Building Vignettes

This tutorial is featured at Coastal Charm. Thanks Linda!

Lately, I’ve been thinking about sharing some basic design techniques here on the blog, one of them being, building a balanced vignette. In my mind’s eye, every room is made up of a series of vignettes. I like to view each wall, niche, or leftover space as a space for a vignette.


Once you locate your transformation space, you will want to choose a base upon which to build your vignette and a backdrop to frame your vignette. For this demonstration, I chose an empty space in my studio and placed a hand painted Bombay chest for my base and an empty frame for my backdrop, both from my “storage of excess”.


Next, I filled in the large frame with one of the Restoration Hardware Knock Off Framed Sheet Music pieces borrowed from the master bedroom.


Then I added a lamp to the left side of the Bombay chest. I like to work from left to right, placing the tallest object on the left side and the shorter on the right.


In order to achieve balance and fill in undesirable negative space, I used an urn and some newly created moss balls to create an interesting mix of color and texture.

Note: Tutorial coming soon showing how to make the moss balls!


Not really liking the moss ball sitting directly on the green marble top, I slipped a stack of old books underneath the ball for separation, height, and variety.

For another variation, I took away the moss ball filled urn and replaced it with a different urn containing an orchid. Not sure which one I like best.


  • Choose a space to build your vignette
  • Find a chest, dresser, or other piece of furniture to use as your base
  • Locate a piece of art, mirror, empty frame, etc. to act as your backdrop
  • Look for a lamp or set of candle sticks to place on the left side of your piece of furniture.
  • Place a container filled with live or preserved foliage or plant on the other side. You could also use a vase filled with fresh flowers.
  • Fill in with a smaller object, such as a stack of books, a picture frame, sculptural piece, etc.

Tip:  In addition to the base and backdrop, I like to use three elements when building a vignette:

  • Use fresh flowers or preserved greenery to add life to the space
  • Use a lamp or candles to illuminate the space
  • Use something sculptural to lend interest to your space

I hope that these tips for building a vignette will be of some help. I would love to know what you find helpful when putting together a vignette.

Have a great week!


I will be partying with the following gracious hostesses:





7 thoughts on “Building Vignettes

  1. I very much appreciate this post. I have a hard time trying to figure out what goes where and why. I didn’t know it but this is a simple formula that I can use. Thank You for doing that. : )

  2. Thanks for sharing this pretty vignette at my Nifty Thrifty Tuesday party…hop over today and grab my featured button (it’s locate under my header) for your blog. Yes…you have been featured at my party this week.


  3. Hi there

    I live in the UK and the vast majority of people don’t seem to go to nearly the trouble to arrange their homes as you ladies in the U.S. however now that I’ve seen how beautiful things can look, I am TOTALLY hooked and busily trying to build up a supply of items to make my home look prettier. Your tutorial therefore is MOST welcome, and I will DEFINITELY be back for the tutorial on the moss balls.

    I’m now off to become a follower.

    Hugs from the UK


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