Tell a Charming Story Through Décor

By Katie Laughridge | May 6th, 2019

The easy art of the vignette

Vignettes home decor

Vignettes help tell the story of your design and are one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to change the look and feel of a room without a significant investment in repainting or new furniture. Vignettes can introduce new colors and textures to a room and are creative and fun ways for you to highlight some of your favorite pieces.

While I firmly believe that there is no “wrong” way to style a vignette, we’ve come up with a few tips and tricks to make it even easier for you to re-create this look in your own home:

  • Work with items in odd numbers. Odd numbers add visual interest and groupings of three (or sometimes five, for a larger vignette) help keep your eye moving across the display, giving it an air of whimsy. This rule is pretty universal, when stacking books or even picking candlesticks for a design.
  • Use items of varying height. This is a great way to add visual interest and to create a layering effect and depth within your design. This way, the longer you look at a piece, the more interesting things you find!
  • Showcase your beautiful books! I believe that your most treasured pieces belong out where the world can see them. Don’t let your favorite books collect dust – use them in your designs! When selecting the right book for your vignette, make sure to take size, color and texture into account. I find that they add warmth to a space and their soft muted tones are calming – perfect for a bedroom vignette.Vignettes home decor
  • No detail is too small. A favorite knickknack perched on top of a stack of books adds the same impact to your design as the books themselves. A tiny nest of eggs cradled within a fern adds an element of life to your room that just can’t be re-created with art and furniture alone.
  • Incorporate organic elements into your design. Using plants (whether faux or real), wood elements and animals as rotating seasonal accents is one of my favorite ways to decorate seasonally on a budget. A bunny statue and a pop of yellow tulips or fresh greenery in a vignette harken spring but are still seasonally appropriate after Easter decor comes down.
  • Experiment with color. This is your opportunity to make a big impact in a small space! Sometimes, monochromatic vignettes are just as impactful as colorful ones. I like to use vignettes as a way to incorporate secondary colors that tie back into fabric choices. If using a lot of color overwhelms your area, try using books or other small elements to incorporate hues in your vignette!
  • Remember, there are no rules! Sometimes we place small framed pieces of artwork on a stack of books or sitting angled in an urn surrounded by books. These aren’t “traditional” ways to display artwork, but that’s what makes them so interesting!

Designing your home should be fun, not stressful. So, remember, if you love it, you’re doing something right! We’ve styled more vignettes than I can count, and the only constant is creating something that will make people smile.

Adapted from Katie Laughridge is the owner of Kansas City interior design destination Nell Hill’s. For more information, contact Katie at

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