Styling the Perfect VignetteColby Morrell
There is nothing better than the perfect vignette. If you’re unsure what that might mean in regards to interior design, we’re talking about a collection of objects arranged together to create an eye catching display. I love love love vignettes, and creating them is undoubtedly my favorite part of being the visual merchandiser for our brick and mortar store.
Over the past few years, I’ve learned that what has always come naturally for me doesn’t for most people. A common reaction from clients after we’ve re-styled something in their home is “how did you get my stuff to look so good?” or ” I would never of thought to group those items together like that!”
I always reassure them that with a bit of an eye for detail and some style tips, almost anyone can create the perfect vignette in their home. Take a look below…
Figure out what you have to work with.
You’ve been on many journeys through life and along those journeys you have gathered special finds, and not so special finds. Take stock of all of these things. The very first thing I do is gather all the items I have to work with, it helps to see them in front of you, believe me. Out of those items, sift through and separate things into two piles – things you like and things you don’t like so much. Use this opportunity to declutter your home. Once you have your favorite things, it’s time to start styling.
This is how we do it.
To begin, choose one thing that you really love – a great sculpture, vase, or a piece of art – and let it be the focal point of your vignette. Then round up 3-5 other items to support your centerpiece (keeping in mind that the eye prefers odd numbers). Use either visual consistency, mixing things that look a like, or things that contrast, such as black with white, dueling styles, or old with new. This is the fun part because your options are literally endless, but don’t let that scare you!
Remember, height is very important because it creates interest and a pathway for your eye to travel. More specifically, I’m talking about scale. This is where many people go wrong, so, so wrong. The items you put together have to vary in size in order to perfect a vignette. There’s this old rule of thumb of when in doubt your items should fit into a triangle (See diagram). This doesn’t always have to be the case, but I find it helpful, especially for beginning vignette masters – totally a real title.
If you’re looking at your items and you notice that they are all the same scale, you’re not alone. When people buy home decor, it seems like they tend to stick with the same scale. There’s still hope. You can (and certainly should) use coffee table books or risers to create different levels. Almost anything can be used as a riser, get creative!
- Tell a story with your items. When I first started working at Obelisk Home, Nathan Taylor told me that vignettes should tell a story. I had never really thought about it like that, and it makes complete sense. What he meant by that was that items should be cohesive enough that they look right together, but also different enough that they take the eye on a journey and engage you.
- Fresh flowers take vignettes to a whole new level. Some great silks work just as well.
- If your struggling with finding the last perfect item for a vignette, try a candle. It’s easy, beauitful, and of course smells heavenly.
- Lighting is important to vignettes. Use a lamp as your focal point for a vignette on an end table or dresser top.
- Everyday items that you use can be part of vignettes – perfume bottles, coasters, dishes, and countless other things.
Creating a great vignette takes practice. Change your displays regularly and give other treasures their time in the sun. You can even alter the look and feel of your home depending on the season. For instance, in Spring, swap the willow branches for cut flowers and play with seasonal color combinations. Re-styling your vignettes is a great way to spend rainy afternoons.