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For the Love of the Vignette

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Vignette [vin-yet] n.
1. Any small pleasing picture or view.
2. A small, graceful literary sketch.

Turns out I love a vignette in any of its forms. In high school Honors English, after reading a book, the teacher asked us what the biggest lesson we learned from it was. I was astounded to learn about a new way of writing. I never knew you could write a whole book in vignettes. What an epiphany! I never thought I could manage writing an entire novel with plot climaxes, antagonists and foreshadowing. But I knew I could piece something beautiful together with soft, intertwining vignettes.

Fast forward a few years, and I have another epiphany. What? You can create vignettes in your home too? I’ve said it before, but interior design is something I knew almost zero about. But oh, the idea of beautifully-curated little landing spots for the eyes. I had been using them from the time I had my own room growing up, but I didn’t have a name for them and I hadn’t learned the skills of scale, balance and color.

Style Your Space

In her Style Your Space e-course, Rachel Denbow makes the compilation of the vignette seem absolutely why-didn’t-I-do-this-before, do-able. My favorite part of the vignette? The way they can prevent “dumping zones.” These are my least favorite parts of the house where library books, mail, random tools and toy parts pile up like pigeons around a bag lady. And they zap my energy whenever I look at them. Place a graceful vignette in the same spot, and like magic, the dumping stops. It’s as though all the males living in the house actually realize the aesthetic they’d be destroying if they “dumped” there. Yessss!!!

So, here’s my first shot. I’m no pro, but I grabbed a few things from the house that I already had, a peacock feather my husband bought the same day for me, a thrifted pot, some acorns from one of our picnics and some little seed pods I plucked at a local corn maze. See, I’ve already started to notice the beautiful patterns and colors around me, even in subtle, easily-overlooked places.

I love the mix of feathery and sharp, round and triangular, short and tall. Obviously green is my favorite color. The pumpkin stands out a little, but is anchored back in by the peeking green ridges. Plus, this makes my least-favorite piece of furniture (an old VHS cabinet) so much easier to look at.

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