How To Create A Vignette | Styling Secrets
I’m sure you have seen many beautifully styled surfaces and scenes, it can be easy to think this is natural design flair, or accidentally beautifully arranged. These scenes are no accident. They are thoughtfully and intentionally arranged groupings to create a cohesive look and feel, adding in detail to the design. They’re called vignettes (or ‘still life’ if you’re in the art world), and below I’m going to share the recipe so that you can learn how to create a vignette in your home today.
And If you’ve been second guessing your interior design choices or struggling with indecision, overwhelm and design confusion, stick around for the juicy bits at the end where I’ll show you how to design a dream room in a weekend….. Yes!
What is a Vignette?
So, let’s jump in….. First up, if I’ve got you all “vign what??? Let’s look at what a vignette actually is. Put simply, a vignette is a grouping of objects, it’s as simple as that….. well, kind of.
A vignette is essentially a curated scene and collection of objects and items around your home normally arranged on surfaces such as console tables, coffee tables, bedside cabinets, dining tables, bookcases and so on, any horizontal surface.
Vignette can showcase anything you wish. Your personality, your character, the changing seasons, your latest read, the shells you collected on your last trip abroad (If you can actually remember that far back, fingers crossed for this year people). It’s simply a visually interesting display of virtually anything (when you deploy the vignette formula).
A vignette is a mixture of items and collections. To create an interesting and stylish display you’ll often group items of different sizes, shapes, colours, textures and purposes. One of the great things about creating little styled pockets, they’re super easy and inexpensive to change as and when you feel the urge (perfect for any serial faffers amongst us)!
You’re essentially creating a ‘still life’, and as in art, the beauty of a still life lies in the differences of the objects.
How To Create A Vignette – The Formula
The Alphabet, Geometry + Height
Whilst this isn’t intended to be a lesson in one of the elements of interior design, Shape, it’s the basis of the vignette formula. Shape is a key ingredient in interior design and you will find geometry everywhere if you really look, be that oval, square, hexagonal, or triangles.
There are a few ways to Vignette, and you’ll find many descriptions, be that A or L configurations. Regardless of how it’s described, what we’re on the look out for here is triangles, the key ingredient in the vignette formula! Triangles are so pleasing to the eye, they give your eye a route, path and direction to follow. Our brains absolutely love triangles!
As you scan some of the inspirational vignette images on this page, try and create triangles, you won’t be able to un-see the triangle formations, and triangles within triangles. With your triangular shaped glasses on, let’s figure out exactly what we need and how to go about creating little pockets of style statements around your home.
And if you use the Vignette formula, tag me over on instagram so I can swoon at your curated style creations, click here for the link.
1. Height + Anchor
The first part of the Vignette Formula is something tall such as artwork, a plant, vase or candlestick. This is going to form the tip of one of your first triangles, an easy reference is the A for Anchor. Often the tall element also becomes the main hero of the show also and the focal point. The items that you pick are totally up to you, pick something you love!
Next up we need to start creating more visual weight, a chunky piece to balance out the height. Let’s get hunting for something like a rounded vase, or bowl. Something that provides visually heavy weight and puts a little meat on the vignette bones.
As we’re adding ingredients to our how to create a vignette formula, we need to start thinking about another element of interior design, line. The use of both horizontal and vertical lines will help you create eye moving interest as your eyes scan the scenes, so let’s look for items that will help create line such as books, trays, frames, artwork etc.
And finally, whilst of course this is your vignette recipe so will be unique to you, adding in organic elements will bring in variety, depth, life and texture. So go and grab something organic that’s natural and flowing, such as things from nature and the natural world like coral, plants, shells, flowers and so on.
How To Create A Vignette – The Process
1 – The first step into how to create a vignette, let’s gather all your items! Make sure you gather a mixture of shape and size, as well variety of materials and textures.
2 – Now we’re going to place the items around the edge to give your vignette an overall size. Imagine an A, your first triangle.
3 – I know I know, I might have mentioned this already, but the trick to vignettes is thinking in geometry. Triangles are the basis of all vignettes, and triangles within triangles, not only does it lead your eye, it pleases your eye!
4 – Working from the back, we’re going to place items in odd arrangements of 3, 5 or 7. Odd numbers are the magic numbers. and think about layers and levels.
5 – Let’s forget the formal lineup, make sure items overlap a little, with depth both front to back and vertically. Force the eye to travel around the scene.
6 – Voila, a lovely display of interesting and stylish items that showcase your character and personality.
I’ve worked with thousands of clients, DIY designers and renovators in our programs, groups and clubs and many struggle with the same, and common, design confusions….. working out what to create, colour choices + bringing it all together!
Some of the above is a couple of pages I’ve included in the Decoded Designer, a brand new course that follows my DESIGNER framework to destroy your design doubt + dilemmas, and equip you with the skills to define your design visions, master mood boards so that you can visualise digitally (before you waste money in reality), get confident with your colour choices and supersize your styling skills.
This weekend you can grab the special launch offer of only £37, click here to grab it! As a special launch bonus the first 10 to review Decoded Designer will also get a FREE 30 minute online design consultation with myself and the design team to elevate your creations, worth £150.
I hope this has helped you with how to create a vignette in your home, and look forward to seeing you in Decoded Designer if you feel it’s a good fit for you.
Have an amazing weekend.