Design isn’t always about the big pieces in a room. Sometimes it’s the smaller, specialty pieces that can make a room shine. Vignettes have long been the secret weapon of stylists to make aesthetically pleasing, stylized statements throughout a space.

What is a vignette?

A vignette is a snapshot or mini-grouping of items to convey a design message. A vignette can be a grouping of furniture items, accessories such as pillows or tabletop items such as sculptural pieces, vases or even flowers.

What makes a good vignette?

When it comes to the components of your vignette, consider incorporating your favorite things into a single vignette. Another design idea is using key colors that are present or dominate elsewhere in your space.

Do’s and Don’ts


Create a vignette using a minimum of three items.

Consider creating a vignette using a single color.

Use colorful accents such as florals and artwork.


Overdo it; less is more.

Hide your vignettes. Locations like the floor are never a good location to make a vignette you wish to highlight.

Use perishable items in your vignettes. While seasonal items can be interesting, they will be hard to maintain.

Cathy Hobbs, based in New York City, is an Emmy Award-winning television host and a nationally known interior design and home staging expert with offices in New York City, Boston and Washington, D.C. Contact her at or visit her website at

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