A vignette by definition is a small, pleasing picture or view often found at the title page of a book or beginning of a chapter. This same term is often used in décor these days, describing small groupings of visual elements that create almost a story of their own. Seemingly random pieces are thoughtfully placed to set a mood or evoke a thought, and these small “scenes” can create just as much conversation as a big, expensive piece of art that’s totally out of your budget.
Vignettes are an easy addition to coffee tables, end tables, etc. once you get the feel for placement and proportion. You simply “know” the difference between what’s pleasing to the eye and what feels like a clutter that needs to be put away.
When you build a vignette, you’re creating a sentiment…a mood. If you took a picture of it, would you look at it more than once? If you had to describe it, what words would you use? If it’s words like dreamy, antique, broody, eclectic, traveled, shabby chic and such that come to mind, you’re on the right track. If it’s messy, disproportionate or blah, then you need to refresh.
Some great core pieces for a good vignette include:
- old books
- artful trays
- glass apothecary jars
- bell jars or cloches
- architectural fragments
- photos or small framed art/script
These can be your base or height elements and then you just fill in from there. A vignette can be as simple as a glass jar with balls of twine or as elaborate as a sideboard covered in 10 books, 17 candles, 3 old photos and a peacock. It’s up to you to establish the setting and the mood it creates. Have fun with it and be open to making adjustments as the season changes or you see fit. I’ve included some of my personal vignette creations in this article and you can visit my Vignettes Pinterest board for more of my favorites from around the web.
Need ideas for where to find some unique pieces like the ones in my photos, without breaking the bank? Head to your local Charity Guild shop, flea or vintage market, Home Goods Store, or check out websites like One Kings Lane and Joss & Main and browse their accessory/décor pages for some great finds at great prices.
What are your favorite elements to create vignettes in your home? Share your thoughts in the comments below.