The art of layering pattern and materials

Inject your personal style into your interiors through layering, as you would do an outfit. Here Erica Davies shares her ideas on how to create a personal, layered look.

1. STYLE A GALLERY WALL

Humans naturally and instinctively seek out patterns. It’s what we do, whether they’re mathematical or otherwise. It’s why we’re drawn to displays of objects – particularly if they’re connected by colour or texture.

So, it’s understandable that ‘gallery wall,’ for example, is one of the most searched for décor terms on Instagram.

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The most inspiring part, for me, of looking at the results of that hashtag is the fact there isn’t a one-rule-suits-all way of approaching it. From the mix of prints or photographs chosen, to the style of frame, a gallery wall is the most personal of decorative pattern.

Mount your collection by setting out the arrangement on the floor first, then mark out positions in pencil on the wall before hanging in place. If you’re not handy with a drill, I often use Command Strips to fix pictures into place.

Also, take into consideration the fact that in interiors, odd numbers make for a more exciting display – so use three images, rather than two. Or five rather than four. Don’t be afraid to hang in an unconventional way – particularly if the space is awkward or restricted.

You don’t need to stick to straight lines – unless you’re going for a very formal look.

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In our downstairs toilet for example – which was painted in Railings by Farrow & Ball so a gallery wall would really stand out – I have used every last bit of space to hang images, including around the sink, under the window, around the side of the window and above the window.

It’s a joyous hotchpotch of pattern and colour, all set on the dark, inky background.

If you wanted to hang a gallery wall on bold, patterned wallpaper, consider mounting your images to avoid visual confusion, or even adding spotlights above to make a real feature.

2. ADD PATTERN AND TEXTURE

Using dense pattern and texture can add a real intensity to a space, but avoid chaos by making it very clear which is the most important and where the hierarchy of your colour choices lie. The success of a space is all about the proportion of colour and print.

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3. COLLECT OVER TIME

As the saying goes, ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’ and I am definitely of the view that a space – once you have the main areas covered (walls, flooring) – should evolve gradually, rather than buying everything in one go.

Don’t buy a three-piece suite (apologies to my Grandma, who loved them!), buy an amazing sofa and two armchairs. Or two sofas and one chair.

4. TELL A STORY

I love rooms that have a piece of sentimental hand-me-down furniture next to a beautiful modern, velvet sofa. A scuffed-around-the-edges cabinet found on eBay, mixed with a vintage lamp base and modern, printed shade.

A painting or photograph found in a tiny shop on holiday that takes you back there every time you look at it.

A rug, bought after seeing it on Instagram, that contains the same colours as that cushion your aunty made for you – which has the same green as a handsome fiddle fig plant that dominates the space. I have zero snob value attached to where an item came from – as long as it speaks to me and I can find somewhere to put it.

5. MIX IT UP

I have been sharing the renovations of our home on my social media account and shared lots of bargains from high street interiors ranges, opened up about my love of a junk shop or shown the eBay bargains I have discovered.

It’s this democratic love of homeware that led me to designing my own brand filled with colour for QVC, called Edited by Erica Davies. The LOVE signage I have on my stairs was hanging in the window of a local junk shop when I slammed on the brakes of my car and ran in!

And after receiving thousands of messages online about where followers could find them, I recreated them into a canvas print and decorative lighting for my own collection.

They’re still my best-selling pieces. It’s all about the mix within a space that makes it interesting, so building up those layers slowly will truly make it yours.

‘Edited by Erica Davies’ is available exclusively at qvcuk.com