Karen McCartney writes about the effort required for effortless style and shares 7 tips for creating the perfect vignette.
There are undoubtedly people who have a certain way with interiors; in the same way that there are those who have a certain way with fashion. They make it look effortless, casually thrown together – as though that particular combination of objects, or the way that scarf is tied, was simply always meant to be.
But there is a secret – as with most things that people become good at, they practise. They try and reject what doesn’t work, they start again, and gradually, over time, they become really good at it. And confidence breeds confidence and suddenly they are a style leader not a follower.
There is much talk of styling in the home and really it just means putting things together in a pleasing way that is both interesting and easy on the eye. Vignettes have become a buzzword, there are even competitions to see who call nail the best one, but before getting ahead of ourselves here are some beginner rules.
- Odd numbers are considered easier to work with than even, but don’t try to make a vignette work with more than 5 items
- Pick a tonal palette and stick with it. For example shades of blue and taupe, greys with a soft white, monochromatic, or two shades of pastels in the same tone.
- Decide on something of a loose ‘theme’. Is it the seaside and found objects, is it haberdashery, or is it ceramics of a certain era?
- Choose items within this palette and theme that vary in height, texture and material.
- Find a surface where the arrangement makes sense – a sideboard, a mantelpiece, an occasional table – and also take the background colour (paint) or material (timber) into account.
- Try different combinations and even take a photo of your arrangement, as sometimes it is easier to visualise composition that way.
- Look at people who do this really well and take clues from them. Check out Sibella Court (@sibellacourt), Kara Rosenlund (@kararosenlund), Megan Morton (@megan_morton) and Tessa Kavanagh (@tessa_kavanagh)
And remember, even those at the top of their creative game have gone through the process of trial and error until something, quite simply, clicked.