Friday, February 15, 2013

What's a Vignette?


I was lamenting the current lack of Vignettes in the house following my recent de-cluttering exploits, to which my Husband said "What the flip is a Vignette?". "Oh you know, those little arrangements of bits and bobs that I used have around the place". "Ah those", he says.

There's much talk of Vignettes all over the Blogosphere at the moment, not to mention the popular #7Vignettes meme happening over on Instagram. Although I have a general aversion to clutter and knick knacks stemming from my dislike of dusting, the odd snippet of nature making it's way inside onto the windowsill or mantle appeals to me.

However, we have had very minimal success with Vignettes in this house.

It goes a bit like this:

"OK, anyone seen my antler?"
"Where's my other pine cone?"
"Who took the feather"
"Can I have my birds nest back?"
"That piece of driftwood is not a sword!"

The Vignette just doesn't seem to work here.

It's also causing confusion amongst the Kidlets. Why am I allowed to have antlers and a collection of beach pebbles but they are not allowed sticks, stones, bones and rocks inside? Fair point.

So I educated the Kids about the Vignette and my love of bringing a little bit of the outdoors inside. But all I did was create a monster because then everyday they would come inside bearing gifts of said nature.

"Here Mum, more feathers for your collection".
"Look Mum, another 27 pine cones for your Vinaigrette!".

Bless their cotton socks.

With feathers strewn across the house from one end to the other and baskets overflowing with pine cones, after a few months the house was starting to look a little too au naturelle. Then there was the occasional midnight torture that comes with stepping on a delinquent pine cone, which is almost as painful as stepping on lego I should add. Almost.

We stopped the Vignettes inside.

And so the Boys started their own Vignettes outside. Right beside the front door. Sigh.

At Christmas time I thought it would be OK to attempt to decorate the bare mantlepiece and arrange a few Vignettes . But just a few days later, the glass vase on the mantlepiece was smashed to smithereens by a wayward Nerf Gun bullet.

That's when I gave up on the Vignettes altogether. Too hard. Just not the right time. Maybe in 100 years when the Kids have left home...

However, I'm now de-cluttering the kitchen and found my collection of glass domes/cloches that I've picked up at Op-Shops over the years. I'm wondering whether they would be a good option for "containing" my little bits and pieces. Perhaps placed high up on the bookshelf where there is less chance of them coming into the path of projectile objects? Is this a good idea?

How do you go with Vignettes in your household? I'd love to know.


  1. haha! you crack me up Mel...classic post...I was thinking just this same thing recently due to my lack on Vignettes in my home. Firstly, I abhor dust, and really vignettes are just a dusk magnet if you ask whilst I do love the idea of vignettes, the thought of moving each piece, dusting, re-arranging and so on makes my head spin. The second issue is of course space....I just don't have that many surfaces for desired vignettes. A few frames here and there...but basically that's it. Oh, i do have marvellous glass cabinet that I can "show of nice stuff" and really, it's ideal - no dust can get in there, so I just settle for that! Wishing you wonderful days and happy vignette making Mel xx

  2. Yes I love the look of these vignettes and seeing everyone else's too, it's just not working here. Now, the glass cabinet is the perfect solution really although I may have to replace the glass with perspex to be on the safe side :-)

  3. That's hilarious. I'm chuckling away when I'm supposed to be working. Vignettes here consist of a pile of books with a dirty odd sock on top and a half-eaten sandwich. There's a reason very few of my blog pics include wide-angles.

  4. hee hee so funny. yes you better wait a hundred or so years. i have kind of reached a happy compromise now that my children are grown and gone, where my house is mainly minimal but my studio is where anything goes. i love handmade, scandinavian influence, childrens art and literature, toys, it's my playroom! i do love to play with different vignettes or vinegrettes. hee hee.

  5. I cracked up laughing at the stray nerf gun bullet as we have had some similar disasters here. Loving the boys vignette outside! xx

  6. I thought you were talking about a salad dressing! I'm afraid I have several piles of stuff, but it's not planned & not decor - sadly!
    Love your style Mel, all the way!

  7. Strangely some of my vinaigrettes have remained in situ for years as the kids are so used to them they just don't touch them. Thankfully they have ceased bringing dead things in although the occasional bone or lizard skeleton might still pass. Watch your cloches. They sound like nerf fodder to me.

  8. Same issues with vignettes here. Either they get re arranged by Farmgirl who usually lines everything up symmetrically usually after I spent ages artfully plaving everything in a casual but elegant way ;). Or they just get destroyed or objects of appeal are removed by small people and hidden in their rooms.

    I have a few higher arrangements but not a lot. I think the cloches would be just like little magnets for my kids.......

  9. Meant placing not plaving which is not even a word....!

  10. Love the mental pictures Mel!
    I hate dusting but can't resist collecting rubbish. #7vignettes caused mayhem in my little apartment, but it was fun! x

  11. I have vignettes of lego appear at odd times if there is a spare horizontal surface. Recently Roboboy set up his own vignette of sea glass and shells on my new shelf, have a photo somewhere. Otherwise my one horizontal surface has a selection of milk glass covered in random detritus. Sigh. One day for me too. mel x

  12. Classic Mel! My dog has a talent for creating vignettes in the backyard with his bones. dinosaur graveyard. loved your post!

  13. From now on, when I empty out the pockets of everyone's clothes by the washing machine, I shall call the resulting heap a vignette. Our current vignette comprises several used tissues, various coins, 2 screws and a badge. I'd like a Cabinet of Curiosities. Maybe one day ...

  14. Love the idea of glass containing them up high, we don't do vignettes, otherwise the house would be overrun and I would have to pick them all up to dust, which I can't stand. Would love to see pics if you do the glass option.

  15. Sadly, we tend towards the used tissue/rubber band ball/small plastic toy style of vignette around here. I would prefer the more aesthetically pleasing type. However, I have a dusting aversion, too.

  16. My vignettes stay in place for years and get dusty. I want some inspiration for new vignettes. I feel bad too because I don't allow organic material, that hasn't passed inspection, into the house either. You have a lot of bones outside. Maybe child-made vignettes make for more interesting children?

  17. I must be from another planet or maybe just very uneducated in the interior design world (more like it), but this is the first I have heard of a vignette. Terrible, I know! I am majorly minimal though (hence the lack of interior design prowess), so I think I'll just leave the outdoors... outdoors. I don't suppose the hundreds of eucalyptus leaves that are blown/trampled in through our back door counts!? There is always a nice collection of those on my lovely tiles. Oh and I winced at the stepping on a pine cone, that would be ridiculously painful.

  18. We call little piles of anything vinaigrettes here, the anything might be artfully arranged for a photo, but it is probably just stuff I've not got around to putting away!

  19. Oh I love that you have done this post because I have been wondering what the hell a vignette is every time I see them on my Instagram! I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed.

  20. Hysterical, Mel. I only observe them from afar on IG for similar reasons. Alas! J x

  21. We have only had 'vignettes' recently. I can remember having a sheep's skull under my bed for a few years as one son had to bring it home from a farm holiday and under our bed was where it happened to live for a while! Our sideboard has been taken over by bits and pieces of stuff at the moment and I am itching to clean it up and create another vignette..hehe!

  22. Ah I know the vignette very well. My little fella had a 'collection' of sticks, stones, bones, pinecones, feathers, lumps of concrete...what ever he could find that kept coming into the house. I would then get tired of the clutter, and casually drop them out the first available window, (I know bad mama). Piles were mounting up out each window, so we set upon a set spot outside the door too. Over 6 months it was quite the pile, until one day we got home and someone had cleaned up while we were out. Distraught boy!... and a new collection begins :-)

  23. Aw bless, love the thought of your kidlets bringing in bits and pieces to help mum out making her vignette! I have to admit when I was doing the 7 Vignettes thing on Instagram, all the time I was thinking if you've got kids there's no way you could have all that stuff in your house without it being destroyed!

  24. Oh my comment has disappeared! This did make me laugh on asunday morning! Love the kid lets vignette! Too funny. I have n old bureau bookcase with a glass cabinet in our bedroom, fairly safe and a bookcase on our landing. Actually stray nerf gun bullets have been known to land there so perhaps not such a greatl place! Mayb in 10 years.... Xxxxx Sarah

  25. I really enjoyed this post Mel. Don't you just love children?
    Have a great week!

  26. Great post, Mel This made me laugh! I love the look of vignettes but yes, they are a pain to dust and the kids interfere with mine all the time...(me: "the russian dolls are not ACTUAL dolls, be careful!") Such a good idea to arrange them under a cloche. Then they will stay pretty and you'll only have to dust the glass. Win win!

    Gillian x

  27. I totally jumped on the vignette bandwagon
    But there are mini vignette monsters here too - who refuse to clean anything up because they've left it "just so" on purpose for a photo!!

    (ps - I liebstered last year - think that disqualifies me - thank you for the thought though - loved reading more about you)


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