Creating a Vignette for Summer

I have been changing over the decor in our home for summer. In doing so, I pondered – what are the elements in creating a vignette? We create vignettes whether we realize it or not. So, I decided to research this to find the common key steps recommended. I’ve created two versions of this vignette – with the elements below in mind. Which is do you feel fits the elements and which to you is more visually appealing?



Today, I am arranging an Ottoman Vignette and here are my steps:

The first element – a theme – Summer



Of course – seasonal decor makes things easy  – you have an idea of where to begin. For me the season of summer includes vacations – oftentimes the beach, natural objects – the butterfly and the moss stones and interests – the books on gardening and decor.

The second element – a Focal Point or Anchor Object


For my ottoman vignette – I chose this glass vase filled with a beeswax candle and collected sea shells.

The third element – Color


There are things that unify a grouping, likeness, size, texture and color. In this grouping the unifying elements come from the white in the shells, decor ball as well as the blue and green in the dried lavender and moss balls. These colors coordinate with the room’s summer decor.

The fourth element – Odd Number –



According to my research, odd numbers are more harmonious and pleasing to the eye.

The fifth element – vary heights – 



I love math and discovering how beautifully everything is created in ths world and the design in symmetry (there’s a mathematical forumla for this -but we’ll use imagery to explain). What is known as ‘The Golden Ratio’ can be used in decorating as well.Picture a sea shell how it curves from largest to smallest – or a coil. The Golden Ratio or Phi basically shows that there’s a relationship between the largest to the smallest object.

golden ratio spiralIn creating a vignette they suggest starting with your focal point as being the largest object. Work your way down in size then from that  you can create a symmetry in design. This gives your eye something interesting to look at.  







Add interest by including various textures. In this vignette I use glass, metal, wood and natural items such as dried lavender and moss. You can use any variety you like, but I think at least three is a good rule of thumb.

Bring it together 




When putting this vignette together I shopped my house for various items to fit the theme. I experimented with placing and with angles. One of the goals I wished to achieve in this arrangement was that this collection would be appealing from various points of view. If you’re dealing with a tabletop, or mantel that is limited in view – then you’ll basically have one to three aspects of view – front and the two sides. In this case, the ottoman or a tabletop in the room, you’ll want to have this decor visually appealing from many angles. Walk around your vignette to see it from various angles. Tweak the positioning of items to achieve the look you desire.

Well, which did you like best? Which vignette appealed to you? I’ll be sharing more vignette experiments soon! 

More on Vignettes:


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  1. Your vignette is so cute Kathy! Enjoy your weekend!

    • Thank you, Vesna – I appreciate you – I hope you have a wonderful weekend too!

  2. very nice!

  3. I love the use of seashells. They are popular in Virginia where I am from but not here in Colorado. Aromatique makes a lovely seashell potpourri.

    • I don’t go to the beach much, not much of a sun tanner (is that a word?) I usually like the early morning, late afternoon, off season times and spending time gathering shells and such – I’ll have to look up Aromatique! I hope you have a blessed first day of summer!

  4. Kathy, your vignette is lovely, and I like “B” the best. I think the heavy glass vase on the books gives nice height and creates a good anchor for the whole vignette. I learned something, too–had never heard of the golden ratio!

    • thank you, Heather – it’s pretty cool too – to know that there’s design in creation – useful mathematical-design that can be applied in a number of areas in life!
      Have a great first day of summer,

  5. B is my favorite! My mother loves to decorate and I have seen her use all of these elements in her arrangements. I learned a lot from this post!

    • Hello Susan, Great! I suppose I’m constantly teaching myself – can’t get out of the habit and come to think of it – don’t want to! Love to learn. I have more ‘lessons’ for myself coming up! Have a blessed first day of summer!

  6. Neat post – both nice, B pleases my senses more.

    Interesting read, thanks Kathy!

    • Fascinating, Michele – this is going to be fun 🙂 I appreciate you – have a great first day of summer!

  7. So interesting. Love vignette A.

  8. katie too says:

    thanks, it’s lovely

  9. I seem to be with the majority here in liking “B” the best. I like the larger, heavier vase/hurricane candle holder in this example. Nice post!

  10. Oh, how neat, Kathy! I never even knew there were steps to building a vignette. Of course, my favorite theme in any decor is beach/nautical, so the seashells and starfish are it for me! I like having magazines or books close by, too, so probably “A” would be my first choice. Thanks for sharing!

  11. Oh, how neat, Kathy! I never even knew there were steps to building a vignette. Of course, my favorite theme in any decor is beach/nautical, so the seashells and starfish are it for me! I like having magazines or books close by, too, so probably “A” would be my first choice. Thanks for sharing!


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