Decorating with Christmas Vignettes

Change your mantlescape every year for more interest.

Change your mantlescape every year for more interest.

Christmas decorating is often an all-or-nothing proposition. Magazines show rooms filled to overflowing with decorations while others show minimalistic decor such as a few green apples on a mantle. I confess that, in spite of my intentions to the contrary each year, I belong to the first camp. There is something about an old house that suits Christmas excess. It takes me two days to decorate our house.

If things were placed exactly the same way every year I would get bored so each year I like to change things around. Although the tree tends to stay in the same place I vary the decor by creating different “vignettes”. Think of a vignette as a small area with a theme.

xmas-mouse

This can include a table-scape, mantle-scape, or even a corner of a room. These vignettes can have themes that are slightly different from the other parts of the room but that’s ok.

Creating vignettes is a good way to incorporate collections of smaller items or to use materials in a different way.

One of my readers has shared this picture of her Christmas Collection

One of my readers has shared this picture of her Christmas Collection

Creating a vignette is more than just placing items on a table or mantle. It is important that they stand on their own – like display that you might see in a store.

Some tips:

1. Think of a triangle when you organize your items. Picture a staircase going from the bottom of the base (table or mantle) to the top. On these ‘steps”, place your items so that they fill the space between the base and its highest point. This idea is also applicable when you are creating a vignette in a corner of a room. The only difference is that the items will be larger.

2. Use different levels on which to place your items. You can use faux wrapped gift boxes, or books with colour-appropriate paper covers for more contemporary or brightly coloured arrangements.

A vignette can include a small area in a room. This porch corner is brightened up for the season.

A vignette can include a small area in a room. This porch corner is brightened up for the season.

3. For a more antique look use old books, old boxes or faux gifts wrapped in yellowed newspaper. The idea here is to create an old fashioned historic theme.

4. Arrange your items in odd numbers: 3, 5, 7 and so on. Even numbers are too restricting and we rarely have two of exactly the same thing.

5. Even number of items work on fireplace mantles however. A beautiful antique clock flanked by decorated matching candlesticks is very traditional. For more impact, use multiple candlesticks.

Christmas decorating lends itself to experimentation as well as tradition. Above all, don’t take it too seriously and just have fun!

Here are some past blog entries about Christmas decorating and traditions that you might enjoy:

Collecting Christmas Ornaments “>https://fromtimespast.com/2011/12/15/collecting-antique-christmas-decorations/

Decorating an Old House at Christmas: Decorating an Old House at Christmas

Decorating the Heritage Home at Christmas: https://fromtimespast.com/2010/12/22/decorating-the-heritage-home-at-christmas/

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