How To: Create a Visual Vignette

Any lackluster wall of your home can become a masterpiece when you know how to group objects for impact. Here are a few tips for creating a potent display out of your random collectibles and thrift shop finds…

1. CREATE A THEME
It can be as general as an idea — "travel" or "vintage" — or as specific as a color OR the object itself — clocks, mirrors, teacups. But having an identifiable motif keeps the grouping from appearing too arbitrary. Once you have placed 3 or more objects that tie into your theme, you can accessorize with more loosely related items.

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2. BEWARE OF FLOATERS
Objects don’t have to be perfectly equidistant or arranged in a grid, but clustering objects in close proximity heightens the visual drama whereas items with too much space in between them have the tendency to look random and lonely. To create a collage-like effect, overlap a few pieces (as in the first photo).

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3. LIMIT YOUR NUMBERS
While it’s easy to go overboard, the strongest statements are usually made with less than 15 items. Our friend Grace, who has a special talent for visual vignettes, created a rich display with just a few aptly placed nostalgic pieces: a coat tree rack, a picture of an antique sewing machine, and a silhouette portrait.

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(Images: 1:Living Etc., 2:Recycled Home by Mark & Sally Bailey, 3-4: Leah Moss)