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Creating A Vignette

Updated: Oct 9, 2021

This is a recap of a series I did on Social Media this week.

What is a Vignette? A vignette is small story. In the case of home décor it is a small collection of items together. This week I am going to give you tips for creating vignettes that tell your story. Each tip will be accompanied by pictures to help you get a clearer idea of how to implement them in your decor. Always start with a clear surface, otherwise your story gets lost in the clutter.

1: Theme and Color Your story should be a reflection of you and of the room it is in. A spa styled vignette looks great on a bathroom counter, but doesn’t make much sense on the dining room table. Consider location and color scheme when gathering items for your vignette. Bright orange pumpkins might not be the right fall vignette if you have a white and grey color scheme – for that you would want to use more muted tones of fall. By using objects you are drawn to, you naturally let your story start to shine through.

2: Height

Objects lined up in a row aren’t super interesting. By varying the height of objects you create visual interest that allows the eye to travel around the vignette, taking in the whole picture and making the scene cohesive. Include both vertical and horizontal lines, and something to bridge the two. Books are a super easy way to vary height, as are tiered trays. A quick way to remember to vary the heights is to build triangles. I’ve included a few pictures for example.

3: Texture

Include various textures for visual interest. Texture isn’t just about touch, your eyes take it in too. Old books give great texture if you have a vintage theme. Plants are always a great way to add organic texture and soften the look of the vignette. Lamps or candles can add a softness and organic touch to your vignette. Consider your elements. Wooden, wicker, metal, glass, stone – all can give a different feel. A midcentury modern vignette may include wood and geometric shapes. A cottage style room would be softer with linens, candles, books, etc.

4: Contain It

Remember vignettes are small stories – the easiest way to keep it small is to contain it. Trays are easy ways to keep the vignette from looking like clutter. By containing it to a space you are letting people know that this is an intentional collection. Earlier in the week I mentioned that tiered trays are a great way to get height, but they also serve to contain a collection. Vintage Suitcases are another fun way to contain a vignette. Just make sure your container makes sense as part of your story.

5. Keep it Updated

Your story isn’t stagnant and neither should your vignette be. If you walked into a store and saw tulips and bunnies in October you would realize that they don’t refresh their merchandise very often. Your vignette should reflect the seasons of the year and/or your season of life. A baby blanket or booties are cute, but don’t make sense if your kids have hit their teen years. Mix it up every once in a while so it doesn’t feel stale. Making seasonal changes is the easiest way to do this.

6: Odds have it

When decorating odd numbers of objects are more visually appealing. Even numbers are stagnant and the eye moves on quickly. Use objects in groups of 3,5 or 7. If you are showcasing a collection and only have an even number you can break them up into different groupings. Speaking of collections, vignettes tell your story so they are a perfect way to show off your interests.

7. Location, Location, Location

Nearly every room in the house has an opportunity for a vignette. For the biggest impact, go for first impressions at the entry way. In the living room coffee tables, sofa tables and end tables all opportunities for vignettes. In the dining room a sideboard or buffet is a perfect spot to build a vignette. If you are looking to use the China cabinet or Bookshelf for your vignette the multiple shelves can feel overwhelming, but really they are a series of small vignettes that relate to each other in color or subject matter.

Good luck and have fun with your vignettes. Let's see your vignettes!

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