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Four Elements of the Perfect Vignette

February 12, 2016

If you’ve been with me for awhile now here on SST you are well versed in my love for organizing. Something about it gives me an almost palpable sense of satisfaction, and once you start, you can’t stop. Or I can’t, anyway. 

Organizing comes in handy especially when creating the perfect vignette. As a small collection of items arranged together, a vignette accomplishes a few things: 1) transforms a flat surface into something visually appealing; 2) allows you to display many different odds and ends that you’ve acquired over the years; and finally 3) offers endless opportunities to arrange, rearrange, and then arrange again, letting your inner OCD freak run wild with reckless abandon.

Vignettes are also super trendy right now, and everybody is droning on and on about a damn vignette. So we should too.

Here are my key elements to create the perfect vignette:

tea set2

 1. Balance. A vignette doesn’t need to be symmetrical — although I always gravitate towards symmetry in design — but the items that make up the vignette need to be cohesive. Cohesiveness makes for a beautiful arrangement/magazine-ready look. Here the items on the silver tray (yes Mom I know that needs to be polished) are arranged neatly between the two glass hurricanes, which happily flank the two hummingbird prints above. All items in this vignette sing the same song. I think they are singing a particularly invigorating rendition of Benny and the Jets.

tea set

 2. Levels. Imagine your vignette is a stadium and that each item needs to be able to see out (or in this case, be seen) from all levels, giving each piece the attention it’s due. Arrange the tallest/largest items in the back,and then layer in smaller items towards the front in an arrangement that creates harmony. Yes items can be harmonious. Work with me here. 

coffee table

3. Grouping. Choose a variety of different items and group together. Seems overly simplistic, but not all items should go together. Choose the ones that complement each other without one hogging all of the attention. Here we have an antler shed Wilson found, some magazines, a plate, a candle, some flowers and a large fake shell. I fumbled around with them for a bit until I arrived at an arrangement that suited me.

side table

 4. Stacking. Vignettes are all about the stack. Sorry the photo is a tad crooked. Stacking things on top of one another is one of my favorite ways to organize shit together, and it’s also a great way to create a tasteful vignette.

Et voilà. Now I know all of you just cannot wait to get home to use my extraordinarily useful advice in creating your very own vignettes, but first thing’s first: pour yourself a glass of wine. Interior design is always better with wine.

Actually, isn’t everything?

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1 Comment

  • Reply Patrice February 12, 2016 at 10:03 pm

    Yes, everything is better with wine, and yes, your tray needs to be polished.
    BTW your cousin Les’ daughter reads your blog, so you might want to quell some of the 4 letter words.

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