Several design techniques for engineering the visible optical and near-infrared response of a thin film are explored. These designs require optically active and absorbing materials and should be easily grown on a large scale. Switchable chalcogenide phase-change material heterostructures with three active layers are grown here using pulsed laser deposition. Both Fabry-Perot and strong interference principles are explored to tune the reflectance. Robust multilevel switching is demonstrated for both principles using dynamic ellipsometry, and measured reflectance profiles agree well with simulations. We find, however, that switching the bottom layer of a three-layer device does not yield a significant change in reflectance, indicating a maximum in accessible levels. The pulsed laser deposition films grown show promise for optical display applications, with three shown reflectance levels. Published under license by AIP Publishing.