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Thursday, September 22, 2011

An Informative Vignette

When I was doing design consults I developed a few techniques that I found would help me determine what my clients truly loved for their homes.

This technique would help eliminate any jump towards a new trend that they, thought they loved because it was the new kid on the block.

I called this technique, “Creating an Informative Vignette!”

This is something that all of you can do for yourself, and you might be surprised at what you learn about yourself.

The only requirement is you have to be completely, and totally honest. You have to fight against thinking about what you, “think,” you want to put in your home.

Here is what you need to do to create an informative vignette…….

I would like you to go through your home, closets, cupboards etc., and pull out 5-6 items that you absolutely LOVE!!!! 

These items can be clothing, shoes, towels or pieces of furniture and accessories. The requirement is you HAVE to LOVE it, and have always loved it. It does not have to be anything that you even use in your home right now just something you have had for a long time and truly love.

After you do this I want you to set up a vignette using these items.
Look at what you have created from this perspective:

  • Color
  • Texture
  • Style
  • Feel
By doing this you will see what you need to have in your home to make your home your own personal style.

Once you have done this you will be able to make plans for future purchases more consciously than emotionally.

If your new purchases do not fit into the list you just made, or if it would not fit in the vignette, chances are you will not love it long term, and by long term I mean for more than two weeks or two years.

I was reminded of this technique this past week. At the end of summer I like to have my carpets cleaned.
 I had them cleaned this last week so we had to move some of my furniture and decorative accessories off the carpet, and onto the hardwood floor of my kitchen/dinette.

I made a comment to my hubby  how much I enjoyed seeing my things grouped together. Then…….. the light bulb went off in my brain, “this is an, Informative Vignette.”

Here is my Informative Vignette. The items were literally just placed on my table that already had the lime green pitcher and the blue bowl of green apples on it. Not the best photography, but it illustrates the point I am trying to make.

Blog Post 001 (800x600)

Blog Post 003 (800x600)

If I were to look at this as an exercise that I had my client do I would come up with these answers:

  •  Colors: Crisp colors with high contrast giving a fresh look. Black and white as accents to a blue,white and green color scheme.
  •  Textures: Smooth and refined finishes.
  • Style: Traditional with touches of vintage.
  • Feeling: Simple, understated elegance, fresh and clean.
    When thinking about this post I referenced back to the original post I did on this technique. I read some of the comments and one in particular stood out to me.

    The reason this particular comment stood out was I know this person, and we have recently had some conversations about staying true to who we are in our homes.

    She recently started questioning a few elements in her own home, as we all do from time to time. In fact she wrote a couple of post about it here and here.



    Look at the post before you read her comment that was written over a year ago.

    My friend Delores from Vignette Designs wrote:

    vignette design said...

    Great advice. I love my majolica, my vintage oil paintings, my living room drapes, my welsh cupboard and my little deer trophies. I guess that says traditional European style.

      I would have to say that my friend Delores has truly stayed true to who she is and what she loves in her home, wouldn’t you? I think Traditional European style is a perfect style for her.

    I hope this post has made you think about your own, “Informative Vignette!”

    “Enjoy the Process” Of:

    Finding new ways of discovering your own personal style for your home!



    Jemsmom said...

    Absolutely brilliant post! So informative!!! Literally!!! Delores has 100% stayed with her design style and created a masterpiece of a home that is truly her! I love this idea. I will have to do this!

    Grace @ Sense and Simplicity said...

    Sounds like a great way to get to know your style. I've never done this, but should give it a try.

    Pinky at Designs by Pinky said...

    First of all, thank you so much for your sweet comment on my blog! This is a FABULOUS idea! I will try this and maybe send you pictures to see what you say!:):) XO, Pinky

    elizabeth@themustardceiling said...

    Terrific advice Kathysue. It is so easy to get wrapped up in the new trends (especially when we see them so often in the blogging world). I am already thinking of items I can put together to create an informative vignette (you should have a linky party for this exercise) :).

    Linda in AZ * said...

    *** THIS... WAS... WONDERFUL, Kathysue!!! I was totally captivated from the get go and YES, I plan to try this tomorrow!!! (WOULD lovvve to do it NOW, but am leaving reeeeally early in the A.M., and have to hit the hay early, in just a few minutes, darn it!!!)...

    This TRULY I*S* one of your best blogs~~~ enjoyed it mucho!!!!!!!

    Many thanks,
    Linda in AZ *

    Yvonne @ StoneGable said...

    Great advice! I am going to do this! I need a little help defining some areas in my house I am slowly reworking! Thank you so much!
    Wonderful info!

    Unknown said...

    Kathysue, I love this. I think it's so important to stick to what we love. Then when the trends come and go, it won't matter. We will still be surrounded by a style that makes us feel truly at home. Such a challenge when we are constantly looking at others' styles, ideas, and trends. Love the vignette idea. Very wise.

    Silvia C said...

    What a fantastic idea, Kathysue. I'm going to do this exercise! Your posts are always so informative. It's a pleasure to come visit you!

    The enchanted home said...

    What a great exercise/tutorial! I love this.....you are so right, we can create beautiful things likely with things we already own. Your examples are exquisite!

    Carrie said...

    Great post...it gives an effective way of gauging what we truly love to have in our home decor!

    designchic said...

    This is such a great idea, Kathysue. It is always important to stay with things we love, and remember that trends are just that...trends. I must admit that I do love updating, but always have my base pieces. Have a wonderful weekend!!

    Amanda said...

    Pure genius!! You are a wealth of wisdom Miss. KathySue! I would love to be able to just sit & chat with you!!

    Have a great weekend!!

    debra @ 5th and state said...



    Wendi @ Classic Chic Home said...

    Your posts are always full of creative ideas and useful information. Thank you for so generously sharing your talent with us!
    Have a lovely weekend, Kathysue!
    ~ Wendi ~

    Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

    Oh Kathy Sue,

    I so believe in this and without even knowing what I was doing, I actually helped out a friend to decorate her home, using these methods!!!!!! And I must read your previous post for Pinterest is my mode of finding pics...hmmmmmmm! I THANK YOU for visiting with such kind words my dear. AND I HAVE A QUESTION. I see that you blog is from BLOGSPOT. BUT it has a lovely look of a website. How did you get those "buttons" or "links" under your header? I have created a second blog as a gallery for my etsy shop and I had wanted to have a look such as yours with links right under the header. IF YOU HAVE A MOMENT, just let me know:



    SHERRY HART said...

    You know I am a fan of shopping my own home!!! Who has the time or the $$$$$ to keep replacing. Every year, or season...maybe a little "fluffing" with one or two new things can definitely do the trick. But I always say, stay true to your style!!!

    Karen said...

    I can't wait to try this Kathysue. I'll report back to you with my findings, lol!

    Linda Hartong said...

    Such a good idea. So easy and sooo informative. I am happy to say my home reflects ME.

    Holly Gruszka said...

    This is such wonderful advice and a great exercise that I'm going to try. I agree with Elizabeth - you should host a link-up for this exercise. It would be interesting to see what everyone comes up with and what makes up each person's vignette.

    pam {simple details} said...

    I can't wait to try this! I'm certainly guilty of wanting to freshen things up with the newest trends in blogland.

    Thanks for the great idea, off to see what I love!