A Voguish Vignette
In terms of interior design, a vignette is a small and thoughtfully-styled group of objects on display, a three-dimensional ‘still life’ if you like. Whether centrepiece on the dining room table or tucked away on a bookshelf, a little vignette can really leave a lasting impression in a good way, and they’re so easy to create - you just need some interesting objects: a small pile of books, some houseplants (tiny cacti or succulents work well), a piece of art, a vase, a candle, beautiful feather or bit of driftwood - you get the gist.
In order not to look too staged, it should contain something meaningful to you, maybe conjure up a happy memory or hint at a story. You will need to think of scale and proportion and make sure all the items are cohesive, so vary the heights, the shapes and textures. But try not to go clutter-crazy; 3 or 5 objects will be sufficient, and they will need room to breathe so don’t cram them altogether. If your vignette is the focal point of a coffee or side table, you’ll obviously need to make sure that there’s still enough room for someone to put down their cuppa! Try and compliment something else in the room, whether it be a painting or a cushion; by repeating the colour or texture so that it becomes more aesthetically pleasing and helps tie the room together.
Vignettes work well anywhere; kitchens, living rooms, even bathrooms. And once you get the hang of them, make sure you occasionally mix it up and change things around, or better still, add something seasonal so that they don’t become staid, fancy dust-collectors! But try to keep things room-appropriate, you don’t really want a fresh fruit display in the downstairs loo.
The easiest place to start is the dining room table, I think tables look a little naked without a bit of décor, even a vase of fresh flowers can be transformative. Our dining table for example, has a candle, an orchid and a black vase sitting on top of a vintage chapati board. An alternative would be to group a few items in a tray which provides a stage whilst also being convenient to move for cleaning. Fruit, flowers, plants and candles all suit a dining room setting. In the kitchen a selection of interesting wooden chopping boards work well, as does a collection of herbs. Maybe place an ‘objet’ on a stack of vintage books in the living room and in the bathroom try styling together some driftwood, a large shell and a couple of air plants.
One of the best things about creating a vignette is that they are an affordable way to inject a bit of chic into your home. Keep a look out for things that would make nice bud vases such as perfume or spirit bottles and little jugs or pots. Go beachcombing for driftwood and shells or forage for fir cones and sculptural seed heads. Use some bits and pieces that you already have, pop a fresh flower or some greenery from your garden into a vase et voilà.
The most important thing is to have a bit of fun, put together something that pleases you. Be creative and experimental… who knows what you’ll unleash!!