The word vignette in French originally meant “little vines” ultimately morphing into the word “vineyard”. In 1751 this historic French word was documented in English and offers a number of meanings, including “a small, pleasing picture, view or a decorative design.”

This vignette features a nine feet wide by eight feet high wall at the end of our kitchen where we gather for coffee, tea or cocktails with friends, family and our beloved Jack Russell Poodle, Toby. The centerpiece of the vignette is the antique love seat with lively black and white cheetah print fabric perched below colorful artwork stacked on the stark white wall behind.

Good Design Repeats Itself

Vignette Below side view with lowered shade
Projecting light through a warm color can make a vignette glow.

Circular orange flowers on the window shade repeats the curvilinear shapes in the paintings. The zigzag pattern on the opposing chairs relates to and contrasts with the outrageously bold black and white geometric shapes on the loveseat pillows. The black in the patterns, pillows and lampshade absorb color and ground the colorful palette while the white in the patterns, pillows and artwork reflect light that makes the room sparkle.

Composing a Painting with Three Dimensional Objects

Navarro Vives, Natura Morta (Still Life)
Navarro Vives, Natura Morta (Still Life), 1992

The Spanish painting above repeats shapes – circles, pedestals, soft ovals, pointed ovals, and cylinders that proliferate in colors of – dark blue, yellow, green, orange and black on a background of turquoise.

Just like the Vives painting, your vignette should repeat shapes, colors, patterns and textures that appear in your “decorative design.” Pretend you are composing a painting with three dimensional objects that you absolutely love. Remember, it’s not the way a vignette looks, it’s the way it feels.

Composing a Vignette with Three Dimensional Objects

vignette headon view
A well-planned vignette in a tiny space evokes a sense of pleasurable pause.

Despite the low ceiling and white walls, a well-planned vignette in a small space evokes a sense of pleasurable pause due to the feeling it conveys. The merging of color, shape, pattern, and texture create harmony that feels good to the eye and soul. Here, the two vertical paintings bordered with ornate gold edges visually connect to each other and the ochre-colored stool in the center of the room. Soft red tones in the rug, pitcher, lamp base, books and green pillow refer to traces of vibrant red in the artwork above. A pair of whimsical lamps with jet black shades play a starring role by illuminating the art through their glowing circles of light. Create harmony in your vignette by repeating compatible shapes, colors, patterns and textures. Go shopping in your home to find a perfect place for a vignette and compose a “decorative design” of three dimensional objects you absolutely adore.

It’s Fall and time for a change. Where can YOU find a niche in your home to create a “feast for your eyes” with a feel-good vignette?


Golden Gate in Progress
Golden Gate in Progress

Here’s a quick update on the remodel. Much of the work on Golden Gate has been in the form of several large retaining walls, one of which you see here in front of the house. The image also shows the framing on the main level, soon to proceed to the upper level. We truly had no idea how long this would take. But hang in there, we’re finally going inside soon!

Happy Fall with Love,
Linda & Toby

Showing 8 comments
  • Joan von Weien

    They say that nothing truly wonderful gets done overnight! So, patience and persistence are the needed two legs on a 3-legged stool! I salute you for not only your vision, but the grit necessary to get ‘er done! She will be, and she will SHINE…..!

  • donna

    You are always so brave and assertive with pattern and colors. AND the result is always a “Happy” room. You are so talented.

  • Marla Patterson

    I love LOVE vignette!! Color and more color. Your big project certainly looks BIG! It will be FABULOUS!!
    Love to you and Toby!

  • Kirby

    No matter where you live, Linda, (temporarily, vacationing or permanently, you make your home incredibly beautiful and inviting! What a talent! You are truly inspiring! Love Love, Kirby

  • Kerry Enright

    Amazing! I need you to create a vignette for me—(once my house is done!). So gorgeous. Really needed this pick me up today. Thx Linda!

  • Kim Radford

    I have followed you and your talent for years. I had “dresses” made for my kitchen chairs years ago and they were fabulous. Thanks so much for these updates. I love receiving them!

  • rmb

    A true lover and captivator of artwork in you dream home can not be achieved overnight. Your relentless perquisite of perfection has provided a great vision of years past and for the years of tomorrow. Great visionary.

  • Lynn

    You’ve created such a wonderful space to live in while this big project is continuing – thank you for sharing your insight on creating a vignette. Now I’m wandering about my house, rethinking a few small areas 🙂 Always a joy to be inspired by your fearless use of color and pattern.

Leave a Comment

1-lead-image-patio-with-viewThe Valley of the Moon