January 27, 2012

friday’s five minute fix: add height to a vignette

What is the best way to create a visually pleasing vignette?  The “rule” itself is simple — include an odd number of pretty objects at varying heights.  Easy peasy, right?   Almost, but not quite.   Sometimes the objects you want to include are too similar in height — so it is important to break that up somehow.  Books are — of course — a fantastic tool … and, because they come in all sizes and widths, you can use them to elevate anything from pottery to vases to sculpture.

One of my favorite, slightly less conventional ways to add height to a vignette is to prop a small painting or photograph on an easel.  Here, I’ve paired a small Kimberly Applegate painting with a classic mint julep cup (earned for some stellar academic achievement at the University of Virginia … yep, this cup “cost” approximately $80,000 so I’m grateful for it) and an oversize “diamond” paperweight (a party favor from my first-ever twin moms convention).

You can also use easels to prop up favorite books or small trays.  I mean, how lovely would a John Derian tray be displayed as art on an easel?   My twinkies can’t read yet, so this tray would be lost on them … but I like it!

Do you have a “rule” you follow for styling vignettes?

Traci Zeller Designs photo by Katharine Fuchs.  


  • Sarah
    Jan. 27, 2012
    Great tips! I was just thinking today about how I have a small area that needs some height! :)
  • Karena
    Jan. 27, 2012
    Oh I agree Traci interesting objects of different textures and heights! Or a group of collections. xoxo Karena Art by Karena
  • diane
    Jan. 27, 2012
    love your $80000 cup...that is probably worht $150 k today! Great advice for styling..thanks
  • Holly
    Jan. 28, 2012
    I love these tips especially the easel tip - never thought of that! I might be helping a friend style her built-ins and I'll need to do lots of arranging and rearranging and practice - ha! Have a good weekend! And that cup is something to be proud of - go UVA!
  • Kristy Swain
    Jan. 28, 2012
    Great blog!! I loved this post. It's one that I've been wanting to write myself, but have not taken the time. So glad to read it! Very useful tips. Love the book trick myself. It's definitely the quickest and easiest.
  • Gwen Driscoll
    Jan. 29, 2012
    Great tips here. See you soon.
  • Maria Killam
    Jan. 29, 2012
    Love your posts Traci! As you know, books are my favourite to use as pedestals, etc! xo maria
  • sarah, flourish design + style
    Jan. 29, 2012
    Traci, I've just gotten completely absorbed in your blog.. great posts and the way you write is so lovely.. just had to tell you! Hope your weekend has been wonderful, x

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