Decorating with Vignettes: How to Give Your Home a Designer Look and Feel

I am all about my house!  I guess when you spend as much time at home as I do, your brain can fill up with all sorts of ideas about how to make it nicer.  Especially with a newborn and endless hours of HGTV to keep you occupied.


Love lives here
Love lives here…


I have always kept a relatively nice and neat home, and liked to keep it decorated accordingly.  However, working full time and being on the go much of the rest of the time, I guess I didn’t put much thought into it.  It was a house, and it was nice, but that’s where it ended.


That all changed when I had my son and became a stay at home mom and homemaker.  As you may know, the early months of motherhood can be pretty quiet and lonely.  We didn’t leave the house much and Preston slept most of the time.  So my mind started to wander.  Right into HGTV, in all of it’s designer glory.  The more time I spent watching, the more the wheels started turning in my head.  My house had so much untapped potential!


Family Room
The family room… a great place to get cozy and watch HGTV!


Room by room, I made a mental list of some simple designer touches that could liven the spaces up.  Eventually, we ended up doing a full on home remodel when my son was about three months old.  But today, I want to share some simple decorating tips I always follow in my house that you can use in yours also.


The first thing you will need to do is choose your pieces.  I always used to be obsessed with everything being ‘matchy-matchy’ and symmetrical.  I was also an extreme minimalist; anything extra sitting around looked ‘cluttery’ to me.  It was a major step outside of my comfort zone to get away from this mindset, but slowly and surely, I came around to the idea of a more eclectic look.  It gives your house a much more custom, designer look, so have some fun with it!


Bathroom vignette


My technique for choosing pieces is to head out to all of my favorite home décor stores and just buy anything that sticks out for my space.  You can also check your home storage to see if you have any old pieces you may want to bring back out.  I don’t worry about what matches what, or what coordinates with what, or where something may fit.  I just buy it, bring it home, and lay it all out.  This is where the fun begins!  Begin grouping items together using my Decorating with Vignettes tips.  I usually rotate my items around many times before I get everything settled.  And then when you are finished, you can just return whatever you did not end up using to the store.



Choose a Focal or Statement Piece

I always find that ‘one piece’ that I simply cannot live without.  The piece that give me inspiration for the rest of the vignette I am setting in my space.  It doesn’t need to necessarily be the largest, but if it’s not, place it at the central most position in your arrangement.  After all, this piece was your inspiration, you don’t want to hide it!


Once you find your “wow factor” statement piece, you can build from there with coordinating accessories utilizing the following guidelines.

The Odd Rule

When setting a vignette in your house, whether it be a centerpiece or furniture placing, always follow the odd rule.  I typically tend to stick with three pieces, much more than that can tend to look a bit cluttery.  However, depending on the space and size of your pieces, you may need more than three.  If so, always keep it odd.


Odd number vignette


Varying Heights, Shapes and Sizes

Choose items of different heights, shapes and sizes to add interest.  I always like one extra tall piece to add a bit of drama.  In our family room, our coffee table center piece includes a large grass piece.  I absolutely love it, but my husband hates it because it blocks the TV.  Sometimes there are sacrifices in design; call it ‘fashion over function.’


Varying sizes
Varying heights and dimensions


Choose Different Textures and Finishes

Mix it up!  Choose different materials; for example, woods and metals go great together for a rustic modern look.  Different textures work great for pillows and fabrics.  I am also a big fan of the natural woods and finishes mixed with some metallic and a bit of ‘glitz.’  I contribute that to the ‘girly girl’ in me.


Mixed media vignette
Glass, wood and organic elements


Complimentary Colors

Choose a color palette that works with the rest of your home.  I have a very ‘neutral’ home palette, so adding a bright red dining room may not work with my home.  If you are set on a certain color that doesn’t necessarily work with rest of your home, use it as an accent instead.  This will keep the flow of the rest of your home, while adding a pop of color to the space.  For vignette pairings, you can combine your neutrals (or home primary color) with your color pops.  I find it’s great to choose two coordinating accent colors to add a little variety.


We recently redecorated our front sitting room and wanted to bring in a bit of color.  So we kept our neutral gray palette with the paint and main furniture pieces, and then added in some turquoise and lime accents.  Although we don’t have this color anywhere else in our home, it still coordinates with the rest of the house.


Turquoise and lime accents



These are just a few of the basic principles that I follow whenever I am decorating a new space in my house.  Decorating doesn’t need to be difficult and you certainly don’t have to be an expert to create a house that you love!  What makes your house a home is the personal touches that only you can provide.  So use this as a guideline and put your own twist on things!


Furniture vignette


Stepping outside of your design comfort zone can be a bit intimidating.  But it can also be so fun if you just give it a try!  Head to Pinterest and my favorite, HGTV, for some inspiration.  Start collecting ideas of looks that you love.  Don’t get overwhelmed; there are no set ‘design rules.’  Once you get an idea of the general style and feel that you would like for your home, you can get to work!


Let me know what’s working for you, or what you are working on in your home!  Share some pictures and ideas; I would love to see and hear all about it!



Leave a Reply