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Creating a Vignette

Today I’m reposting one of my favorite things to do in a home……and the best part, it doesn’t take much creativity!  Also, Tessa and I visited West Elm yesterday and hands down it’s one of our favorite places to buy items to display in a vignette.  Later this week, I will post my favorite items.  

We often get asked about styling–a bookcase, coffee table, console, etc. The secret to styling is learning how to create a vignette. Creating a vignette with favorite objects in your home can be one way to truly make a space personal. In simple terms, a vignette is a group of small items purposefully arranged for display.  This can be done in the kitchen, hallway, living room, bedroom or really any room in the house.  You can display a vignette on nightstands, coffee tables, bookshelves or entry tables.

There really isn’t any wrong or right way to create a vignette but I’ve learned a few tips along the way.

1.  It’s important that scale, shape and size is taken into account when choosing objects.

2.  Think of these three tips as you choose your objects–Try to display something tall, something meaningful, and something fresh.

3.  Setting items on a tray is a great way to display lots of little objects without it looking too cluttered.  The tray gives the items boundaries.

4. Use different textures and different heights to create interest.

And lastly, but perhaps most importantly, a vignette should be unique to you.

I could pin beautiful vignettes to my Pinterest boards all day long but here are a few that demonstrate the rules above.

Perfect example of objects of different heights and I love that the frames are not the same finish which creates more interest.


Nice mixture of height and adding something fresh to the mix.

dresser vignette

When adding interest to a coffee table–books are your best friend.  But don’t just stop at one stack…work your way all the way around a table.

coffee table

A stack of books is always a nice addition and I love how they’ve used books here to create height for a lamp.

lamp on books


Using the books like a tray, it gives these three small objects a purpose and a nice choice of three items that differ in scale.

photo on book

Simple but beautiful use of different frames sizes to keep it interesting.  I also love how they have hung the gold frame instead of leaning all of them.


House of McNairy

Amy Signature

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Built-in Slumber Party

My six year old son had his first slumber party last month. Instantly, I had all these memories of great sleepovers throughout my childhood. We’d pile four or five girls onto the floor of my room with sleeping bags, movies, junk food, the yearbook and lots of talk.

How great would it have been to have one of these rooms instead?? If you’re going to pile a bunch of kids into one room, these rooms certainly do it right with gorgeous built-in custom beds!

Got a small attic? Throw a big screen at the end of this room and you could have six individual movie beds

Love how each bed has a corresponding small dresser.

I love the ship-like quality to the next two rooms–perfect for a beach or lake house. One wall, four beds and everyone has a window, their own lighting and storage.

While I like the practicality of each bed having its own curtain above, I prefer the look of the full-length drapes below which soften the many corners

The neutral palette in this room keeps it from feeling too busy

These lights!

I know, unless you have a luxury vacation getaway, chances are you won’t have a room like this, but there is still plenty of  inspiration you can take from the pics.
Tessa Signature
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Dreamy Santorini

So, most of you know that my husband and I just got back from a 10-year anniversary trip to Greece. We’re lucky enough to have amazing parents who stepped up to help watch the three kids and our furry child. We cashed in all of our miles, packed our bags and lived in a dreamland for eight day…and I’m serious it was a dreamland. Thought I’d share some pics today.

We decided to forego Athens (sorry historians!) and head straight to the islands. Amy had been there before and suggested we spend most of our time in Santorini and stay in Oia. If you’ve been to Oia, you know that the moment you walk over and look over the edge of the cliff across the Caldera, it’s just breathtaking.


We arrived around 9pm to this view


We chose to stay at an amazing place right on the cliffs in Oia called Andronis recommended by my friend who had honeymooned there a few years ago.




The rooms are the traditional cave-style that were previously lived in by fishermen. The rooms wouldn’t necessarily be described as luxurious if you’re used to staying at nice places (we did have the most basic room though so I’m sure there were others much nicer), but the surroundings were amazing and the view couldn’t have been better.

Each room had a little gate as you entered


Given the rooms are built into the cliffs, it makes for some interesting angles



All the walls throughout the hotel were whitewashed and the only real decor was wrought iron lanterns and the occasional breezy white curtain



The service was excellent and the food delicious. My normal day at home starts at 5:30, prying my eyes open and downing coffee while trying to feed three kids. In Santorini, my day started like this…


(best greek yogurt ever and I’ve never tasted feta so good!)

…and ended like this



Not a bad view for dinner!

One day we went sailing and another day we rented an ATV and spent hours just exploring the island. We ended the day by getting some chicken gyros and pulling over to watch the most amazing sunset.


If you haven’t been to Santorini, definitely add it to your bucket list. Today, as I screamed “Clean up!” for the 100th time, I just took out my phone and looked at a pic of the view from the pool and disappeared for about five seconds. Tomorrow, I’ll post some pics from the place we stayed in Mykonos.

Tessa Signature

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