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Monday, April 12, 2010

Designers Vignette Tutorial

Since I am trying to learn like a lot of you how to create interesting and chic vignettes for my walls and table tops, I found a book that I think everyone needs to have in their library. It is Christi Carter's Art of Accessorizing. She covers every single area in your home with beautiful pictures and step by step instructions. Amazon has used ones for $6.94

I took pictures of one of her lessons that I thought everyone could relate to. #1 This picture shows a chest that is placed under a wall vignette of a mirror, basket of flowers on one side and two plates hung on the other side. She's also placed a lamp on one side of the chest. Her first lesson here is to choose a lamp that corresponds with the scale and size of the furniture and is tall enough to become part of the wall vignette.

#2. To balance the lamp, choose something of similar height to go on the other side of the mirror. ( I am quoting from her book ) The two urns help balance the hefty weight of the wall basket, yet the plants are light and airy. A small tray in the center completes the arrangement.

#3. This composition shifts the attention away from the mirror and to the ferns. The green vase attracts your attention and the neutral books on the side balance the top of the chest.

#4.Using the tall urn again with the fern to create a height balance to the lamp, glass vases have been filled with flowers. The yellow daffodils placed in the center become the focal point.

#5. Filling three pots of the same size with daisies and elevating one on the neutral books continue the monochromatic look of the vignette. The lamp has a couple of small pictures arranged at the base for some weight balance. Again, the daisies are the point of attention, not the wall vignette.

#6.The same principal applies in this picture with the roses. Notice the differing heights of the vases. Make sure something is tall enough to balance the lamp.

#7. Using all white, this is a more formal arrangement using two matching topiaries to anchor the mirror, with a smaller one in the center. Ironstone, candles and pictures round out the theme. Notice the small green plant on the left corner. This helps to ground the topiaries to the table top.

This book is full of all kind of lessons such as this one. Even though you might not be using the items she is showing or the style of decor that she shows, the basic lessons are wonderful. Love this book. Hope you enjoyed the tutorial.

Thanks for stopping by. I always appreciate your visits.


  1. Marty,
    Thanks for the info on this neat book...I'm going to check it out:) Hope you have a great Monday!


  2. I learned something already. What a useful book! Great post ... thanks.

  3. Marty, this DOES look like a good book.... thanks!

  4. Nice book, Marty! I love how there are so many different ways to dress up one table {or top}.

  5. Hi Marty, that looks like a great book....Kathy

  6. Oh Marty, that is a fantastic book. I have a foyer table that I am constantly struggling with to get just the right look. It has many similar features already of your sample table, lamp, mirror, plates around mirror. Now I might get the rest of what I need from these wonderful ideas! Thank you!

  7. Hi Marty, This book looks wonderful and I for one could use the tutorials. Thanks for sharing.
    Have a wonderful week.

  8. I have this book too and refer to it often...the old Home Interior parties where great for teaching you how to purchase the products and how to space and hang things on the walls or arrange on tabletops! Good Post.

  9. I don't know that I've ever run across a book strictly detailing vignettes before. Thanks for mentioning this and for sharing a few of the details. This is an area where I feel a bit inept.

  10. What a great book Marty! This is one of the suggestions I was given to post about on my blog. I'll hold off on it.

    Thank you for your support and understanding. You are a great friend to me and I appreciate it.
    ~Melissa :)

  11. WOW!!! This looks like an awesome book, thanks for sharing.

  12. Marty, this does look like a wonderful book! It's always nice to get fresh ideas and tips.
    When I first became a kitchen and bath designer (way back when...LOL) I was flown to Dallas for a large seminar regarding arranging, decorating and vignettes. Seems odd of a kitchen designer huh? I was working in a high end design firm and was in charge of keeping all the kitchen vignettes in the showroom fresh and new looking. The things that reall stayed with me were: balance, anchoring and never use and even number in a display. Always use and odd number.

    Okay, that was way more than you wanted to hear in your comments! LOL

    Have a great day!

  13. Hi Marty! I have this book and just love it! I don't know if I've learned much but I do love the pictures and get inspiration from them. I found my book at Half Price Books and the inside page is hand signed by Christi!
    Always a pleasure to have you pop in to see me. I'll be tabletopping tomorrow! :)
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  14. Good morning, Marty...thanks so much for your sweet visit...and like you I need to do some more purging. I did some when we painted etc...but it's time to do more.
    That book looks like it would be a great reference book... I will go check it out...goodness knows I need it! :)

  15. Hi Marty. What a great book. I'm gonna have to look for it on Amazon. Thanks for sharing with us.
    Have a great day.

  16. Always love new tips! And I have used books to give height to items. That is on my junk hunt list...old books!

  17. Looks like a book I might need to have
    Thanks for sharing
    ~Have a wonderful day~

  18. Marty, I usually am a lurker, but I just had to tell you that I've had this book for awhile and love it as you do! I love accessories and appreciate this author's fun and very useful ideas for arranging them in different ways. Thanks for sharing with all in blogland! By the way, LOVE your site and visit it daily!

  19. Marty,
    Thanks for telling us about this book. Accessorizing is one of my weaknesses. I could sure use this book and will look it up on Amazon.

  20. Marty. I seen that book at Chari "Happy to Design" last year and she had it as a give away and Melissa won it so I ordered it for myself and its wonderful...Oh I love it many eye candy pictures to say the least...drool big time over some of them ha ha!! Hugs and smiles Gl♥ria

  21. Marty, thanks for the tip and the great photos from the book! I will definitely check into getting my own copy.

  22. Great show-and-tell lessons here! This book looks terrific. I've already learned something!

  23. I definitely think I should have that book in my arsenal. If I want to be a designer, I'm gonna need all the help I can get. Like having friends like you Marty!

  24. Awesome tutorial Marti! Thanks for the head's up about the book.

  25. Marty, I have that same book. It is full of wonderful pictures and advice.

  26. Hi sweet friend...

    Don't you just love this book? This is the book that I gave away for my first blogaversary! It was so helpful to me...Christi gives sooo many great ideas in it!!! Ohhh...and the photos in the book are fabulous!!! So happy that you got a copy!!!

    Well sweet friend, I have been trying to play "catch up" since getting home from Vegas. I have fallen so far behind with my blogging! But I wanted to come by to say thank you for all of your sweet notes that you've been leaving on all of my blog posts lately! Also...thank you so much for your prayers for my grandson Seth...I sooo appreciate them!!! Well my friend, I just finished my Table Top Tuesday post...I didn't think I would make it this week but I quickly put a little something together! Looking forward to the party, Darlin'!!!

    Love ya,
    Chari @Happy To Design

  27. Great job Marty! I need to go check out the book. Amazon is just killing my poor mailman! (hehehe)

    I feel so bad for CIndy!!!! What a trooper Dan is to post for her and let us all know! I didn't get on the computer all weekend and she had emailed me this morning and that's how I found out.
    And thinkin' of CK too!
    Love and hugs! Karen

  28. Hi Marty:

    I love this book. It is one of my favorites. Althought I don't think I've ever followed one of her expamples step by step, she has beautiful inspirational pictures. I know I painted one of my rooms a particular green due to one of her photographs. Such a great resource.

    - The Tablescaper

  29. I love doing vignettes in my home. Thanks for sharing this info.



  30. I love books , I have way too many but they are so much fun to look through sometimes for inspiration! From looking at some of your photos of your home I dont think you really needed a book , you come by it naturally !
    The Little Things

  31. You're talking my language, Marty! I'm headed over to Amazon right now.

  32. Hey Marty.... I have that book and I just love it...the photos she shows are so gorgeous,,,,,you will really enjoy this book..... have fun.....


  33. Hmm, I'm thinking you could probably write a book like that yourself- you have a great eye for it
    xoxo Pattie

  34. Great tutorial. I'm so challenged in this way - putting "stuff" together.

  35. Marty, what a great book! Thanks for sharing some tips, because I need all the help I can get! Linda

  36. I already love this book and I haven't even seen it. I will be on a look out for it. Thanks for heads up, Marty!...Christine

  37. Oh, I just loved this post! Thanks so much for sharing about this book, I just ordered it! I have gone bananas over accessorizing lately, my favorite thing these days!


  38. Very interesting. I think shelves are very difficult to decorate. I am not sure that a book would help my sad brain...

  39. Marty, This does look like a great book. I'll go check and see if they've already sold out, since most people read this post yesterday! Thanks for telling us about it. laurie

  40. Looks like great book Marty but I think you could write one yourself with all your wonderful vignettes!!

    Bee blessed

  41. This looks like a wonderful book that I need to check into getting.....but why do you have it? YOU need no help! Everything you stage is always so beautifully done!

    I just posted about a silver wall grouping I just finished, so pop on over to see it when you get a chance.

    Big TX Hugs,
    Angelic Accents

  42. What a great book! Thanks for sharing and for all of the great tips!


  43. Looks like a fantastic book! Love the photos!

    Your blog is wonderful, very inspirational! I don't know how on earth I have not found your blog before now, but glad I've found you! Now, I'm following so I can continue enjoying!

  44. Marty, what a great book! I may have to get that soon! Again, you have an amazing blog, I so enjoy dropping in!


  45. Marty, thanks for the sweet comment. To be honest I don't think anybody but my Precious Husband and my daughter in Kentucky read this but maybe I should take a positive attitude here I do have a subscribe button at the bottom -- is a follow button different?

  46. Very informative post. I always have trouble coming up with cute vignettes. I may have to invest in this book!