I did it!
I banished all signs of winter from every corner of the house!
Okay, I know what you’re thinking! It’s probably some version of “Are you crazy? Have you looked at the calendar? Did you not get the memo from Punxsutawney Phil about 6 more weeks of winter?”
Yes, I have looked at the calendar. Yes, I got Phil’s memo. And, no, this is not the first time I have been called crazy. All of that aside, I woke up on Monday and decided that I was just so DONE with winter! It may have been spurred on by the crazy unseasonable heat wave we have been experiencing for the past week, or it could just be my short attention span at work. Whatever the reason, I decided it all had to go!
Luckily, I practice something I call layered decorating which allows me to make decor changes quickly whenever my little heart desires. Since I’m not ready to bust out the spring decor (we have a nasty winter mix predicted to be headed our way in a few days), I concentrated on simply de-winterizing the vignettes and displays around the house. Because I design and build these in layers, all I have to do when a season changes or, let’s be honest, my mood changes, is pluck out items from the top layer and add back in whatever strikes my fancy. And right now I fancy plain and simple! Currently the cottage by the creek is basically seasonless! Not a book page valentine, pine cone, or pom pom garland in sight. Just simple and pretty displays of objects I love.
The salt shaker vignette on the front entry table went from this . . . .
to this, simply by removing the Valentine’s book page hearts and adding a petite bow.
The occasional table in the living room went from this . . .
to this, by removing the angel’s sash and the pine cones from the display.
Mr. Moose gave up hearts and garlands . . .
for a more simple adornment!
The Valentine’s and winter touches in the dining room . . .
gave way to a clean, season neutral version which included filling all of the display shelves in the grandfather clock with nothing but books!
The centerpiece on our dining table has gone from this Christmas and winter rendition . . .
to this festive Valentine’s display. . .
to this clean and sleek version, simply by switching out a couple of components!
Though the topic of the day is building vignettes to decorate your flat surfaces, keep in mind that the concept of layering is easily applied to stand alone and wall displays also!
The wooden angel wings than hang on the antique iron gate in the dining room shed their winter and Valentine’s adornment to shine all on their own!
And Miss Mannequin showcases her classically demure side with the removal of her wings, crown and sash!
In the midst of banishing winter to tubs in the basement, it hit me! While I have given you tips on planning for transitioning decor from one season to another, I have never really let you in on the secret that I have used for years to make freshening up the decor super fast and easy!
BUILDING VIGNETTES WITH LAYERS
Step 1–Collect seasonless decor pieces that you love!
Do you love cottage and farmhouse style? Or perhaps you find your tastes run more toward eclectic boho or even traditional style. No matter your style preference, this step is key.
Start gathering decorating staples of varying shapes and sizes that speak to your style, but can be used at any time throughout the year. If you are like me and find yourself tweaking your vignettes on a regular basis, you will want enough of these types of items to allow you to rotate them in and out of your decor to keep your rooms feeling fresh!
Many of these items lend themselves to a multitude of decorating styles. Items such as cloches, pedestals and cake plates, crates, trays, baskets, architectural pieces, candle holders and candles, lamps of varying sizes, and books, books, and more books!
For me the list would also include ironstone and transferware pieces, vintage silver pieces, deer sheds, and vintage pieces of all sorts.
Once you have a collection of basics, work on finding a few select statement pieces that add your personal style to a display. Is it porcelain pig with a French chocolatier sign painted on its side, a hand painted sign or frame, or maybe something along the lines of the sweet little girl and boy busts I just picked up while vintage shopping recently? Big, small and anything in between. Whatever you love!
Step 2–Using only seasonless items, begin building your vignette.
Start with a tray, crate or a stack of books to give your vignette an anchor for the eye. Then build vertically and horizontally until the display fills the space adequately. You might try telling a story by using a grouping of closely related items, or perhaps you really like combinations that are more eclectic in nature. I happen to love and use both of these techniques regularly! And, by all means, don’t forget to include an item or two from any collections you might have! (See this post!) When you pass by a table or glance at your fireplace mantle, what you see spark a case of the warm fuzzies and bring a smile to your face!
I could go on to tell you to keep proportion and balance in mind. All of that technical stuff. (We’ll talk about that in a future post.) But the bottom line is that you should decorate to please yourself!!!! In fact, I find that some of my favorite arrangements don’t really follow the traditional rules of composition. One truly important component, however, that is easy to overlook is lighting. Keep in mind if the area needs either task lighting or an ambient light source so that you can include an appropriate fixture from your decorating arsenal.
Play around with the arrangement until you’re happy with the way it looks. The bones of each display should be pleasing without the addition of anything else. By building vignettes that can stand alone, it enables you to quickly remove any purely holiday or seasonal touches leaving behind a finished vignette. A nifty trick for those of us who thrive on periodic spruces to our decor or that find ourselves without an entire day to transition between seasons.
Step 3–Add the final layer of seasonal. holiday or whimsical touches.
Once the basic display is in place you can add in the extra touches that will give your home the extra personality or seasonal atmosphere that you desire. Flowers and nests for spring and summer, pumpkins and pine cones to usher in fall. Simple, right?
As for me, I am going to live with my streamlined decor for a couple of more weeks before I start adding in my spring items. I find that I am enjoying the simplicity of the pared down decor. Besides, giving myself a brief hiatus between seasons might also keep me from becoming bored with my spring decor too quickly. But, I’m not making any promises!
Giving your home the personality and atmosphere you want it to exude should be fun, not stressful! Too many times we push ourselves to have everything in our homes look perfectly in harmony with every season or design trend. In reality, though, most of our schedules don’t lend themselves to spending big chunks of time decorating for every little occasion. You are going to be amazed at how implementing these three simple steps will turn you into a total quick change artist and allow the arrangement you build to transcend any season! It’s time to be your own vignette building rock star!