What is a vignette, you ask? It’s a term that gets used (and possibly overused) a lot in the world of decorating. If you’re keen to find out more about what a vignette is – and get loads of ideas on how to create some dreamy ones at home – this post has you covered!
What is a Vignette?
The easiest and fastest way to answer the question, what is a vignette, is this: A vignette is a grouping of objects. It really is as simple as that. The grouping is usually made up of homewares pieces but it might also feature flowers and other natural elements, art, craft objects and other mementos, too.
Essentially, a vignette is your way of clustering your favourite items together to create little ‘scenes’ in your home. The best thing about a vignette is that you can change and evolve them constantly. As a new season arrives (or as you get bored, as I do frequently), you can bring items in or out to change up the look of the vignette display.
If you’re on a tight budget, rearranging your vignettes is a good way to change up the scenes in your home without having to spend any money. More on that here.
Visuals are always the best way to illustrate what a vignette is, so let’s explore some options below and get you inspired by all the different vignette possibilities.
“I find that the more you study other people’s vignettes…the more you can start to better piece together your own versions at home. And half the fun is in the experimenting.”
Creating an ‘A’ or ‘L’ Vignette
Experimenting is the best way to find a vignette that you love the look of, but there are some basic guidelines I want to share with you too, and the first is creating the ‘A’ formation.
If you look at both the two images above (the bedside table scene and the tray with the plants on it) you’ll notice that the configuration of items resembles the letter ‘A’, or a pyramid, if that makes things easier.
This formation is a fool-proof way to get a vignette looking good, because any nice cluster of objects needs height – and items at varying heights – to really create wow factor.
To create the ‘A’, you’ll need one piece that’s the tallest, with some smaller pieces around it. The ‘A’ doesn’t have to be symmetrical with the tall object in the middle, though, it can veer more toward an ‘L’ shape (with the tallest item to one side) and still look amazing.
Same Same, but Different
What I love about the two images above is that they are both completely different. The bedside table utilises the wall behind it, bringing art into the scene to help achieve that ‘A’ formation, while the tray groups several items together and uses those gorgeous twigs to draw the eye up.
Both scenes are very different in look and feel though. The bedside table is a traditional ‘A’ scene, while the tray above is almost a backward ‘L’. Can you see it?
The kitchen scene below is another example of an ‘A’ vignette. In fact, if you look at all of the photos in this post, they all feature ‘A’ formations to some degree.
You’ll start to look at homewares groupings in a whole new light now 😉
What do you put into a Vignette?
I actually don’t like to dictate what you should or shouldn’t include in a vignette, because I think you should display what you love and have fun finding out what looks good together in your space and what doesn’t.
As a rule, though, you can approach a vignette by grouping items according to elements like; similar colours, textures, themes (like coastal homewares) or choosing items that contrast against the rest of the room; arranging a bright red scene against a while backdrop for major impact, for example.
Also, notice that in every image in this post, the vignettes are displayed in very different ways; along a coffee table, up a shelf, using a wall for added dimension, mixing rustic items with high gloss, and using a tray to ground several objects in the one scene.
Commonalities in Vignettes
The one thing all vignettes have in common, is that the items are at varying depths (not all in one straight line). Ensure you style your vignettes with this in mind and you can’t go wrong 😉
I find that the more you study other people’s vignettes, and really look at how they came together and why they look good, the more you can start to better piece together your own versions at home. And half the fun is in the experimenting anyway.
Tip: Take photos of your vignettes once you’ve arranged them. It does help you to see what is and isn’t working. You might notice that you don’t have enough differing heights in the scene, or that there is too much of the same texture. Oh – and feel free to show me your work on Instagram because I’d love to see your progress; my username is @tlifecreative.
Did this post answer the ‘what is a vignette’ question for you, and has it inspired you to get trying some new formations and clusters at home? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.