Tuesday, June 22, 2010

"I'm so glad you like my vignette!"

This past weekend I heard the expression "Oh yay! I'm so glad you like my vignette!" said with such excitement that I couldn't help but laugh. I found it funny because that is something you would only ever hear with fellow members of the design community. In fact, before last June (aka before starting LCY), I didn't know what 'vignette' meant in terms of design. Well, I would have been certain it was a literary term, but that's as far as I would have got in defining it. So I looked to my best friend for help, and while there are five definitions, here is what we design fanatics are referring to when we shout out with glee, "I'm so glad you like my vignette!":

Vignette [vin-yet] noun, verb:
1. any small, pleasing pleasure or view
The vignette above exemplifies three key ingredients to a successful vignette:
1. Mix height and scale - there should be tall and
short, large and tiny objects combined
2. Add a lamp, a mirror, or both for better lighting
3. Bring nature into the group. You normally see flowers,
but in this case, the coral offers a great balance.

Vignette Case Study 2:
Height - check
Lighting - check
Nature - check

Vignette Case Study 3:
Height - check
Lighting - check
Nature - check

That's not to say you must follow these rules in creating vignettes around your home. They are just good guidelines to follow if you're new to the idea.

Here are a few other photos to inspire:
You can have a lot of small, pretty objects...

...or just a few for a cleaner, more subtle look.

Vignettes can be done on a small scale...

...or on a large scale, like in this case, where the vignette is the entire entryway.

And here's a small vignette in my own home. As you can see there is a pathetic representation of nature (I swear that flower was not dead, it was actually fresh from the market!), height added by the lamp and the art hanging on the wall, and lighting provided by both the candle and the lamp.

So, all of you design junkies out there, help me out.
Are these three good guidelines to follow?
Do you play with certain rules when organizing small objects in small spaces?


  1. Come to think of it, I really didn't (until now) know what a vignette is or if I had any in my home. Thanks for sharing with us newbies.

  2. I'm a design junkie, but far from a design expert. I love this post!


  3. i love a good vignette, but always feel like mine fall a bit short. Definitely need good height proportion, shape proportion, and I try not to overcrowd. Sometimes its hard, because you just want to show off all your pretties!

  4. I think these are great guidelines and I'm realizing that I follow most of those in our home (minus the nature sometimes which I need to get better about). Great inspiration photos!

    Mandy @ This Girl's Life

  5. YOUR vignette is my fave, yo know it right?

  6. This makes me laugh, because my DecoratorMom has yelled at me before: "You're RUINING my vignette!"

  7. This post is great. I never realized there were key ingredients to a successful vignette! Makes total sense! Thanks for highlighting this!

  8. Loving that top vignette! Have a sweet day!

  9. Love that first photo. Beautiful vignette!



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