, dampened red and rich Terracotta.But if that all sounds a bit too blandfor you, don't fretsince the rich and confident jewel coloursof emerald green andteal are set to stay. Perfect for adding sophisticated drama to ascheme. chasing trends for trends sake..long make itcontinue… 2. Texture - Wow, this really is a key driver for interiors this year - hurray! With toned down colour palettes contrast and interest mustbe injected throughother forms and what better way to breathe life into a room than texture. From your lamp bases to your cushions,layering with texture can add depth and warmth to your room and help designa schememore in tune with nature. Within this period of reflection, there is a greater desire for oursurroundings to be an oasis of calm and relaxation, a need forsensory stimulation through touch as well as sight. Textures are therefore highly tactile and considered on even the smallest of interior pieces. 3. Materials - 2019 will see an increase in the use of more natural materials.Concrete in furniture design is a big play, although frequently combined with fibreglass to make it lighter, pieces are often handmade and hence have true character to them. We are total converts to this material playing a larger part in both indoor and outdoor schemes. Other natural materials such as rattan/caneand stone are also having their day. The desire to be closer to nature behind this shift.Metals are less brash too, brass and burnished golds are complemented with nickel for that mixed metal look which we totally adore. As for Rose Gold, its packed its bags and left the design studio - Hallelujah! The revival of velvet continues. A beautiful material which adds a sense of luxury to any scheme. 4. So what about the overall look - overall the look has amuch more relaxed vibe. Immersed in a tech-driven world that never sleeps,it feels as though we are ever more cravinga better sense of well being. Thedesire to break free and go back to basics, toreevaluate how we want to live our lives.Sound deep? Perhaps, but the moment in which we are living provides greatinspiration to the design world. Hence there seems to be bit of ashift away from interiors adorned witheclectic clutter. Whilst the eclectic look is still evident, the finish is much more "less is more" now. Anincreased awareness of how our purchases impact the the environment has ledtowards a buying culture that values quality and longevity. Pieces that arehandmade rather than mass produced, usingtraditional craftsmanship, and in harmony with nature. Such items by thenature of theproduction process are known to have imperfections and we are wholeheartedly embracingthis uniqueness. Overall there's a distinct move away from "trends" for trends sake..

How to choose your scented candle..

TOP TIP: Wax has a memory, so when you first light your scented candle, allow it to burn long enough that the top layer becomes molten all the way to the edge of the glass container. If you only let it burn for a small pool of wax it will always burn to that edge creating that tunnel effect which ultimately reduces your overall burn time. Firstly go with your personal taste… It goes without saying that Taste is a very particular thing and preferences can be derived not just from our sense of smell but also the memories they evoke.Some prefer a more musky tone, others are naturally drawn to more floral flavours. Even within that divide Floral overtures can be combine with spices or woods for a more masculine balance or enhanced with fruits to bring out the sweeter side. The seasons Seasons play a huge part in the way we design and indeed wish to scent our homes. Naturally becoming more of a hibernator during winter months we will likely want to select flavours reminiscent of what is available at that time and oozes a sense of cosiness, warmth and depth. If you like a real sense of Christmas then Winter Spice is the one for you but for an overall Autumn Winter scent then the Winter Woods & White Jasmine is a firm favourite at this time of year. Spring/summer on the other hand is when we might choose something more uplifting such as our Sea Breeze candle. The room Always consider which room you will place your scented candle in when purchasing, in terms of its use and design. Just like you wouldn’t style your entire house the same, your scents too should be unique to the rooms they reside in. Define your spaces Our Wild Fig Diffuser takes pride of place on the shelf in my husband’s office at home. A rich masculine tone it compliments the depth of the fitted dark grey painted units and bookshelves perfectly. Whereas the open plan kitchen and living space is where I love to enjoy the uplifting and fresh aroma of White Tea & Wisteria. Size of space It may seem obvious but a small space will only require one candle whereas a large open plan space will require more. Whilst some will profess an equation for how many scented candles you need this really again comes down to taste and trial na error. Start with 1 or 2 and work from there. If you don’t wish to burn a host of candles at one time then you can easily combine candles and room diffusers to enhance the distribution of flavour throughout. Finally, don’t forget to light it. We see far too many beautiful candles gathering dust in homes. You really don’t need to save your candle for special occasions. A scented candle can be incredibly uplifting, I have one on my desk and light it regularly, especially when doing more creative work. My favourite? Sea breeze, it reminds me of so many happy memories at the beach and it smells gorgeous! For a look at our range of scented candles click here.
Portuguese Stoneware - Friso range
Product News

Style your table: A look at Stoneware..

Stoneware is an increasingly popular choice for modern family tableware and given its practical properties its really not that surprising. But what exactly is it? How is it produced and what are the benefits? A name associated with pottery which has been fired to extremely high temperatures, Stoneware is more resilient than both porcelain and earthenware. It is made from clay and an addition of glass material which gives it extra strength. The body of stoneware is generally thicker creating a more casual look and enabling a variety of finishes or glazes to be applied to it. So what you gain in durability you don’t need to compromise on with style! Here at Layered Lounge we source all our stoneware from Portugal. Why? Well not just because we love the country but because they are the best Stoneware producers in the world. Costa Nova is situated in the north of Portugal and has been manufacturing a beautiful range of stoneware for over 200 years. Using a blend of modern and traditional techniques, each piece produced is fired up to 1180ºC in a single process which creates a glazed surface and hence ensures the products are highly resistant to thermal shock and chip resistant. It also makes them less porous so you can use them in the dishwasher, oven, microwave and freezer. Whats more, the supplier prides itself on being environmentally friendly too. Situated in a location surrounded by Pine trees, the factory operates with extremely high standard procedures for waste processing and recycling. Resulting in pieces that are Eco-friendly, reusable and recyclable. The single-firing technology used also reduced emissions into the atmosphere. Carefully designed to consider current trends, whist staying true to the Mediterranean origins, every item is finished by hand by artisans. So each piece is unique and special. But what about the benefits of cooking with stoneware? Well, it does not give off any chemicals in the same way that aluminium or copper might for a start. So its a healthier option, allowing your food to have a cleaner taste. It also distributes heat evenly so your food is cooked more effectively, and retains heat for longer. So you can take your food straight from oven to table in one of our stylish dishes or trays knowing it will remain warm for longer. So there you have it. That is why our number one choice for everyday tableware has to be Portuguese Stoneware. Durability, practicality yet without compromising on style, making it a superb choice for entertaining too. No wonder it is so popular amongst the hospitality industry too. Click here to take a look at our ranges: Astoria and Friso.
Aussie Interiors
Interior Inspiration

Inspiration from around the world - Aussie Interiors, Beach Vibes

When it comes to creating a really relaxed beach house vibes the Aussies really do have this one nailed. Of course they have the weather for it, but they also have the style and attitude. When you think of Aussie Interiors, especially beach house vibes, think Hamptons with a twist. Interiors that show off dreamy relaxed styling with an abundance of natural textures and soft soothing colour palettes. So wonderful to gasp at but also so calm and easy to live with. So what elements make up the general trend we are currently seeing down under? Let’s start with... Colour White has uplifting qualities so naturally the Aussies love it, but with all the light they benefit from naturally, they can afford to go less stark with their shade replacing our favoured strong white with a more vanilla/milky white. It’s a much more relaxed shade, softer on the eye and to some extent easier to compliment. Colour palettes used in Australian interiors can, in general, be more muted taking inspiration from natural surroundings and materials. Tones like hessian or linen, pale greys, soft muted blues and sea greens, all reflecting the ocean, sandy beaches, pebbles and vegitation. Image courtesy of Interiors Online, Australia. Natural Textures Just like in Scandinavian interiors, there is a great allegiance to natural textures and traditional craftsmanship. In fact whilst many an interior designer might loathe beige, the Australians embrace its, but in natural forms. Think stone plant pots, linen cushions, seagrass baskets. Wood is a material that is used in abundance but to seem extent in a more rustic style relevant to that part of the world, rattan, bamboo, acacia. Image courtesy of Homes to Love, Australia. Greenery Indoor plants have made a real come back here in the UK but our Australian counterparts have had a long standing relationship with them, realising their health and mood benefits and placing them in practically every room they can! Lucky enough to have such a fabulous variety of large leaved tropical plants, an Australian interior is unlikely to be without a feature sizeable plant in their main living areas. Image courtesy of Beach House Abodes Outdoor life Clearly Australian lifestyle is all about the great outdoors so it’s no wonder that in architectural design of a house, creating a seamless flow from indoors to outdoors is a top priority. Bringing the outdoors in is vitally important, As you can see even from this ensuite bathroom that appears to float outside. But equally with the explosion of fabulous outdoor accessories these days, we can also continue our interior styling design scheme and style from indoors to outdoors through the use of rugs, cushions, throws, candles etc. Something to think about when you are considering your open plan living space and outdoor dining/lounging areas. Image courtesy of Australian House Garden Original, Australia. Furnishing a space Whilst the traditional Hamptons look is quite contrived and more formal, the Australian version is much more paired back. Preferring to mix and compliment various different pieces to create that relaxed vibe. Living rooms feature oversized sofas with deep seating in natural textures, designed for comfortable family living. Rooms are not cluttered or over-decorated but carefully styled so that the look is effortless and space flows freely. Family life is paramount so individual pieces are practical and free to be seen and used. Image courtesy of Three Birds Renovation, Australia. Accessorising We all know that many Australians are well travelled given their proximity to some of the most beautiful parts of the world, so to truly recreate the Aussie look you clearly need some accessories that have been collected from around the globe. Don’t think a few shells cut it either, collect pieces which might reflect traditional cultures and craftsmanship. Objects that will remind you of wonderful times and joyful moments. Remember that simplicity is key but a few well loved items create a home that is truly unique.TheAussies like us also love to layeraccessories for thoseoccasions when the weather turns so there will always be a throw on hand and an abundanceof sumptuous cushions to snuggle in to. Image courtesy of Pamela Makin, Australia. So whilst we love the Hamptons styling, its a lot more contrived and with 5 kids and 2 dogs between us its not as easy to live with or uplifting as the Aussie counterparts, so for us they are the clear winners. For further inspiration on Australian Interiors take a look at our blog of favourite Aussie Instagramers here.

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