Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Making Of A Vignette!!

We all have some form of a vignette in our homes. It could be on a book shelf, end table or a coffee table. Vignettes are used throughout our homes as a means of display for pieces that we love and want to look at.

Vignettes are not just confined to living rooms or bedrooms they can be placed through out our homes.

My friend Delores of Vignette Designs blog just did a post on kitchen vignettes. She shows some lovely vignettes in the kitchen including some from her own gorgeous home. Be sure and visit her blog to see these great inspirational images if you need to do a vignette in your kitchen.
Although it appears to be a simple task, it is not always so easy to do a vignette that is appealing. When I did design consults this is the one consistent area of puzzlement for most homeowners. They would struggle with mantel tops, bookshelves and end tables or coffee tables.
That brings up a question: “What are the necessary fundamentals to making a beautiful vignette?”
  • Vary the size of the elements.
  • Create an up and down wave motion with the ~~~ elements~~~
  • Vary your textures using, rough, shiny and  smooth objects.
  • Have one main element that will be the star,it will ground the grouping, all the other elements will relate to this element in your vignette.
  • vary your shapes, soft edges with harder straight edge items.
  • make sure your elements also have an in and out motion by placing some items in the forefront and others in the back creating a layered affect.
Let’s look at some images of vignettes that I have collected…….
I love this vignette, it is actually one of my favorites. Let’s start on the left….. the plant starts this vignette out on a low level, then we go to the lantern and the wave goes up. When we reach the glass cloches we go back down the wave. This is what I mean about going up and down in a wave motion.
How about the textures? We have a bit of shine on the leaves, the rough texture of the lantern, and moving along to the cloches we have the shine of the glass. On the lower shelf we have the rough texture of the baskets and the shine of the green leaves of the plant.  All in all this is making quite a lovely vignette. I think the lantern is the star or the anchor in this vignette.

Oh how I love lanterns and this vignette is so appealing to me. Notice the up and down wave pattern? The rough texture of the hat and the warm patina of the wood ? The shine comes in the form of the glass in the lanterns, and the shiny metal of the keys hanging on the wooden knob. A small detail, but one that keeps this vignette interesting. I also like the way they hung one of the lanterns. Multiples are the theme of this vignette.

This vignette is a wonderful example of more than just what is placed on the table. This vignette incorporates the surrounding areas, the floor and the walls. Always keep in mind when you have an end table with a lamp on it, what is above it on the wall. 
We have a nice wave pattern, great variation in the textures, and the  surrounding area has been addressed with the rough texture of the wooden dough bowl, and the lovely botanicals.  In this vignette I think the green lamp is the star and everything is working off of that.

I love white pitchers and apparently this homeowner does also. Even though the textures are all the same the variation in size and shape keeps it interesting. The chair in front of the cabinet is a nice addition of texture. The pitchers are lined up, and yet they still are creating the wave pattern that is so important in a good vignette. There is no star in this vignette, but the fact that the pitchers are done en masse keeps it interesting and very effective.

In this vignette we have layers. The items are stacked one in front of the other creating interest and depth. There is variation in size, form and texture. Notice the dark tray with the orange boxes, this is grounding the whole vignette.

This vignette done by Phoebe Howard, my design idle, has a quiet, casual elegance to it. The star is the clear vase of flowering branches. The wave pattern is there and the rougher texture is brought in by using the branches and the actual patina of the wood piece which has a somewhat rustic feel to it. There is shine in the vase and the mirror. The smoothness comes from the white porcelain. We have wonderful color from the flowers and the beautiful fruit.

I hope this helps you all a little bit!! Next time you go to do a vignette think of the elements you are about to use based on their…..
  • Texture
  • Shape
  • Size
  • Color
Place them in a wave-like configuration making sure they are not lined up like little soldiers unless you are using one type of item as in the pitcher display above. It helps to move some elements back and others forward to get another form of motion.
Pull your favorite elements together and start making vignettes!!!

“Enjoy the Process!” Of:

Making an interesting vignette for your home.


Reminder: Don't forget to email me a question for the "Question of the Day " post that will be posting this Friday!