Vignette is the fancy name for a little display of special pieces that draws the eye. It captures a moment, tells a story or conveys a feeling in a small display. It may be a collection of travel souvenirs, a selection of much-loved books or similarly coloured ornaments.
The fundamentals of designing a vignette are height, colour and meaning. To bring in the eye, you need a little height from a vase, mirror or ornament; lift other feature pieces by standing them on stacked books. Lower items can be placed on top of a special cloth or tray that brings the display together.
Are there rules for creating a vignette? Not really. Anything that you love to look at and that makes you happy is great to have in a vignette. One thing that can throw off the look of a display is not having levels of height or everything matching just a little too well. A mixture of contemporary and vintage items that complement each other (rather than match) is a great place to start.
Think similar colour palettes, differing textures and small details that draw you in to look closer at the display.