Monday, October 13, 2014

Styling Sessions: Building a Vignette

The other day I had posted a photo to Instagram and I realized that I had a styling lesson to share with you. I'm hoping to post a Styling Session each week or so to give a few tips on styling various areas in the home. Obviously I love the creativity in design, but I also really love the technical aspect to design. There really IS a reason why we do the things we do...let's demonstrate on a recent mantel vignette in my home.

Here is the photo that I had posted about a week ago.


This is the right side of my fall mantle. Maybe next week I'll show you the left but for this week let's focus on this image above.

I had anchored the mantel with that large round basket that you see there at the far left of the photo.
When I clear off my mantle to re-style I always start with a large object to anchor (tip #1). You could anchor in the middle, on both ends (think lanterns), or just on one end. I chose the middle anchor in the example above.

Then I build vignettes to either side of my anchor object. The trick to building vignettes is to keep the eye moving using various heights or haphazard movement (tip #2) and to vary your texture (tip #3) - smooth, shiny, rough, natural, round, angular, etc. And here's the method to my madness: I balanced the height of my round anchor basket with the height of the large rectangular wooden frame. And then I layered in my framed botanical print in front of that. I needed to bring the eye down a bit and add some warmth, so I stacked a small box on top of a book and topped it off with a plant. Bringing the eye even lower, I added that awesome mini basket given to me by my Mom. And to finish off the look, I added the candlestick at the end (Sheila put that candle in there - nice touch).

Layers, layers, layers.

And notice that I've kept my color palette fairly consistent - neutral with red/orange/green accents - my ode to fall if you will.

Now I want to demonstrate how changing 1 single item can change the entire look. I'm always changing my plants around - usually when I'm watering them I'll move them around the house. The other day I just happened to switch out my jade plant above with another plant and look how it changed my look...


Longer, dustier green leaves mimic the leaves in the framed print. The movement of this plant works a bit better and makes my eye happier. And the ceramic cream pot jives with the box and book - keeping the palette consistent. Eeeek...I LOVE this look - and all because I simply switched my plants around.

Here are the two looks side by side:


I hope you've enjoyed my Styling Session for today - I am certainly excited about this and I hope to bring you many more of these mini lessons.

And before you leave, here are my tips again:



What I'd also like to add is that you can apply these tips to various places in your home - it's not limited to a fireplace mantel like I've shown. You could use these tips for a coffee table, shelves, a console - the possibilities are endless.

I'd love to hear what you've been working on and of course if you have questions or ideas that you'd like me to post about let me know.

3 comments:

  1. I love your layers! Wish I was better at this.

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  2. I love both looks, but it is remarkable how a small switch can pull the whole look together even more. Great tips, Holly!

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  3. Your good at this Holly and the second look is my favorite!!

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