Today I have a few styling tips for you … or perhaps I could say “my thoughts on setting up a vignette for still life or home decor”.
I’ve been crushing on this gorgeous Alocasia Amazonica from the moment I spied it in one of our greenhouses. Living where I do, if I see something like this I grab it pronto as it’s not likely to show up in our stores in January.
Look at those stunning, ripply leaves! Each one perfection with nary a blemish … I hope I can keep it that way!
You probably think I’m mostly a cottage garden type, but I have a secret passion for big tropical leaves. I’m guessing I inherited it from my Mom who had the hugest passion for tropicals. Even though she spent her life living on the Saskatchewan prairies, she had a planter that went from floor to ceiling filled with specimens of all kinds. It was a beautiful and amazing sight for us kids, and it was her pride and joy.
At the moment I have this beauty sitting on a side table on our covered deck, well out of reach from the hot sun, but still getting bright light. But when I noticed how it’s light veins matched my new green door, well … a photo had to be styled. This would look fantastic on a side table or mantle when the weather turns (well, you know :)
Styling Tips for Still Life or Home Vignettes
- Choose a focal piece you love, usually it would be the largest item. Place it centre stage (this is not a rule, but we’re going for a visual triangle here.)
- Gather supporting objects. What do bird nests and eggs have to do with this tropical plant you may ask? My answer: mostly tones, and texture:
- greens, greys, and blues picking up colours in the leaves and the background
- browns picking up the colours in the pot (from Pottery Barn)
- they add texture and interest as well as an element of surprise
- a print supports the nest and egg theme. The “print” is actually a page I tore out of a Mathew Mead Decorating magazine, photo and styling by Cary Goodrich
- old tattered books on the left support the “print”
- smooth black rocks mimic the shape and texture of eggs and black is always a good idea
- Arrange supporting objects on each side of the focal point but don’t make it too matchy matchy! Vary the heights by placing on books, or tilting forward.
I’m sure you can see the triangle … it’s an age-old design principle that is no secret!
Eyes follow lines and you want to take control and lead your viewer through your creation – whether it’s a still life or a mantel. You want them to look at one thing, travel to another and to stay with it for as long as possible. Perhaps going around a few times – ultimately spending more time looking and appreciating your work than they would have otherwise.
Barb Brookbank ;)
I wrote a post on this a few years ago when I designed “My Quirky Autumn Mantle” if you care to have a peek!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and find it helpful!