Styling Elements & Vignette Ideas

Sideboard Styling

The Basics To Help You Style Your Shelves, Buffets, Bookcases and Bedsides.

There are 6 Basic Styling Elements:

* Vertical
* Horizontal
* Organic / Sculptural
* Layers
* Fillers or Knick Knacks
* Items that are Familiar

So what are these and how do we use them?

For your home to be “Styled” in a balanced way, use decor items from all 6 groups above.

This will help you when arranging decorative pieces and placing “your stuff” on shelves, bedsides and cabinets to look their best.

Here I break down the elements a little further:

VERTICAL – Adds height to your vignette.
eg. Candlesticks, Lamps, Vases, Urns, Jars, Hurricane Lanterns, Framed Photos or Art.
Use items at different heights.

HORIZONTAL – These items “Ground” your vignettes/arrangements/styling.
eg. Trays, Stacked Books, Placemats, Table Runners, Flat Bowls or Dishes.

ORGANIC / SCULPTURAL – These add softness by breaking up the vertical and horizontal elements. Think irregular shapes and natural, organic forms.
eg. Pot Plants, Figurines, Flowers (Fresh or Faux), Spheres, Stars, Large Shells, Carvings, Wooden or Metal Letters or Numbers, Artificial Fruit.

LAYERS – eg. Framed Art or Prints, Mirrors, Clocks, Certificates or Plagues.
These can be hung or leant against the wall to give depth.

FILLERS – These are smaller knick knacks like Tea Lights, Candles, Small Trinket Boxes, Little Shells, Dishes and Crystals, Stones or Rocks.

FAMILIAR – Familiar items evoke fond memories of family, travel or special occasions. They have an emotional attachment, feeling or connection and enrich your home adding interest and are often a  conversation starter. Sprinkle a few of these through your vignettes for a timeless styling.

Hope this has been informative and inspired you to “have a play”.

Home Styling Consults are available now, so if it a few simple styling jobs that need doing in your home, or more in depth drapery and furniture styling you require, I would love to help.


Books for an easy horizontal element. 

Stack in odd numbers. Usually 3 or 5 is enough.

Old binoculars passed down from a family member and a tiny Tagine from a trip to Morocco are treasured pieces for my clients on these shelves.

“Familiar” items.

Baskets are great on any shelving to hold all those bits you don’t want on display.

Always pop your “heavier” items on the bottom couple of shelves.

Clay cross, woven balls and mini pinecones combine for an interesting, organic and natural looking vignette.

A tray is a fabulous, versatile horizontal styling element.

It contains all your “Fillers” (Knick knacks) and collected treasures.

Mantlepiece Styling

Such a great combo.

The clock gives height, as does the Orchid (Vertical elements) and you can never go wrong with perfume reeds.

Sideboard Styling

This is such a stylish vignette.

The blue, silver and gold tones are luxurious and light reflective.

Sideboard Styling

This is a sideboard in my own home.

I change it up alot, but the tray remains my horizontal styling basic.

The print is from Zimbabwe. An op shop find which my partner and I both love. It took a long time to find someone who knew its origins but an interior designer friend filled me in.

I love plants too. They add height, shape, an organic element AND purify the air.

Time for a G n T!

Side Table Styling

There’s a few textural elements here and organic ones. 

The tray has a woven texture and is your horizontal styling element, Bunny Tails add height and an organic element.

The woven balls are cool also.

Collected bits on a trip to the beach. Styling doesn’t need to cost alot, it’s about how you put things together.

Using Fresh Flowers in your Styling

Fresh or Faux, use Flowers wherever you can.

They add colour, shape and an organic element to your Styling.

Buddha with Plant
Buddha represent peace, tranquility and understanding.
I embrace them in my own home and garden, not only because I love them, but as a reminder of my travels, different cultures and people I have met along the way.
A meditating Buddha is a sculpture most well known and is a revered icon.
Buddha fit all decor styles, but especially Bohemian fitting their globally inspired decor, eclectic mix of accessories, free spirit and represent inner peace and happiness.
A great example of a “Sculptural” Styling Element