8 Tips for Making Beautiful Vignettes

Get tips for arranging accessories into a gorgeous still life that creates a mood and makes your room look polished and pulled together.

One of the easiest ways to add designer zing to your home is to arrange objects into vignettes, or groupings, atop tables and shelves. Think of it as creating a beautiful still life. You can make a vignette on top of any flat surface: a dresser, table, bookshelf, countertop or window ledge. You can use accessories like vases, mirrors, plants, greenery, photos or other personal belongings to create a mood, just like a movie set designer does for a film. A vignette makes a room look more polished and pulled together.

Here are eight tips for creating striking vignettes in your home:

1. Build your vignette around a light source.
If your arrangement of objects is in a dark corner, it won't be seen and the effect will be lost. Try building your vignette around a lamp.

2. Choose objects to support the style and theme of your room.
If your room is formal, a symmetrical design works best. If the room is casual, asymmetrical groupings are better.

3. Use color in your vignette to coordinate a room.
Use items in shades that complement the dominant color in a room. Silk flowers or artificial fruit are good ways to introduce color into a grouping of items.

4. Display objects in odd numbers.
Place several objects of similar shape, size and color together in odd numbers for maximum impact. Groups of three or five work particularly well and are stronger visually than a group of two or four.

5. Vary the height of the objects.
Use small pedestals to elevate items. Try stacking books to create a platform for smaller objects.

6. Stick to a theme.
Group candles, for example, or family vacation photos. If the vacation photos are from the beach, add a seashell.

7. Create depth.
Place objects from the back of the flat surface to the front instead of in a straight line the length of the surface. Placing objects atop a mirror, or leaning them against a mirror that's on the wall, is an easy way to create a sense of dimension.

8. Vary the textures of objects.
Mix hard and shiny accessories with rough and natural. Use weathered wood or iron architectural elements to introduce an unexpected texture. Photo frames, which come in finishes from shiny enamel to beaded, offer an array of texture options.

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