How to: Style Vignettes

May 09, 2014
How to: Style Vignettes

The traditional meaning of the term Vignette is a short scene in a film or play. When translated into interiors, Vignette is just the fancy name for what you’re probably already doing in your own home styling. Vignettes are a collection of items grouped together in a visually pleasing arrangement that tell a story, evoke a feeling or set a mood. For example, a piece of driftwood from your favourite beach, your grandmothers antique candle holder and a handful of pebbles from your garden. Alone these pieces may not say much, but when styled together on the mantle piece they create an enticing coastal feel that clusters together the feelings each individual item evokes.

Various Vases Vignette

A cool, calm and collected Vignette that combines vases of different shapes and sizes with a few personal touches like the feather and photographic artwork

Vamping up your Vignette

There’s no golden rule to creating vignettes but it is a good idea to learn and stick to a few guidelines to ensure your collection has the desired effect.

  • Often vignettes will have a hero feature piece that sets the tone for the rest of the story - think a porcelain candy skull or your favourite childhood trophy – this is then paired with other pieces that follow that story and create a visual interest.

  • Vary your vignettes height and shape by playing around with scale. You can create a lot of eye-catching style just by using a range of different sized pieces. If your hero is the largest piece then you may want to position it in the middle with the other pieces spilling around it or go for something more off centre and have it overlooking the other items from the back. The fun part of vignettes is getting to play around with how things look and feel. Take a step back and look at your display from different angles to make sure you’re happy with the overall feel and positioning

  • Instead of grouping vignettes by category, try grouping them by colour! Even if the pieces don’t have much connection, the continued colour will create a cohesive look.

  • Use your vignette to inspire your next holiday, or remind you of your last one. Group together travel momentos from your last trip – anything from trinkets to shells or even movie tickets – or make a vignette out of things that inspire you for where you want to travel to next.

Let me take a shelfie!

Long gone are the days of snapping you #cleaneating foodie shots, the “shelfie” is fast becoming the latest craze on Instagram and social media platforms a like. The shelfie is a selfie of your own styled vignette usually done on a shelf. Shelves are ideal for vignettes as they use vertical space which would otherwise go untouched and can raise your creative arrangement to eye level. You can splay shelves in a balanced formation and have a whole wall of vignettes which each tell their own story or work together to tell one as a whole. A shelfie can stand alone next to the bed, hover above your study nook or be the first thing you see as you walk into the hallway. Not convinced? Jump on Instagram and search #shelfie for some inspiration!

Series of shell vignettes

A seaside shelfie that tells a cohesive story through out every level

Vignette Go-too’s

  • Feathers
  • Driftwood
  • Old books
  • Music sheets
  • Foliage (real or fake)
  • Fairy Lights
  • Porcelain pieces
  • Sea sponges
  • Vintage perfume bottles
  • Oversized novelty items
  • Mini vases
  • Animal statues
  • Antlers
  • Art sketches
  • Candle votives
  • Typewrite keys
  • Clock mechanisms like cogs
  • Glass domes or recycled jars to house your vignette

Keen to design your own Vignette? This palette of white and gold is contemporary, fresh and combines plenty of design savvy pieces