How-To Series: Decorate a Vignette

While most design blogs make vignettes on shelves or mantles look effortless and casual, some serious thought and planning goes into creating a seriously stylish vignette. While we're big fans of the trial-and-error technique, here are some tips to help get you started with creating displays on all of the surfaces in your home. 

  • Start with something large. While we think a 1767 piece makes a great start to any vignette, we may be a bit biased. No matter what you choose, you'll want to start with something large and eye-catching to use as the anchor of your display. 
  • Decide on placement. We like to place the largest piece (or pieces) first, since this usually helps the rest of the objects fall into place. Try placing a large vase toward one side, or prop an art piece against the wall in the center. 
  • Incorporate a plant. No good vignette is complete without a plant — stick one in there wherever you like and it's sure to brighten things up. 
  • Choose meaningful objects. Sure, you can go to a home goods store and buy some decorative items, but they're not going to make you happy when you look around your home. Instead, start slow and build your shelves full of meaningful, beautiful objects, such as gifts from friends, knick knacks from your travels and found items from your favorite thrift shops. 
  • Keep things useful. Most people would say that they could use a bit more storage space, so make your vignette useful by incorporating items that you actually need. Think writing utensils in an attractive cup in the office, cocktail supplies above a bar cart or dishes in the kitchen. 
  • Take a step back. Like most things in life, you won't know if your vignette is complete until you take a step back and look at it as a whole. There's always time to move things around or remove unnecessary items.