A few weeks ago, I wrote a blurb for an Apartment Therapy article about styling fireplace mantels and I thought I could channel the rest of my thoughts into a blog post. You know, to continue with the obsessive topic of layering that I have going on here.
I think the key to creating a styled vignette comes down to:
- symmetry and rule of thirds
- complementary items
- layering various objects of different heights, widths, textures, colors and shapes (depending on the surface area you have to work with).
I pulled together a few visuals from recent projects where I used my go-to method for creating a layered, photo-ready vignette.
First up – my office.
I typically start with a larger item that can be propped up or nailed to the wall. This will be your focal/anchor point. In my office, the mirror was the focal point and I layered that with propped-up art because it’s something I change so often and can easily swap it out.
Once I have the anchor point, I’ll add one or two tall items on either side of the surface. You don’t have to use the same things on either side – break things up to create interest!
Once I have the tall item(s), I work my way inward and add a tray, stack of books, a candle, chic matches, objects of interest, layering art – basically whatever I can do to fill the dead space. I look for places where I can create mini-vignettes that contribute to the overall larger vignette.
This usually takes me quite some time to do, as I’m switching things around/stacking things until I’m happy with the result. And I always make sure to include flowers or something living.
You’re probably thinking: “who tf styles a desk?” Well, we’re on the topic of creating photo-worthy vignettes, not real-life vignettes 🙂
Another styling tip is to alternate the direction of stacked books, like above. Just another way to break things up!
Side note – I shared a DIY on making your own textured canvas art (shown on my desk) for less than $60 in this post.
I had a much smaller surface to work with on our bedroom nightstands, and here’s how I did it:
To save room for other objects on the nightstand, I chose not to add a lamp and instead added the accent lighting to the walls. Voila!
Here are a few vignettes that I recently saved and absolutely love:
DECOR SEARCH TERMS + WHERE I SHOP
I shop for decor at a few different places, but if I had to choose one, it’s eBay. Usually a tonnn of options pop up every time I search for something AND (my favorite part) – it’s shipped to you. A lot of decorative objects in our home are from eBay (pretty much all of the antique portraits – Agnes included).
I usually click the “Accepts Offers” option so I can negotiate with sellers, and then set my price range based on how much I want to spend on said item. Just be mindful of shipping costs!
Some of the items I frequently search for and purchase on eBay are:
- small brass vases or bud vases
- used books
- marble chess board (this is for a coffee table, but I had to include here after recently stumbling upon some cute ones on e-bay)
- silver trays
- horn magnifying glass
- agate coasters
- bone inlay box
- chinoiserie vases
- ginger jars
- vintage framed art
- antique oil painting
- antique portrait
- brass lamp
- ornate mirror
It may take some time to dig, but if you’re patient you can find some fabulous pieces. I created a roundup of some items I recently found on eBay and love (they all accept offers)!
I hope you guys enjoyed this post. Enjoy the rest of your weekend (and the Super Bowl tonight)!
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this is so helpful! I’ve never though to shop on eBay for this kind of stuff. thanks for sharing!
I’m glad! thanks for reading Jessica
Like!! Thank you for publishing this awesome article.
Why haven’t I subscribed to your blog??? And where do I sign up. The eBay feature was the best! The fact that you took the time to include the items in an easy to search layout says a lot about your attention to detail and passion for reaching others!
thanks so much Arabella! <3
Jordan Chatham says
Great article! Thanks for sharing!
I have enjoyed reading through a few of your posts, but it is this line specifically that pushed me to follow you on everything: You’re probably thinking: “who tf styles a desk?” I totally was and I love that you addressed it!