Secrets of Beautiful Tabletop Vignettes

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 Today lets talk about how to put together some beautiful tabletop farmhouse vignettes.  Let’s start with what a vignette actually is. For our purposes, it is really just a collection of items artfully displayed.  Most decor vignettes have a few things in common.  Let’s take a look at them.  Remember there are no firm rules here, these are just guidelines I like to follow.

Vignette Guidelines

  • They have a border,  or are contained in some way.  Baskets, trays, containers like small boxes, or even a tabletop itself can serve this purpose.
  • They have objects that are related to one another in some way, or that tell a story.
  • They are clustered.
  • They form a triangle when you look at the heights of the objects.
  • They have a variety of textures.
  • They help to coordinate colors in a room.
  • They usually contain an odd number of objects.

Seasonal tabletop vignettes are a great way to bring the seasons into your home.

The pictures below are fall vignettes I made. The tray serves as a border, with two other objects outside of the main border.  The items are related things you might see during a walk on a crisp fall day: fallen leaves, pumpkins, crows and a glass jar that was on the side of the road. The items are clustered, not in a straight line.  I have illustrated this one because it can be hard to see.  It does not have to be a symmetrical triangle. I  used a mix of textures,  like the galvanized tray, the glass jar, and the wooden bird to keep the look interesting.

A Seasonal Vignette

Because this was a seasonal display I wasn’t too concerned with using my accessories to play off other colors in the room because I also had these autumn colors in my throw pillows and other decor items throughout the room.  There are visually three things in the vignette –  the tray, the wooden bird and the glass jar. Even though the tray has other items in it,  it is one.  The tray actually has three items plus leaves, so in a way, this is two vignettes combined to make one larger one. Even if you count it that way it has seven items, still an odd number.

shelves autumnPicture of shelf with Thanksgiving decor

Here is another seasonal vignette for fall. 

In this case, the shelf is the border, the items are related, and they are clustered. The triangle is easier to see in this vignette.  (Want to see how to make a gorgeous bow every time? (Check out my video on how to do it.  )  I used a variety of textures, from the smooth glass of the bird to the leaves, the glass on the lantern, and even the bow that adds another layer of texture. Again, this worked with the other colors of the room, since the whole room was decorated for fall. My husband said it was like living at Cracker Barrel. I am not sure if that is good or bad. I’m taking it as a  good thing since they have professional designers to put the displays together before the merchandise goes to the stores.

Lantern, spray of leaves and birds.

Other types of Vignettes

Farmhouse Glam

This is almost a Farmhouse Glam vignette. It still has a mixture of textures with the smooth glass of the candlestick, the rough silver glass of the bird, and the vase looking old and chippy.  The objects maintain a triangle in symmetry with the top of the candle being the high point; I probably should have pushed that vase a little more to the right to get it into the triangle.  If this is your style, try it on an entry table, or a nightstand

Another Thing to Love

Something I love about tabletop vignettes is they are portable – you can put them in different places to suit a season or a mood.  Don’t you just love the blue vase? I made it from a thrift store vase. See how I did it in this post. I am thinking that one of these in a creamy Antique White with Sunflowers for fall would be super cute. 

A Beautiful Vignette. Groiping of a vase, candlestick, and a glass bird #Vignette #falldecor

Picture of a vase. candle stick holder and a silver bird

Rustic Charm

Here is yet another example of a vignette, but with a more rustic farmhouse feel.  Can you find the mix of the elements in this one?  What would the story be? I think they are things I might have found in an old barn, or maybe even in an attic.  

grouping of a rusted lantern, old books, and a ball of twine in a galvanized tray

A Dark Corner

Sometimes you need to style a dark corner, and bringing a lamp into the vignette is the solution. The lamp will usually be the tallest point in your triangle, so the height of your objects is easier. Just watch out for using small items. They will not be able to gain attention with a tall lamp.  Again this vignette could be used in many different places in your home.


Peacock shaped lamp, architectural salvage and old books

In the Kitchen

Finally, let’s look at some fun kitchen vignettes. Wouldn’t this first one look cute either on a bed in a guest room, or a small table in a breakfast nook?

White tray set with black and white dishes, and black and white tea towels.

Or, how about this collection of jars by the stove? The taller two are empty pickle jars; because my daughter loves pickles, I have lots of these.  I just paired them with a mason jar. Cute, and pretty much free. 

Galvanized tray with glass jars of utensils

I could go on for days, making these.

They are really fast to put together, and so much fun, but my family wants their stuff back.  Shop your house before you go to a store. As you have seen in my pictures, you could use the same objects in several ways. There is, however, one item that I really can’t live without for making these items: my set of galvanized trays. A must-have for Farmhouse decor. I bought mine at American Home Furniture years ago, but they have a similar set on Amazon.

Click to shop the look.

Can’t find what you need in your house (and believe me I know the feeling, when I have a vision,  and I just don’t have the items I need)? It’s so darn frustrating, so don’t forget to check out some of my favorite online places for Farmhouse Decor. They have some pretty amazing things.

Grab Today's Steal!            AntiqueFarmHouse


So, by following the simple design principles we have learned :

1) using borders

2) finding related objects that can tell a story

3) that are in a cluster

4) have a  triangle shape

5) have a variety of textures

6) can be part of the overall color scheme of a room

7) are an odd number of objects,

So now you can be making tabletop vignettes like a pro. But, a word of warning – once you start, it’s hard to stop.

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Coffee, love bird tweet, Chicken cluck, amy



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