Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Gorgeous Groupings

[Photo credit: Sfgirlbybay via Apartment Therapy]

Know what's my favorite part of interior design? Vignettes. They're what I hone in on first when flipping through magazines or watching a design show 'reveal'. And I swear I could create them all day long if you let me! Back in the day as an editor, I was fortunate to learn from some of the best fashion photographers the art of styling still-lifes to sell product. Well, the same concepts hold true for your home. So here is my 5-step primer:

[Photo credit: PaperPony (left) and Sfgirlbybay via Apartment Therapy (right)]

1. A theme is a good starting-point. For example, the vignettes above tell a color story - reds and browns to the left and greens and blues to the right. In the opening photo, the pottery collection seems to be about rounded shapes and smooth textures.

2. Mix it up. In the photo above, the ordered arrangement of the markers and books is balanced by colorful 'chaos' of craft supplies and personal mementos. In the photo below, a small bust and slim figurine balance the angularity of the framed photos.

[Photo credit: PaperPony]

3. Take heed of height. In the final two photos below, notice that your eye gradually moves down from the tallest item to the shortest and there is no stark white space. This creates a pleasing composition.

[Photo credit: BitsandBobbins (left) and Christine Chitnis via Design*Sponge]

4. Grab your digital camera and start snapping. Photographers always assess image composition and quality of light before actual shooting. Your photos allow you to do similarly by creating 'distance' between how you perceive your vignette and how it actually looks.

5. And of course, play around and have fun. To me, vignettes are so personal and give little clues about a homeowner's interests and passions. It's not brain surgery so if you get bored switch things around. Add or subtract items. Just make it you!

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