What’s a vignette, you say? Is it a mash up of stuff that I don’t have another spot for? Maybe, but there are a few guidelines to keep in mind that will help you look like a decorating diva -
1. Don’t go crazy. It’s best (and easiest) if the items used together in a vignette has some common thread – similar style is always a safe place to start. You don’t want to pair your grandmother’s antique water basin with a modern Italian Murano glass vase just because you have nowhere else to display them. They won’t play nicely together. You want to pair traditional pieces with other traditional pieces, and so on.
2. Size does matter. A mix of heights is more pleasing to the eye. There’s “The Rule of Hand” to consider. If you look at your hand, you’ll notice that there are varying heights of your fingers. This concept adds “visual interest” – the fancy schmancy term for “makes it look good”. Try to use the same approach by using varying heights in the accessories you choose.
3. Keep it at odds. Unless you are going for a formal look with absolute symmetry, use an odd number of items. This also adds “visual interest” and makes the space work.
4. Check it out. When you see a grouping that “works”, stop and take a look at it. I mean really look at. What do you like about the grouping and the way the items relate to each other in terms of style, size and arrangement? Then try to do the same with your treasures!
Above is an example of a home I redesigned. They are several vignettes going on here. The artwork grouping by the chest, the grouping on the coffee table, and the grouping above the armoire.