After a room has furniture, it needs “layers” to truly become a space you’re comfortable to call your own.

By Malkie Berger


Windsor Smith

Fashion and interior design are like twin sisters that simply went to two different finishing schools-both are all about beauty and presentation-Windsor Smith

A top and a skirt, ok maybe a dress, are the foundation of your outfit. But before you walk out the door, please reconsider. This is only the beginning. All you really have is a blank slate begging for some accoutrements. What about a belt, a chunky bracelet, shades, a scarf and some fabulous heels? Call it accessorizing, layering, curating, or editing. It’s vital to creating a look that expresses your style and your story.


How does this room look to you?  This is what I would call a good start.  Too many people call this a finished product.  But really everything we just described applies to fashion’s twin sister. This room is just begging for some layering. If you can stand in the doorway of a room, and take every detail in, then the design failed. 


In the most successful spaces, you don’t see everything at once. The more time you spend in them, the more you discover. They open up like flowers.Vicente Wolf


Paloma Contreras

A room is meant to draw you in so that you spend some time there getting to know its story.  A story which is told through layers, years of accumulated treasures.  And even if they were all purchased within a few weeks span, it shouldn’t look like they were.   Sidenote, please don’t ever buy anything “ensuite” (like those matching sets of bedroom furniture).


French by Design

A room needs artwork, jars, vases, bowls, flowers, objet d’art, collections, lamps, and pillows; anything that you love and is meaningful.  And yes, even a modern room needs layering as you can see in this great example.  It’s what makes a well-designed room. 

Alyssa Kapito

Spending time in layered, well-designed a room is almost like spending time with its owner. You get to know a person through their space.  And that is the point of good design, creating an environment that is beautiful and personal.   Use all the accessories at your disposal to edit, and layer a room that is stylish and chic.


About Malkie Berger:

Malkie Berger, principal at Malkie Berger Interiors of Lakewood, New Jersey specializes in narrative design. She creates richly layered interiors that reveal each client’s story.  She offers full service design including space planning review, kitchen and bath decorating, furniture and finish selections, and decorating services.  She has experience managing contractors and overseeing design and construction details.

She can be reached at 732-267-4842 or follow her on instagram @malkiebergerinteriors. Read her blog at 




  1. Inspirational article! I’d love a follow up post of how and where to shop, and how to add “charm” while avoiding clutter.

  2. Love this post. Well written- really clear and informative! Would love to see more like this. Maybe one on how to decorate a newly wed apartment.

  3. Would love to see pictures of how a room was transformed later by later instead of seeing other designers work. Thanks!


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