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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Making Of A Vignette!!

We all have some form of a vignette in our homes. It could be on a book shelf, end table or a coffee table. Vignettes are used throughout our homes as a means of display for pieces that we love and want to look at.

Vignettes are not just confined to living rooms or bedrooms they can be placed through out our homes.

My friend Delores of Vignette Designs blog just did a post on kitchen vignettes. She shows some lovely vignettes in the kitchen including some from her own gorgeous home. Be sure and visit her blog to see these great inspirational images if you need to do a vignette in your kitchen.
Although it appears to be a simple task, it is not always so easy to do a vignette that is appealing. When I did design consults this is the one consistent area of puzzlement for most homeowners. They would struggle with mantel tops, bookshelves and end tables or coffee tables.
That brings up a question: “What are the necessary fundamentals to making a beautiful vignette?”
  • Vary the size of the elements.
  • Create an up and down wave motion with the ~~~ elements~~~
  • Vary your textures using, rough, shiny and  smooth objects.
  • Have one main element that will be the star,it will ground the grouping, all the other elements will relate to this element in your vignette.
  • vary your shapes, soft edges with harder straight edge items.
  • make sure your elements also have an in and out motion by placing some items in the forefront and others in the back creating a layered affect.
Let’s look at some images of vignettes that I have collected…….
I love this vignette, it is actually one of my favorites. Let’s start on the left….. the plant starts this vignette out on a low level, then we go to the lantern and the wave goes up. When we reach the glass cloches we go back down the wave. This is what I mean about going up and down in a wave motion.
How about the textures? We have a bit of shine on the leaves, the rough texture of the lantern, and moving along to the cloches we have the shine of the glass. On the lower shelf we have the rough texture of the baskets and the shine of the green leaves of the plant.  All in all this is making quite a lovely vignette. I think the lantern is the star or the anchor in this vignette.

Oh how I love lanterns and this vignette is so appealing to me. Notice the up and down wave pattern? The rough texture of the hat and the warm patina of the wood ? The shine comes in the form of the glass in the lanterns, and the shiny metal of the keys hanging on the wooden knob. A small detail, but one that keeps this vignette interesting. I also like the way they hung one of the lanterns. Multiples are the theme of this vignette.

This vignette is a wonderful example of more than just what is placed on the table. This vignette incorporates the surrounding areas, the floor and the walls. Always keep in mind when you have an end table with a lamp on it, what is above it on the wall. 
We have a nice wave pattern, great variation in the textures, and the  surrounding area has been addressed with the rough texture of the wooden dough bowl, and the lovely botanicals.  In this vignette I think the green lamp is the star and everything is working off of that.

I love white pitchers and apparently this homeowner does also. Even though the textures are all the same the variation in size and shape keeps it interesting. The chair in front of the cabinet is a nice addition of texture. The pitchers are lined up, and yet they still are creating the wave pattern that is so important in a good vignette. There is no star in this vignette, but the fact that the pitchers are done en masse keeps it interesting and very effective.

In this vignette we have layers. The items are stacked one in front of the other creating interest and depth. There is variation in size, form and texture. Notice the dark tray with the orange boxes, this is grounding the whole vignette.

This vignette done by Phoebe Howard, my design idle, has a quiet, casual elegance to it. The star is the clear vase of flowering branches. The wave pattern is there and the rougher texture is brought in by using the branches and the actual patina of the wood piece which has a somewhat rustic feel to it. There is shine in the vase and the mirror. The smoothness comes from the white porcelain. We have wonderful color from the flowers and the beautiful fruit.

I hope this helps you all a little bit!! Next time you go to do a vignette think of the elements you are about to use based on their…..
  • Texture
  • Shape
  • Size
  • Color
Place them in a wave-like configuration making sure they are not lined up like little soldiers unless you are using one type of item as in the pitcher display above. It helps to move some elements back and others forward to get another form of motion.
Pull your favorite elements together and start making vignettes!!!

“Enjoy the Process!” Of:

Making an interesting vignette for your home.


Reminder: Don't forget to email me a question for the "Question of the Day " post that will be posting this Friday!


devis artisan said...

I really appreciate your post and you explain each and every point very well.Thanks for sharing this information.And I’ll love to read your next post too.

Linda @ theLENNOXX said...

Oh I LOVE vignettes!! A great one can make any nook of your home come alive, and I love how my visitors always stop and look at my vignettes. That's when I know I've done it right =) Love the way you describe it as making waves, so true.

xox Linda

The enchanted home said...

Excellent tutorial.....I also like using mini frames in beautiful materials as part of a vignette...there is no one formula..its all trial and error. And of course a beautiful potted orchid looks amazing in literally any vignette! Well done Kathy Sue!

laxsupermom said...

Beautiful images! Thanks for breaking down what makes each one work.

Lee said...

The 'wave" -- memorable description! The vignette with the dough boys I really like, maybe because I love green so much. The kitchen vignettes are really hard to pull off. I doubt that my Kitchenaid mixer counts! Wish it were not so heavy as I'd opt to put it away in the pantry. Helpful post! Thank you.

Marty@A Stroll Thru Life said...

Such a great post and you always have such wonderful images and suggestions. Hope you have a super day. Hugs, Marty

Karen said...

I just bookmarked this post to read again. Styling and creating vignettes is my number one decorating weakness. I can spend hours mindlessly wandering through shops and come out empty handed-or worse, buy a group of things and end up returning them all. Can't you just fly in and do it for me Kathysue?!!!

Amber B (Simple Dwellings) said...

Great post! I also love white pitchers- the collection of them was gorgeous! Vignettes are great in homes- they are the special moments in your home that can showcase collections and special treasures! :)

dine said...

Love vignettes...especially those made up of things that mean something to the homeowner vs. a bunchof "stuff" purchased at Home Goods. good tutorial..thanks

rebecca said...

I love all of these little nooks. so sweet and cozy.

Mel@Georgica pond said...

In my opinion, creating an attractive, coherent and pleasing vignette is dependent on having the right selection of items to arrange. Most people find it a challenge not because they don't necessarily have the eye or the skill but because they on't have the right selection, quantity or variety of objects. I think if anybody was to walk into a homewares shop and had to create a nice vignette they could easily do it because the of the huge choice.. At home, we generally don't have 20 matching white jugs or a huge collection of seashells or matching books and frames, so this is something you have to plan and purchase if you really want the right effect. As a stylist I can say that in about 99% of the homes we shot, we created the vignettes with products brought in for the day, which were picked from several shops and borrowed. It's an art but it's achievable for us with a little clever planning and imagination.

Mona Thompson Providence Ltd. said...

Kathysue, You've picked all of my favorites...I have the first pic and we are actually having a table just like it built for a client to mount a TV above in their family room. the next was lanterns...I can never get enough of those. each vignette was just so perfect with dough bowls and lots of other stuff I love. Headed over to see your friend. Mona

Tote said...

Good advice about vignettes. Sometimes for a lay person like me, it all is by trial and error. I put things together, and if it doesn''t look right or make sence I move things around. Eventually I get it right.


Pinky at Designs by Pinky said...

This is a great idea and I know it will help alot of people! Vignettes are a wonderful way to change things easily! Things change around here alot:):) XO, Pinky


Some of those pictures have been in my files forever....and really, there is nothing prettier than a vignette...it is kind of like putting a great outfit together isn't it?

Mary Anne said...

A great post Kathsue! Loved it and love doing vignettes in my home. In fact, it is time to change out a few!

FYI; I can't believe I have never visited your blogspot! LOVE IT!