How to Create a Vignette

How to Create a VignetteI remember the first time I saw the word vignette. Not only did I have to look up what it meant, I had to learn how to pronounce it. So…for those of you, who like me, aren’t sure here is what I found out.

Vignette: pronounced |vin-yet|.
Definition: In decor, a vignette is a small group of items purposefully arranged for display.

Once I found out the definition, I realized that I had been creating vignettes for years and had no idea. I love vignettes. They are the perfect way to decorate with your collections, add texture and interest to a room and bring in natural elements. I’m going to show you how to create a vignette and I promise it’s easy. So easy that you can whip one up in no time.

On Sutton Place Living Room Decor(Disclaimer: I’m not a designer. I’ve never had a design class. This is how I create a vignette and I wouldn’t share it if I wasn’t positive this method works.)

There are four elements that make a lovely vignette. The first is layering. I was layering before I knew that’s what it was called. It’s self-explanatory in the sense that you literally layer your elements from the bottom up.
How to Layer a Vignette

As you can see in the above picture this coffee table vignette has 6 layers.

1. The Rug
2. The Basket
3. The Table
4. The Tray
5. The stack of books
6. The bowl

Each layer adds it’s own color and texture. There are no rules as to how many layers you need. Use just a couple if that’s what you like. Besides, design rules are totally bendable…even breakable!

Coffee Table Decor ~ How to Create a VignetteThe second element is to use odd numbers. For this vignette I used three things. (The books and bowl are considered just one.) Working with odd numbers lets you stagger your accessories so they aren’t lined up like soldiers. Here’s where your personality comes in too. You could go out and buy all new matching accessories but try shopping your house first. See if you can come up with a small group of items that you love. Maybe a collection, maybe random stuff. It doesn’t matter as long as you like it. I used 2 of my favorite books, a silver bowl that was a wedding gift and two glass pieces with my signature bird on top. I treasure everything on this table…everything has a meaning.

Coffee Table Decor ~ use odd numbers to add interest!The next important thing to remember is to try and vary your heights. Layering actually helps with this because you can create height from 2 lower items if they are stacked. If you use candlesticks and your candles are all the same size, burn a few to lower them. Stack a bowl on some books. If you have vases the same height, put long stemmed flowers in one and shorter stems in the other.
Coffee Table Decor ~ How to create a VignetteThe last thing that makes a vignette special is adding at least one natural element. I’ve used pine cones and cotton bolls. They are opposites when it comes to color and texture. I wanted an Autumn-inspired vignette so these things were perfect. Flowers, fruit and greenery are other great options. A bag of lemons in a beautiful bowl will make your vignette look like it’s right out of a magazine. Use flowers and greenery from your yard. Stack some books and lay a bundle of dried lavender on top. Instant aromatherapy!
Coffee Table Decor ~ How to Create a VignetteSo…pretty easy wasn’t it? If you need more inspiration I have just the thing. I’m joining some amazing home decor bloggers for a Creating Fall Vignettes Tour. All the links are below with the dates included. I follow all the blogs sharing the spotlight with me today and am honored to be included.

Here is the schedule for The Scoop on Creating Fall Vignettes tour:
Friday Nov 8
Back Porch Musings
On Sutton Place
Confessions of a Plate Addict
Saturday Nov 9
Cedar Hill Farmhouse
Town and Country Living
A Stroll thru Life
Mom 4 Real
Setting for Four
Sunday Nov 10
Savvy Southern Style
Hymns & Verses
Lilacs & Longhorns
Marty’s Musings
White Lace Cottage
Monday Nov 11
Stone Gable
The Everyday Home
Our Southern Home
At the Picket Fence
My Soulful Home
Tuesday Nov 12
Top This Top That
Inspiration for Moms
All Things Heart and Home
Domestically Speaking
Botanic Bleu
Wishing you a happy and restful weekend!
Click to see more inspiration for decorating with natural elements.
If you are interested in the brown ticking or toile pillow covers just visit my Etsy shop.
Definition of vignette from eHow Home.


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  1. Christy @ Our Southern Home says:

    Your style is a favorite of mine. Your instructions on creating this vignette are spot on. Just lovely! So enjoyed being on the tour with you! ~Christy

  2. Botanic Bleu says:

    Your display (vignette) is beautiful with the bird-topped glass canisters. You did a great job with the directions and numbered explanations.

    So glad to have been on the tour with you.


  3. Thanks for the tips on vignettes. It always helps to have a little review! Love your coffee table!

  4. I am new to blogging and have looked in on many sites lately, I really like your style. A very fun Blog.

  5. Tina @ What We Keep says:

    Beautiful addition to your already wonderful room, Ann!

  6. I have know the meaning of vignette for years, (I’m 58, and probably taught it by my mom). Unfortunately, though I knew the meaning, I was never able to achieve the look. Hopefully, by reading yours and the other blogs in this series I will finally be able too. Thanks so very much for sharing all of these tips. Your room looks so beautiful. I have so many of the pieces that you have, it should be easy if I just copy some of yours and go from there. Maybe I’ll be able to pick it up from there.

    Again, thank you

  7. Wonderful post Ann! Love how you used the entire space…rug, basket, table & the lovely things on top as the whole vignette. I am up tomorrow so come on by!

  8. I love layering and vignettes! Yours are fabulous!

  9. Great tips, Ann! I agree…layering makes a world of difference. Your vignette is gorgeous!

  10. Gorgeous vignette! I also love all your pillows. I haven’t made a pillow in 20 years, but seeing your beautiful work has inspired me to dust off the old Singer!

    Thank you for all your creative ideas and gorgeous photos!

  11. Yvonne @ StoneGable says:

    Beautiful room, Ann! And beautiful vignette! Thanks for the great tips for putting together a picture perfect vignette! LOVE the colors!

  12. Great tips and BEAUTIFUL photos! I’m looking forward to the tour :) Happy Saturday!

  13. Ann,
    Very pretty. I know you can get the rug or one similar at Joss & Main as well as the cloches. You may have to visit their site several times, but they will be featured again. :)


  14. Gorgeous as always! ;)

  15. looks so pretty ann, now i need to know where you bought some of the items, for example-your pretty rug, the glass decanters with birds on top! Elaine

  16. Elizabeth@ Blue Clear Sky says:

    That is a lovely vignette in your beautiful room, Ann. Great tips too. I really admire the two glass cloches but unfortunately my guys with big feet or our chocolate Lab with the killer tail would send those flying. I have to use less fragile or heavier pieces lol. Wishing you a great weekend.

  17. Elizabeth@ Blue Clear Sky says:

    That is a lovely vignette in your beautiful room, Ann. I really admire the two glass cloches but unfortunately my guys with big feet or our chocolate Lab with the killer tail would send those flying. I have to use less fragile or heavier pieces lol. Wishing you a great weekend.

  18. Great tutorial, Ann! .And, great vignette, too. I like your suggestion of using something that has special meaning to you.