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How to Effortlessly Design a Jaw-Dropping Vignette for Your Home

Written by Annita Emerson


Posted on March 04 2020

How to Effortlessly Design a Jaw-Dropping Vignette for Your Home

So what exactly is a vignette? A vignette is a small grouping of objects that creates a stunning focal point and ‘tells a story’. They’re a simple way to decorate and add a bit of personalization to your home. 

The fun thing about a vignette is that they’re easy to change up. Like writing, a vignette can express a certain mood, style, or theme. And it’s a fantastic way to show off the little collections you love without overwhelming the room. 

Start With a Little Inspiration 

Before you start to design a vignette, get the creative juices flowing first. To do this, it can help to look at some completed vignettes designed by yours truly and some home decor experts.   


Here are a few ideas to get you on the path to your own creative genius! 

Vignette Under a Cloche

Who doesn’t love a cloche? They’re so versatile and can create an enchanting focal point in any space. 

They can stand alone or with a group of others. Also, they make great terrariums as well! 

I often use cloches as a focal point in the middle of a table. However, they can get pricey. 

My suggestion is to skip the big box stores and check out some estate sales. Often times, you can find them as stand-alone pieces when the bottoms have broken off or been misplaced. 

When you find them in this state, you can simply put the cloche on a flat plate or glamorous cake plate depending on how fancy you want it to be. 

The company, Common Ground, has a great example of showing off a collection of items. I’m not sure if these are genuine antique cast-iron figures, but this is a great example of grouping special trinkets together. 

Image credit: @commonground

Here’s another striking example from Bryan Patrick Flynn, designer extraordinaire. He put this amazing cloche together in a whole vignette. I love the look of regal horses, stacked books, and old candlesticks together. They invoke a rustic, yet elegant charm.  

Vignette on a Tray

This is my go-to design for my living room. We have a huge sectional with an ottoman in the middle. Amazingly enough, one of the vendors in our store had a flat basket that fits perfectly on top. 

My vignette sits on a tray that fits perfectly on the flat basket. Word to the wise, you might want a basket that’s only slightly larger than the diameter of your tray. 

Take it from me. When my family doesn’t feel like putting their personal things away, they often place it inside the basket instead because there’s a good amount of excess space. Try not to let this happen to you! 

Tiered Tray Vignette 

I won’t go too in-depth on this one, because the concept here is very similar to a vignette on a regular tray. However, with a tiered tray, you’re limited by the height of each tray. So most of your objects can’t be very tall. 

But, don’t let that discourage you. There’s a lot of great pieces to include on a tiered try vignette. If you follow us on Instagram we often post our little setups. Take a look to get more inspiration for your very own vignette.

Tips to Get You Started

  • If you don’t already have a collection of items to pull from, think of a theme you want to start with. 
  • Your mind may think of a theme once you gather all the staples you have, such as candlesticks, little pitchers, small fake plants, fake flowers, stackable books, and little frames. If you don’t have a lot of these items at your disposal, you can find them at local thrift stores or on our steals and deals page. 
  • Also, Pinterest is a great place that can provide you with some ideas. Start a collection that includes pictures of your favorite vignettes. Then make a list of the items you want to buy. 

It’s Time to Decorate Your Vignettes

  • Build your vignette around a natural source of light. This is best, but placing it under a lamp or canned lighting is acceptable too. 
  • Use color in your vignette to coordinate. White with a pop of color or greenery is always a showstopper. 
  • Display objects in odd numbers and don’t duplicate items, you don’t want it to look like a store shelf. 
  • Vary the height of the objects and use small pedestals to elevate them. A pedestal can be as easy as a colored block of wood or a small candlestick. Try stacking books to create a platform for smaller objects.
  • Stick to a theme like a group of candles, for example, or family vacation photos. In the kitchen, display various kitchen items like salt and pepper shakers, teacups and saucers together on a vintage pie tin.
  • Create depth. Place flat objects towards the front and items on a pedestal or taller items towards the back to create dimension. 
  • Vary textures. Mix hard and shiny accessories with rough and natural ones. Use weathered wood or iron architectural elements to introduce an unexpected texture. 

Bonus Tip

Kimberly from Swoon Worthy has the best diagram I’ve seen in a long time. The same pointers she gives in this picture can apply to any vignette in your home.  

Image credit: @swoonworthy

You can pop over to her blog to get more beautiful ideas for decorating. Don’t forget to Pin the example to your Pinterest page for future reference. 



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