Christopher Lowell's 7 Layers of Design

Discovery Channel star Christopher Lowell shares his concept of design.

  • Layer # 1 is paint and architectural embellishments: Paint is the cheapest way to add warmth to your room. Oh yeah, don't forget to paint those ceilings. Architectural embellishments are moldings and other architectural items. I like to add these elements not only because they add value to homes, but also charm and substance.
  • Layer #2 is installed flooring: This is wall-to-wall installation, not area rugs which come later.
  • Layer #3 is high-ticket upholstery items: These are basically any oversized fabric covered piece. Here is a quick tip to remember when purchasing your items. Remember to focus on solid and textured fabrics rather than patterns. Locking yourself into a pattern can be a costly investment, which won't have any return.
  • Layer # 4 is accent: This is where you can have fun with accent fabrics for pillows, curtains, runners and yes, area rugs. These are the easier pieces to change from season to season or when updating is needed.
  • Layer #5 is non-upholstered furniture (or the workhorses): Without these workhorses of the room, like coffee, end and side tables, a room
    simply doesn't work.
  • Layer #6 is accessories: This is my favorite part. This is where you can inject personal items like photos, books and other merchandise.
  • Layer # 7 is plants and lighting: Shadow is important to the mood of the room as the light that creates it. Here's a tip, remember, as much lighting should come from the floor as from the ceiling.Plants under lit help make great shadows and add that important living element to the room.
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