Top four ways to style layers into your image

If you are playing along with this week's Creatively Squared challenge, you'll be playing around with layers. So here's four ways I've LAYered it up to give you some inspiration.

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The flatLAY

Layering is a very effective tool in flatlays to add complexity and depth to a composition. I often layer books, journals or cards over different papers or prints to achieve this. I try to keep the tones similar and add contrast with different patterns, shapes or pops of colour. You can also use different textures for added layering. I always finish the flatlay with what I call 'fillers' such as scissors, flowers, tapes, pegs, any props really that can be useful in filling those pesky gaps in your composition. Just make sure they are still relatable to the overall theme of your flatlay.

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The shelfLAY

I love layering a shelflay, or more commonly known to you and me as the 'shelfie'. I often start by layering frames [odd numbers like three work best] of varying sizes, materials and heights. I always think of an imaginary right angled triangle when selecting my frames so that the composition doesn't become too symmetrical. The prints I select to fill the frames are generally different but always tied together by something, usually complementary tones or the overall theme. I am also obsessed with combining typography [like letterboards] with florals, patterns and prints. To balance the shelfie and add some detail, I again add complementary 'fillers' along the shelf. My layered shelfies often fill the frame, but of course these principles can be pared back for a more minimal look with the frames off centered to one side and more negative space created around the shelf.

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The stackLAY

Layering is an obvious tool for the stacklay as the name suggests but it goes beyond just layering some items on top of each other. A mix of hard and soft things are good layering items to create contrast. For example, a book forms a good base for materials to be layered upon it. You can add a focal point on top of this stack to draw the eye. In this case I've chosen a basket which I have filled. The pom poms of the booties become the perfect draping element over the stack to add another layer of depth. I have again finished the stack off with some 'fillers' like flowers or bows to balance it and fill any gaps. 


The hangLAY

I don't do many hanglays so this was the perfect opportunity to finally get hubby to put up my new wooden expandable coat rack and get my hanglay on. Again, select items that are complementary and related to the overall theme of your hanglay, and obviously items that hang well. You can always cheat and add a bit of white tack to items so they keep straight or hang nicely. I've chosen a fairly paired back approach for this one. Always be mindful of balancing your composition without it becoming too symmetrical. Again, the imaginary triangle approach comes in this case it's an upside down one.

So go forth and layer up your best LAY for this challenge.

Marisa @marisa.young