Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Vignettes 101

Remember when I took you on a tour of the home of Laura, my friend and decor mentor? I showed you just a few of the vignettes she has created in her home. Here's a picture of one of my faves...

As we began a complete overhaul of basically every decoration and color scheme in our house, I knew I had to call in my expert. Somehow, miraculously, Laura and I both found a kid-free afternoon and went on a 2 hour speedy shopping spree to find just the right accessories to create a wall vignette for the gigantic blank wall in my living room.

I came back with a minivan full of decor goodness, and a chest-full of fear knowing I would have no idea what to do with it all. The next few days, every time nap time for our little ones rolled around, I would set out different arrangements of all the accessories we accumulated and send Laura pictures through text message of my concoctions. You can see my feeble attempts below: 

Take 1: Mirror image look. Too bland.

Take 2: Adding sconces didn't help. Nice try.

 Take 3: Symmetry? A little better but still...swing and a miss.

Take 4: When I sent this to Laura she said, "Too lined up. It would be so much easier if I were there."

She tried sending me pictures of sketches she drew through text of what would work better, but it was pretty useless. Either you have an eye for this stuff, or you don't. And, apparently, I don't. But we were convinced we could make this work.

Since we live pretty far from each other, we decided that I would load up any and all decorations that might be useful and we would meet halfway, on the side of the road, and figure this out. Now we're sounding desperate, aren't we?! Between Laura's love of decorating, and my perfectionism, we were ready to solve this problem.

So one afternoon we met in a parking lot just off the interstate, spread out a sheet as our "wall" and began laying out our options. Within minutes the perfect layout became obvious. I took a million pictures from every possible angle, measured distances between shelving, accessories and art, and packed it all back up.

And the results... 

So much better! As my husband was hanging it all on the wall for me, he couldn't believe that I needed him to measure everything perfectly before hanging. He said, "You can't just eyeball it?" Hahaha. Days of trying to figure this out have proven to me that, no, I can't.

While I don't have the natural gift of "eyeballing" art placement, Laura did teach me a few essentials for creating beautiful vignettes:

1. Everything needs to be a little "off". Don't line up every shelf. Don't make every candle stick the same height. You can see in my after photo above that no shelf, frame, candle or piece of art lines up perfectly with anything else. Keeping things out of order magically makes the eye travel smoothly across the arrangement, instead of stopping at every obvious line.

2. Spread out your pops of color. My color scheme, if looked at in percentages, would probably read: 60% gray/white/black (neutrals), 30% blue, 10% pink. I didn't want pink on every shelf because it's my "pop" (and a man does have to live here), but I did want to make sure that each shelf carried out the blue scheme in some form.

3. Create a unifying theme. As we shopped for accessories, we realized that everything I picked up had a fleur-de-lis or scroll pattern to it. Before I even realized it, I gravitated towards a clear theme for our living room. You probably already do this without realizing it as well. Do you love chevron, paisley or stripes? Are you always attracted to yellow dresses? Or maybe you stock your kitchen with only red appliances. Your theme is probably already in your house. As you design vignettes, keep this theme in mind and carry it out evenly across your wall.

Creating eye-catching vignettes takes time and (a lot) of patience. One of the keys that my vignette is missing is layering. You can see in the first photo how Laura layered accessories, plants and frames on her shelves to create a much more cohesive and homey look. But the truth is, layering takes time - time to gather decorations and keepsakes to display. So while my vignette isn't quite finished (what project is??), I'm still very glad I took a leap and decorated that big, bad, blank wall that has been staring me down since the day we moved in.

Do you have any vignettes you want to show off? Did these tips help?

1 comment:

  1. Hi...
    Thanks for providing such useful information. I really appreciate your professional approach.
    chicago real estate


I love to read each and every comment! Thank you for stopping by!