What does it take to create a personality-packed space with visual intrigue? While the layout is key and a styled entryway is essential (one that's also clutter-free), the best way to make a room interesting is to design artistic compositions that speak to your passions, travels, obsessions, and heritage. These curated moments are also known as vignettes.
When styled well, they make a room compelling and alluring to both the homeowner and its visitors. So what does it take to make a successful vignette? A mix of textures, materials, and styles is essential along with original art and collected objects from your life's journey. Whether you're styling a coffee table, credenza, or hallway bench, we take you through each piece and the must-have objects you need to achieve a stylish composition.
The coffee table is often referred to as the statement shoe of the room, and with good reason. It has a practical and pretty purpose. Guests can use the space as a rest stop for their beverages and snacks, but it's also the first point of reference for your personal taste, likes, and interests. So only display the books, candles, and objets d'art that really speak to you and communicate who you are in the glance of an eye. Feel free to rotate your book selection seasonally or even weekly, and add a hint of greenery, preferably something hardy.
This timeless midcentury modern design fuses the days of yore with our modern marble obsession.
A candle is always a welcome addition to any coffee table, and this one has a classic look and scent all guests will enjoy inhaling.
Opt for the classics when choosing coffee table books. Make sure you've read it though, because in this hero position your guests are definitely going to ask you about it.
If you're well-traveled or aim to be, display objets d'art you've collected along the way or picked up at flea markets and estate sales. These unique items will boost the intrigue.
Greenery is always a nice touch. Find some interesting planters and choose a hardy succulent that doesn't require too much attention.
If you have a narrow hallway, position a simple bench against the wall and layer various mirrors in differing shapes and designs (this is how all the cool people display their art) to really open up the space. Then add in some stylish affordable lighting and a few rare curiosities, and you'll dial up the allure for sure.
Choose a bench that's simple by design and classic in style. Not only will it stand the test of time but it will also be the perfect neutral foundation for any creative vignette.
A gilded mirror never goes out of style. Layer a few on top of each other to dial the style up and open up the space. This is ideal for a small space.
Find varying mirror shapes to layer on top of one another. We love this triangle frame up against a rectangle or square style to ramp up the interest factor.
Look out for some perfectly imperfect pieces crafted from organic material to add that natural element to your home. Geodes, petrified wood, rocks with small fossils, or clusters of pyrite sit comfortably with more polished decorative items.
Unique modern lighting with sculptural detailing adds visual interest and a warm glow to any vignette.
Whether it's beside your bed or next to your sofa, the side table is an essential décor item and the ideal place for a stylish vignette. This example in Erin Fetherston's home uses a gold mirrored step-style piece to layer up her items. Lidded decorative boxes with crystal embellished lids are gorgeous-looking and practical—the perfect place to stash your keys, remote controls, and spare change.
This side table adds height and a hint of gold for that glam touch.
Add some of Mother Nature's finest with raw crystal. This rose quartz adds the perfectly imperfect touch.
An acrylic box with a decorative crystal top is the perfect fusion of function and fashion.
Add a one-off porcelain vase to showcase your appreciation for the handmade. This Heath Ceramics piece is a work of art.
As far as coffee table books go, Emily Henderson's Styled is a must-display. It's curated but never fussy, livable, and 100% beautiful.
The credenza is an essential element to any living room, entry, or hallway. It's at once a practical piece (hello, pretty storage) and a stylish item to display your new purchases, vintage scores, or flea-market finds. Change it up every season, or when you find that special something and want to swap it up. Emily Henderson has some awesome styling tips to change out your credenza too.
We love how Homepolish Creative Director Orlando Soria used a dresser in lieu of a credenza. It's just as stylish and adds a unique, unexpected touch to a living area.
Décor should never be overly serious, so add a whimsical object like this oversize chain link from Kelly Wearstler for a playful addition. Place it on top of an interesting coffee table book for an intriguing focal point. It's also a different way to make your space feel casual and offbeat, not overdone.
Place an original piece of artwork above the credenza or on top of it to add color and an offbeat element to your display.
Handmade planters in varying materials like concrete bring texture and differing surface elements to the table. They can be varying heights, but small is preferred so you can pepper in pops of greenery where needed without saturating the space with color.
A little history goes a long way when styling a credenza. Since it's usually in a high-frequented area of the home such as the entry, hallway, or living area, there will also be a lot of eyes on this vignette. This is where you place those pieces you've collected on travels overseas or one-offs you found from emerging artists either online or on the road. They're conversation starters and beautiful elements to diversify a contemporary space.