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Learn how you can make a vignette that will look professional, beautiful and effortless. It's really not that hard once you know the basic design rules.
Vignettes can be truly personal, informing the world of your tastes and interests. These home decor arrangements can be composed from a variety of objects that have at least one or more things in common, or nothing at all!
Literary Devices.net describes a vignette as "a small impressionistic scene, an illustration, a descriptive passage, a short essay, a fiction or nonfiction work focusing on one particular moment; or giving an impression about an idea, character, setting, mood, aspect, or object."
In the realm of interior home decor, a vignette, or “table scape,” can be described as an artful arrangement of objects grouped together to create a scene, tell a story, act as a focal point, or simply to make a decorative statement in your home.
A vignette typically consists of a grouping of decorative objects chosen to complement a room's function or decorative details. A vignette should look uncomplicated, spontaneous and unstudied.
If you have a house for sale, the addition of a few vignettes here and there throughout your home can be used to highlight a particular decorative detail, create a focal point, or show the function of a room.
Vignettes can be displayed on practically any horizontal surface in every room of your house.
Create a vignette on a coffee table, console, shelf, windowsill, fireplace mantle, an upright piano, bookcase, kitchen or bathroom countertops, as a dining table centerpiece, a nightstand, bedroom dresser, coffee table, foyer table, even on the floor!
A vignette should complement the style, color or theme of your home. A helpful rule to follow is to combine objects that have at least one common element to connect them.
If you have a particular theme going on in your home, like a beachy cottage motif or farmhouse style, collect objects for your vignettes that reflect that style.
Choose a main topic for your vignette, or start with one amazing object to be the superstar and build your vignette around that.
Sabrina Soto, interior decorator from HGTV, advises not to use any objects “smaller than a grapefruit” when accessorizing. Anything smaller will just look like clutter.
Sculptural objects - A lamp, (to add height and light) vase, ornamental garden sculpture, (the more weathered, the better!) pottery, metal sculpture.
Items from nature - sea shells, starfish, sea sponges, beach glass, corks, glass balls, geodes, driftwood, coral, fish net, acorns, branches, pinecones, birch back, potted plant, flowers, mossy balls, rocks, antlers, and my favorite, a bird's nest. I like to fill a bird's next with egg shaped rocks.
Place small objects - like a collection of vintage buttons, jewelry or sea shells inside bowls, glass canisters or a clear lamp base.
Paper products - Lean vintage greeting cards, unframed pictures, piano music, old black and white photos, elegant restaurant menus, books... Look for vintage paper products in antique and second-hand stores and flea markets.
Antiques and collectibles - Use objects that look old or have a patina, like; antique binoculars, an old box camera, a globe, mason jars, lamp, lantern, basket, candle pedestals, clock, bowl, bottles and wood boxes.
Artwork - paintings, mirrors, framed photographs, picture frames
Let your vignettes “evolve” by adding or taking away objects. Create transitional vignettes with the seasons.
Elevate smaller pieces with; a stack of books, a wood box or candle pedestals.
A triangular-shaped vignette should consist of objects of varying sizes and heights.
Work in odd numbers of threes, fives, and so on. Don't be afraid to use only three objects. Simplicity is often best.
Odd numbered arrangements are the most pleasing to the eye, as they appear less studied.
Avoid the temptation of adding too many pieces, because the result may look cluttered. Instead, place smaller items in jars or canisters.
Create depth in your vignette and cluster objects close together for cohesiveness.
For a floor vignette, use large heavy objects, like a floor mirror, shutters or screens. Add live potted plants, sculptural objects, even a stack of old books, making sure they're in proper scale to the size of the room.
Symmetry, or formal balance, is for those who prefer order and formality in their home decorations.
Symmetrical vignettes are quite easy to arrange, as you're simply trying to "match" each side of a shelf or fireplace mantle.
Asymmetry, or informal balance, is for those who prefer excitement, energy and creativity in their home decor.
If you like a casual look, then asymmetry is for you.
A properly executed asymmetrical arrangement should look effortless and unstudied, as if the items were just laid down.
Be aware of the “visual weight” of each object in both styles.
Objects don’t have to match perfectly to balance, just appear to be of the same weight.
What is "Visual Weight"
Visual weight is all about perception; what your eye thinks an object weighs. Below is a simple guideline for building successful vignettes. For more info, go to principle of design.
Be aware of the surrounding room décor when building a vignette.
The backdrop becomes an integral part of your vignette, so take note of color schemes or wild patterns that may clash with the objects in your display.
Choose objects in colors and shapes that mirror or complement the background of a room.
When building a vignette in front of a hanging picture or mirror, be sure they are hung low enough to become part of the arrangement.
Mirrors make an interesting backdrop to a vignette, bringing added dimension and reflecting your vignette.
Be sure that objects you place in front of the mirror look as good on the backside as they do in the front.
An easy interior decorating tip for a fireplace mantle and other long flat surfaces is the “three-plus-one” trick.
I use this method to decorate my upright piano, which is always a difficult piece of furniture in any room.
In the picture, the dark color of the picture frame adds enough weight to balance off the larger size of the sail boat on the opposite end.
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