Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Art of the Vignette

Today I'm participating in a lInk party over ata Happy to Design: Sunday Favorites.

I'm reposting this post from last winter, and I hope you enjoy it and maybe learn something.
Hope you finish out the weekend with joy!

I switched beds around in my house, and while I was putting eveything back together today, I realized that it's the vignettes within the room that bring in style and grace to the space. 

Of course, I began thinking about what makes a vignette beautiful...what separates a great vignette from an OK one.  So instead of finishing what I had started, I hit the computer looking for beautiul vignettes (this blog is called Divine Distractions after's what I do ).

In studying the bevy of beauties I found, it goes back to the principles of good design...scale, balance, line, color and rhythm. 

Great symmetry here...and the spot of color from the lemons is so right!
Count how many repetitions are in this little space.

...and here.  Symmetrical balance, characterized by even numbers, items that mirror one another, things that are centered...all make for a more formal arrangement and feel.

Two pillows, two arches on the legs of the bench, two finials, two horizontal pics, two vertical ones....that's formal symmetry.

I have a love-hate relationship with symmetry.  I enjoy the strength and stability of formal balance, but I really think an asymmetrical arrangement is more interesting and artistic....that's me...interesting and artistic!

This vignette can't decide if it's symmetrical or asymmetrical....kind of like me!

I haven't ridden a horse since I was a child, but I'm coveting these riding boots.  I love that they are a bit askew, standing there.  Of course, you know I love the pops of orange.  What an eclectic, little vignette!

I wish this had posted a little clearer, but I just love this tablescape.  I love the shapes, the colors and the lines.  It seems perfectly planned.

Isn't this serene and beautiful?  What amazing lines in this table!  I love the repetition of color in the silver and green, and the soft, soothing art work. 

  They have kept the color palette here very clean and neutral, and it really allows me to focus on the photograph, which might get lost otherwise.  The white in the hydrangeas (my fav), the roses and the vases really unifies the tablescape.

Such a mix of styles here, but it really works.  Two florals seems like overkill to me, but the scene has a casual quality that is inviting.  The greens and whites in the organics are repeated in a very subtle way, bringing unity to the vignette.  Lovely!
The  lines on this table and mirror are the star of this vignette.  How simple, curvy and elegant.  Too much "stuff" would take away from the beautiful lines, don't you think?

Fruit and this.

Ok, I'm inspired now....have to go finish putting those rooms back together now....until I'm distracted once again.


  1. Some beautiful vignettes! I had to laugh about your riding boot comment...we have them lying all over the house (with assorted saddles and bridles on any given day)...not as pretty when you trip over them!

  2. I am loving these posts...and learning a lot!

  3. Sally great examples of really beautiful vignettes and your explanation of each is great!! Kathysue

  4. Wonderful post. I have yet to master the art of styling a vignette. I can spend hours arranging and rearranging, but it never looks quite right the first time.

  5. Nice post, i agree with the one about flower overkill, on the first to last picture with the gray...OMG aren't you curious about the bubbly hanging over the mirror? I am dying to know what it is....

    Thanks for stopping by!

  6. I don't know what the bubbly is???
    One of my designers asked me the same question yesterday. I initially thought it was a reflection in them mirror, but I see that it isn't. I think the pic was taken in a showroom (there's a tag on the table), so perhaps it's a chandelier hanging really high above. Maybe we should have a contest!!

  7. Thanks for visiting my blog and commenting. I'd love to be blogging buddies. Love your blog and this post is certainly divinely distracting...makes me want to do some vignettes! I too have a love hate relationship with symmetry - even though I appreciate it and the orderliness that comes with it, I love asymmetry as it is as you say, much more interesting and creative. Have a great Sunday!

  8. Hi Sally...

    It's so very nice to have you join in with the fun of our Sunday Favorites repost party, my friend...Welcome! Wow...what a great definitely deserved a second showing! I really loved looking through all the photos of all the different styles, etc. of vignettes! I really liked each and every vignette! It's so funny, when I first became interested in design/decorating, my vignettes were always symmetrical. It seems now that all of my vignettes are asymmetrical! I'm not sure what that says about me...hehe! Well my friend, thank you so much for sharing this fabulous post with us for Sunday was such a treat! I hope that you'll join us again!

    So very nice to meet you, Sally!

    Warmest wishes,
    Chari @Happy To Design

  9. I have the same feeling about symmetry and asymmetry. When I was younger it was all about asymmetry, but in recent years I've come to appreciate how powerful symmetry can be. A mirror image and repeating things twice can make a strong statement! Nice post!

  10. I so agree. You have chosen such beautiful inspiration for us!

  11. I just love vignettes - I think of them as the next step up from individual details. You've picked some lovely ones here - the Windsor Smith has been one of my favorites!

  12. Beautiful photos Sally. Where do you find your photos? I love all the symmetry but tend to lean to some assymetry on tabletops. I guess that makes me crooked.

  13. Those are all great vignettes. Where did you find them all? I recognized a couple, but am wondering about the rest.


  14. Great post. For amateurs like myself, creating interesting vignettes is always a challenge. I love to spend hours rearranging my accessories to create different looks. There's nothing worse than a handful of accessories lined up in a row with no personality whatsoever.

  15. Love that lemon wall from the second picture! And those animal printed stools are just gorgeous! Have a fabulous day, Kellie xx

  16. This is a great post. A lot of things to learn. Thanks for posting.
    Seattle Real Estate


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