A vignette (vin-yet) can be many things, however in the interior design realm, vignettes are purposefully crafted arrangements of accessories throughout the home. In a similar fashion to it’s literary counterpart, a vignette in the home brings characters, or in this case objects, together and tells a unique and personal story.
Whether you choose to “shop your home” or source new pieces, a vignette will add instant polish and personality to any room by injecting colour, texture and dimension. Here we’ve compiled a few guiding tips and tricks to help you create beautiful vignettes in your home.
When it comes to styling an artfully balanced vignette, it is not the value of the items that matter, but rather how they are grouped together. So you don’t necessarily have to buy brand new accessories. Half the fun of assembling a vignette is unearthing hidden treasures within your home; we like to call this shopping from your own home. Assemble all of the objects that you have at your disposal within your home and then group them together by colour or theme. Taking cues from the colour scheme of your chosen room, it is important to keep the colour palette fairly simple, combining only two or three varying colours, in order to achieve cohesion. Then it’s time to mix the pieces together!
Build a Platform for Your Vignette
You can display a vignette atop any flat surface, be it a dresser, table, bookshelf, countertop or window ledge, all of which offer the perfect platform to build a vignette with any number of objects including books, flowers, photographs, artwork, vases, mirrors or souvenirs. Trays can also be used to create a flat surface for pieces to be displayed on foot stools for example, or simply on coffee tables to group items together with subtle or more discernable commonalities. Or why not build a pedestal for your accessories with books to give smaller objects a little lift? Creating a foundation for your vignette will help you create a three dimensional effect and assist with building the objects on and around it in an orderly and visually appealing manner.
Spreading out a collection of objects dilutes their presence and doesn’t provide a focal point, whereas repeat placements and considered arrangements posses greater visual significance and weight. Collections provide a sense of drama and harmony through the use of repetition, be they accessories or a sequence of artworks as an alternative to one larger piece. Playing with contrast will also help to achieve greater visual impact. Contrast can be achieved through colour or arrangement, whether it’s placing white objects against a dark backdrop or manipulating books to create disparate horizontal and vertical lines.
Believe it or not but uneven groupings are more appealing to the eye, creating a more balanced and harmonious focal point. Depending on the amount of space available to you, three to five accessories are typically the most appropriate for a vignette.
Taking the form of lamps, paintings, photographs, sculptures, greenery or mirrors, anchor objects are the stand out piece of a vignette. Playing the leading role, the anchor tends to be the first item that draws the eye’s attention, setting the tone and dictating the direction that the eye then takes through the vignette, and perhaps even the rest of the room. In order to achieve symmetry, it is important to consider how your anchor object sits proportionate to the items that accompany it and build them around it accordingly.
Height & Scale
Visual interest can also be manipulated through height and scale. Marrying objects together that vary in shape and size will help to increase the collective weight of the arrangement and create visual intrigue. Don’t be afraid to layer shapes and select items from the same or similar colour palettes to unite dissimilar pieces.
Starting from the back with your anchor object and working your way towards the front of the vignette, create a sense of depth by assembling elements in interesting arrangements as opposed to lining them up side-by-side. Depth can be created by positioning smaller groupings in front of a large photograph or mirror, or by placing an item atop a stack of books for example.
Combining an assortment of objects with a subtle underpinning theme creates an incredibly compelling and often more personal vignette. From something as simple as colour or texture, to more meaningful arrangements of family treasures or souvenirs from your travels, creating a theme through your vignette results in a more intriguing and emotive finish.
Ultimately, there are no definitive rules that dictate how a vignette should be designed and we encourage you not to restrict yourself to the notion that they have to be permanent fixtures within your home. Enjoy the freedom of swapping and changing your accessories whenever the mood strikes. Although the versatility of a vignette is of great appeal, the true beauty of a vignette is that it is completely unique to you and your home.