V for vignetta

vignette
viːˈnjɛt,vɪ-/
noun
 
  1. 1.
    a brief evocative description, account, or episode.
    “a classic vignette of embassy life”
  2. 2.
    a small illustration or portrait photograph which fades into its background without a definite border.

In interior design terms, a vignette is a collection of objects displayed in such a way as to possibly create a ‘story.’ By this I mean the objects on display can go some way as to explain something about the person whose home it is – perhaps they love patterned crockery, or they are a voracious explorer, or they collect art, or they are passionate about shoes…

I am an ardent collector. I always have been. A veritable magpie, I freely admit. Over the years I have collected vintage bottles, coloured glassware, crockery, miniature chairs, postcards, tiles, religious effigies and artefacts, mirrors, brooches, scarves, paintings…and I could go on! And I am a great fan of creating vignettes. There are no hard and fast rules in my opinion, although objects do tend to work better if displayed in multiples of odd numbers. The beauty of a vignette is that you can change it as and when you feel like it. You can become your own interior ‘curator’. Don’t hide your possessions away. They speak volumes about who you are as a person and the experiences you have had throughout your life. I find great comfort in having objects that are dear to me dotted around the house… even if they do collect dust! At a base level they make me smile, and that’s never a bad thing in my book.

Possessions can spark wonderful memories of travels to far-off lands or ‘just because’ gifts from close friends. Why keep them in the loft? So I urge you to unpack your treasures and show them off with pride. There is no right or wrong, as you will see from the visuals that follow. Trust your gut. If you don’t like how certain objects work together, just swap them around a bit. It’s that simple. I particularly love out-of-context displays. For example, at home I have a collection of mismatched cups and saucers in one of our bathrooms just because the colours work well together. And why not…?

One thing to consider with any form of vignette is how to light it to create the most impact. This type of lighting is what is known as ‘accent’ lighting. You can achieve this by having table lamps dotted around next to any vignette you’ve created, or you could have directional lighting so you can angle lighting in a specific direction. Again, experiment to find out what gives the best end result. In my book a vignette should always have an edge of drama and that’s where the lighting can come into full effect. So go forth and rustle up a little bit of theatre in your home. I promise you’ll be hooked in no time!

Use colour boldly and don't be afraid to layer. Interior Color. Jasmine Wallpaper from Farrow Ball | Avenue Magazine (thedesignsheppard.com)
Use colour boldly and don’t be afraid to layer. Interior Color. Jasmine Wallpaper from Farrow Ball | Avenue Magazine (thedesignsheppard.com)
Create a wall display with pinned cuttings. (shabbychicgirls.blogspot.com)
Create a wall display with pinned cuttings.
(shabbychicgirls.blogspot.com)
Display objects of a similar colour. Here vintage pottery vases work beautifully. (binkandboo.net)
Display objects of a similar colour. Here vintage pottery vases work beautifully together. (binkandboo.net)
Create gallery walls with groups of artwork. Here the different-sized pictures hang together beautifully on the solid-coloured background wall. (dailydreamdecor.com)
Create gallery walls with groups of artwork. Here the different-sized pictures hang together beautifully on the solid-coloured background wall. (dailydreamdecor.com)
My collection of cups and saucers in one of our bathrooms. (Photo by Chris Gatcum)
My collection of cups and saucers in one of our bathrooms. (Photo by Chris Gatcum)
Pattern-clashing vignette. You can create a vignette from pretty much anything. (garoopatternandcolour.tumblr.com)
Pattern-clashing vignette. You can create a vignette from pretty much anything. (garoopatternandcolour.tumblr.com)
A bedside table can double up as a tiny 'gallery' space. (elledecor.com)
A bedside table can double up as a tiny ‘gallery’ space. (elledecor.com)
Vignettes can be dramatic and unusual. (scotch-collectables.com)
Vignettes can be dramatic and unusual. (scotch-collectables.com)
Consider carefully how you light your vignette. Here a feature table lamp has been incorporated into the display. (Lampshade by www.molsandtatilois.com / Photo by Chris Gatcum)
Consider carefully how you light your vignette. Here a feature table lamp has been incorporated into the display. (Lampshade by http://www.molsandtatilois.com / Photo by Chris Gatcum)
And why not hang clothes on the wall. (desiretoinspire.net)
And why not hang clothes on the wall. (desiretoinspire.net)
Crockery can be very effective as wall art. (independent.co.uk)
Crockery can be very effective as wall art. (independent.co.uk)
Pile shelves with curios and emulate an apothecary cabinet. (homelife.com.au)
Pile shelves with curios and emulate an apothecary cabinet. (homelife.com.au)
One can never have too much glassware! Brabourne Farm (brabournefarm.blogspot.com)
One can never have too much glassware! Brabourne Farm
(brabournefarm.blogspot.com)
Small cameos work well clustered together. (toast.co.uk)
Small cameos work well clustered together. (toast.co.uk)
Collections can be totally random. They still hang together beautifully. Photo - Sean Fennessy, styling - Lucy Feagins (thedesignfiles.net)
Collections can be totally random. They still hang together beautifully. Photo – Sean Fennessy, styling – Lucy Feagins (thedesignfiles.net)
Books with interesting spines always work well. So too do trinkets and favourite pieces of jewellery. (elledecor.com)
Books with interesting spines always work well. So too do trinkets and favourite pieces of jewellery. (elledecor.com)
Throw colour at a vignette. (Lampshade by www.molsandtatilois.com / Photo by Chris Gatcum)
Throw colour at a vignette. (Lampshade by http://www.molsandtatilois.com / top plate by Remnant Black / bottom plate by Wild & Violet / Photo by Chris Gatcum)
Open shelves in a kitchen are a great way of showing off beautiful crockery and glassware. (gypsypurple.blogspot.com)
Open shelves in a kitchen are a great way of showing off beautiful crockery and glassware. (gypsypurple.blogspot.com)
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