9 Tips For Creating Unique Vignettes

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Learn how to create unique vignettes to enhance your decor with these 9 simple tips.

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So you’ve got a grand plan to overhaul your décor but your cash cow hasn’t wandered in just yet. You don’t need to ditch your sofas to give your aesthetic a distinctive refresh. And you don’t need to have a massive budget.

Today, we’re turning our attention to the small detail. We’re looking to the nooks and corners in your home, the countertops and shelves that hold untapped decorating potential. We’re talking the how in the creation of evocative clusters of accent pieces.

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L to R: Layered artworks featuring Blue Divine Canvas Print and Total X Canvas Print from Shaynna Blaze for Urban Road, and a vignette featuring a vibrant colour pop and a rustic drawer amongst monochrome (image sourced: stylecaster.com).

The art of the vignette is easy to master and it instantly updates your home. It’s the perfect way to convey your personality. Plus, it gives your interiors that finished look (even if they’re not).

Adding in artistic arrangements around your home can be done at any time in the decorating process. Don’t think of them as the final touches – especially if you’re playing the long game and having to balance your dreams with your bank balance. (And let’s face it – that’s most of us.)

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Image sourced: bloglovin.com.

Vignettes offer you the opportunity to express yourself on a small scale. And it’s amazing what adding in a little detail does to define your space. Think what a difference that upward tilt made to the Mona Lisa’s mouth!

Here are 9 tips for mastering the technique.

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From L to R: Mineral Metallic Pot and other pieces from the Have You Met Miss Jones collection, available online at Zanui, and a diverse vignette with table lamp, bust, decanter and artwork (image sourced: cuckoo4design.com).

KEEP IT CASUAL

Vignettes work best when they appear unaffected. For us, their art is in their artlessness.

Odd numbers of things tend to work best because they look less contrived. Take risks in your combinations. Think outside the box. Unlikely pairings add intriguing visual appeal to your home.

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Image sourced: stylecaster.com.

EXPLOIT UNUSED SPACE

Add quintessential charm to your home with collections of curios in unexpected spaces. Think of your guests’ journey through your home. Their eye travels through each room guided by your décor accents, with bold hues and patterns demanding their attention first.

Stand in the doorway to each room and track this for yourself. Identify under-utilised spaces and then exploit them! Ask yourself if you are making use of different heights within each room. This will prevent your space from looking too shallow.

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From L to R: Little Luxuries Candles from Wedgwood, Flat Spool with Twine and Scissors from Casa Uno, Model Yacht, Small Ironsides from Authentic Models, and Samba Baskets (Set of 3) from GlobeWest, available online at Zanui.

Any flat space will suffice to stage your vignette, from bedside tables to consoles, windowsills, side tables, dressers, you name it. The flat world is your oyster. 😉

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A vignette in high-pitched pastels featuring The Wait Canvas Print and Total X Canvas Print from the Shaynna Blaze for Urban Road collection, available online at Zanui.

MAKE DIVERSITY YOUR HERO

The beauty of these collections is in their harmonious variety. Pair old with new, search out interesting trinkets to infuse your space with a homely lived-in feel. Shop for objects with distinctive patinas.

Vases, decorative bowls, candles, old leather volumes, jars, and wildflowers all look great. Plus, none of these have to be too nasty on your pay packet.

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From L to R: Nicolette Temple Box from Café Lighting and Decorative Bells from Have You Met Miss Jones, available online at Zanui.

Dried flowers have the added benefit of lasting power and come in all the colours of the rainbow. Plus, their unique sculptural shapes surprise the eye.

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Image sourced: thewhimsicalwife.com. 

PLAY WITH SYMMETRY + LEVELS

We’re going to confess our bias for asymmetrical upfront. The eye can’t take in a more eclectic collection too quickly. Its lack of symmetry causes us to pause and appreciate each element individually.

That said, if you’re a fan of the polished sophisticated aesthetic, symmetrical vignettes work well. Work in a linear form along consoles and cabinets for a more formal look.

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Vibrant colour pops add interest to your vignettes. Ziggy Soy Candle from French Bull, available online at Zanui. Image left sourced: stylecaster.com.

Employ stacks of books or cake stands to give your miniature scene more levels. Creating piles and displaying items behind one another adds depth. Remember this is not an exhibition. Each accent is working in relationship to the others.

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Images sourced L to R: bloglovin.com and blog.stylizimo.com.

WORK WITHIN AN A-FRAME

Feeling unsure where to start? Although not your only option, triangular arrangements offer an easy framework to work within. They have the benefit of height as well as keeping your items in close proximity.

Play around with the height to width ratio to find what works best. You’re trying to find that sweet spot between balanced and too bland!

V15aMarble Hex Box, Blue and other pieces from the Have You Met Miss Jones collection, available online at Zanui.

CONSIDER A SERIES

Consider a series of the same object expressed in different textures and sizes. For example, metallic photo frames alongside smaller old-world ones, a series of glass bottles from translucent to opaque hues or a collection of candles.

Experiment with working in shades of one colour as well. If you’re working within a theme like this, adding in one other accent to break up the uniformity works well.

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Hemingway Design for Royal Doulton vessels displayed on the Zanui coffee and side tables, with the Peaches and Cream Canvas Print from Shaynna Blaze for Urban Road, available online at Zanui.

PICK UP YOUR PALETTE

Select one or two colours to reflect in your vignette. Or work in one bold colour pop for contrast – for example an antique jade crackled glaze teapot in an otherwise neutral room.

Picking up your palette through patterns is another option.

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Rustic or chic or both? Right: York Temple Jar, Tall from Café Lighting, available online at Zanui. Left image sourced: tidbitsandtwine.com.

IT’S A MOVEABLE FEAST

Reinvent your tableaus as often as you like. Try new things out. Then give them a reshuffle, according to your mood. Change it up to suit the seasons or to adapt to your entertaining.

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Image sourced: stylecaster.com.

AND LASTLY, LISTEN TO YOUR HEART

Vignettes are a lesson in appreciating the little things in life. These quirky collections draw their magic from their detail.

Spend time crafting yours. Opt for objects you love so that each piece adds to your overall aesthetic as well as bringing you joy in and of itself.

Pair mementos of your life with unique finds for an aesthetically pleasing picture. 🙂

Kay is a feature, blog and copywriter. She collects empty jam jars, academic degrees and tawdry dreams in the hopes of turning them into something useful someday. Her work has been published in ACP magazines, ABC fiction, Overland, Brittle Star, Seizure, trade publications and online forums. Her creative writing has won several awards.