My Vignette

cozy minimalist

Our bedroom is one of the few places in our house where I feel like I can make a vignette and it will stay that way. But that’s the one room where I go a little crazy and demand that everything in the room be ‘quiet’.  The duct tape wall is loud enough for me, I want everything else to be almost silent. So I admit, my dresser vignette lacks pizzaz but, it makes me feel all calm.


The reality in most of our house is that I’m the messiest person and set my junk down everywhere. So my surfaces have a choice, they can either be a cute vignette that is interrupted with a Starbucks cup, random jewels that I unknowingly removed, a pen without a cap and my phone. I can NEVER find my phone.


pink peony

I can keep so little on a space that when I set down my junk (that’s my stuff, not my hiney) I can easily find where I put it because the surface doesn’t have much on it in the first place. It’s not glamorous, it’s not a high-end decorating tip, it’s just my reality. Most of my surfaces are cleared off (when not in use with a project which is often) or, have one to three things on them. Nothing like all those beautifully full vignettes in many of those pinterest pins.

By the way, that’s the only Peony I have right now. After The Great Peony Debacle of 2012, one of my planted plants did come back, another was protected by being in a huge container (shocked it bloomed again) but, alas, our Disney trip was last week and I left four ready-to-burst-buds and came home to brown flowers. I will remain strong in my love for peonies even though they mock me. So this flower is getting a workout around my house…


A hem.

empty vignettedisclaimer, the lampshade photographs purple but it is dark grey in real life, I am so vain I have to tell you that–an empty canvas is beautiful to me, but I cringe at the thought that you might think my shade is purple…clearly I have issues

So back to my vignette. It’s empty. And I not-so-secretly like it that way.

Remember how I hot glued the wooden monogram to this canvas? I LOVED it. But a few months ago while I was moving the canvas around to see if I liked it on the downstairs gallery wall, the monogram popped off (no damage to either, I LOVE that about hot glue–the perfect adhesive!) and when I put the canvas back in our room it let out a huge breath. And so did I.

I’m actually not looking to put anything on the canvas. The point of this post is that I like it empty. So I’m purposely keeping it empty *gasp* for now. Right now in my life, I can use a little breathing room. Hence an empty canvas. Kind of a metaphor that I like. I know better than to think it will stay like this forever–that’s the best part, I can change it whenever I want. And I’m already looking for a new fun place for the monogram. Or maybe I’ll put it back.

I’m keeping it empty for now on purpose. Because I like it that way. Did you know you are allowed to do that?

coffee table

So yes, I love and adore and dream about and preach about vignettes. Mine really aren’t that remarkable. But they are quite livable, serve our needs and represent where we are right now.  A little in transition, a little white space, a little risky, and that flower will die in three days and I’ll need to find something else to put there. Really, when it comes to vignettes, my goal isn’t to create something everyone will oooh and ahhh over and shake their head in agreement that I did it ‘right’, it’s about being intentional and knowing what I like and what our family needs.


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  1. I love the simplicity of your vignette! Bedrooms should be calm.

  2. So beautiful! Love the photos!
    I’m so frustrated with my camera right now!

  3. I LOVE it, as I was looking through those vignettes I wondered where people put their stuff. I mean its all well and good to be pretty and packed just so, but we have people living here who need some open spots to put their stuff down, even if it all gets packed away (or not) at some later stage. Breathing room, I like that the best. I feel like I can exhale.

  4. You and your purple lamp shade are toooooo funny!

  5. “my goal isn’t to create something everyone will oooh and ahhh over and shake their head in agreement that I did it ‘right’, it’s about being intentional and knowing what I like and what our family needs.”

    Now that’s good perspective on all kinds of decor-related things. And life things, actually.

    And the peony is beautiful.

  6. I absolutely LOVE the blank canvas – it made me sigh when I saw it. I love the clean, grey-pink-white slate (I’m glad you clarified on the shade, my 1st thought was, “interesting, I would like dark grey better” :-D) …. guess I have the same issues you mentioned :-).

  7. So pretty! I can never find my phone too. Even when it is in my purse I think I have lost it! Do you ever have a problem with ants from the peonies? I love them but they are buggy.
    I love having a clean, simple spot. It is refreshing but rare! lol

    • men are lucky, they just put their phone in their pocket, can you imagine?!

    • I think of ants when I see peonies. I love them, and their wonderful smell. But, never plant them next to a house…they become a superhighway for ants straight into your house!

  8. amen

    I appreciate you doing what works for you and then sharing it with us. I think everyone should have a blank canvas in their live sometimes.

  9. Hey girl. How are you? I love your vignette. Simplicity is calming. And I love, love pink + gray + white (and yes, I knew your lamp shade was dark gray, even without you saying so). Hope life is treating you well. Have an amazing week!

  10. Even though I enjoy pretty, intricate vignette in pictures, I’m more drawn to simple ones when it comes to putting my own home together. Less is more – your simple vignette speaks that language :) Well done!

  11. Simple=beautiful!

  12. yes to ‘breathing room.’ and a BIG yes to those pink glasses on your lovely lady there!

    and yes, often less ends up being more. way more.


  13. my peonies are on the verge of blooming here in chicagoland. come visit & you can stare at them while they bloom! xoxo

  14. It’s simple, soft spoken beautiful!! Love!

  15. ‘its about being intentional’. YES. I don’t know when I realized that- after we’d been living here about 6 or 7 months probably. I let out a deep breath of relief because intentional spaces will be created over time, with life experiences happening around the house. I have to see what each space means to my family.
    I adore the blank canvas. I immediately thought, oh how pretty! I like the simple spaces the best.

  16. I call my phone to find it more than I received calls. lol I love vignettes and tend to add too much. The rule of “finish and then remove one thing” is something for me to remember. Nice photos.

  17. Love this post :) In the spirit of commiseration, I must admit that my heirloom tomatoes mock me, too. For 2 years in a row, I’ve only been able to coax two tomatoes onto my Cherokee Purple plants. And then, just to add insult to injury, BOTH YEARS they ripened and fell off while we were away, just to lie on the ground in a rotten heap when we got home. Unbelievable.

    Carry on, brave woman! You will reap your peony rewards someday!

  18. Just a big AMEN! to all you said….thanks….

  19. Nester,
    A vignette reflects your inner self and mood more that we admit.

    I had to smile about the Peony debacle. It made me think of my mom saying when you move a Peony they have to “pout for a couple years before they settle in.

    I have five in a half round bed that all look like they will bloom this year, it the #!*&@ squirrels and rabbets leave them alone.
    I also know why my mom used heavy steel plant markers in her flower beds……. They are harder to mow over.

  20. I adore that you don’t like full vignettes. I hate them.. I feel like they close in a room when there is too much stuff going on. I want to have room to put my feet up and not break 10 things in the process or have room to put my things down.

  21. I love it. Even empty!

  22. Well it looks lovely even if it photographs purple. I kind of like purple.

  23. Your bedroom is so beautiful. I have a very similar rug under my bed and also very similar paint on the walls (Benj Moore – davenport tan). AND, I have window placement just like yours. So, I ‘ve gotten some wonderful inspiration from your bedroom :) I love your canvas idea with the monogram (I am very new to your blog, so this is the first I’ve seen it. and btw…love your blog – sto much inspiration!!) and I’ve already been over to her Etsy site to browse. I’m definitely copying you only on a smaller scale. I love those monograms! A question, tho, unrelated to this post is…I noticed in past posts you are using stumps as side tables. I would love to do this and have access to some stumps, but my question is do you treat the stumps (for bugs and such) before bringing them into your home?

    • Hi Lisa!

      Welcome, we left our stumps in the garage for 6 months to a year, some were already old when we got them, they need to dry out and there are treatments you can do to help get rid of bugs (I’m no professional but my husband googled it when we thought about making more, there’s a ton of info out there about it), we’ve been pretty lucky and haven’t had to deal with much of that but, bugs and termites can be a real issue when you bring an old tree inside.

  24. Christie says

    Is it weird that I like the purply-gray? :-D

  25. I love your playfulness in arranging—the pink sunglasses just make me smile! I think that is what I most want most to do to make things ‘mine’—surround myself with things I love and include a bit of surprise and fun along with the other treasures of life. Your examples are inspiring!

    Our peonies get smaller every year due to repeated mowing…so do the hollyhocks. My husband somehow notices to mow around the milkweed, the one thing we did not plant.

  26. I love vignettes, full, overstyled or simple. I just have a difficult time with the execution of a nice one in my own home! There’s a man who feels that the ONE place downstairs I could nicely style a vignette is his own personal dumping ground. And 3 boys who like to hide and/or display their Lego creations all over my house.

    I love your big blank canvas. It would drive the man batty! I think I need to build a massive one as a backdrop for my new gallery-monogram….

  27. it’s calming just looking at through the computer screen.
    with all the end of the year-running around like a chicken with my head cut off-I needed some calm just now.
    thanks for showing us your blank canvas {and your purple shade}. ..just kidding…your dark grey shade. :)

  28. What is the name of the paint color on your walls? We painted the nursery a light grey, but it looks purple and I think we are going to have to repaint.

  29. I love peonies too and a couple of weeks ago inserted one in my bedroom vignette as well! (great minds think alike -LOL!)
    You can check out that post on my blog here:


  30. Love this post. I often have blank surfaces or more accurately unstyled surfaces as they do seem to gather little bits of junk. I really like the open look but often feel other people think they are not “done”. I have a large white painted canvas hanging on the wall in my office and love it. I might paint it some day but like it just as it is now.

  31. Lovely vignette! Being able to find stuff that I set down is my reality too when creating vignettes.

  32. Love this post! Sometimes I need the reminder that it really is okay to keep it simple, practical and functional….simple order and design are no less beautiful than complex and layered:) Maybe you have mentioned it before, but could you give us the info about your “head planter”—it never ceases to make me smile (and the glasses are “classic”) when I see it in your pics!!

    • yep, I found it at a local store (Black Lion) it was cracked so it was discounted. I also have one from Home Goods, I’ve seen them at antique stores before you should be able to find one for less than $50

  33. Yes to open space and breathing room! lovely!

  34. I actually really really love the blank canvas. We all need to start fresh at some point with a “blank canvas”. It’s beautiful.

  35. I love how you blend understated elegance, eclectic, and cottage too. I love the vignette!! So calm and pretty. The white canvas is lovely and soothing, like a walk on a peaceful white beach : ) Thanks also for your post on the peony (I missed it before)& for sharing your heart… I love how God redeems our grumpy, difficult moments in marriage and makes things beautiful and new again, like your beautiful, mysterious peony that came back! Made me think of Tim Keller’s great _The Meaning of Marriage_ when he writes, “coming to know and love your spouse is difficult and painful — yet rewarding and wondrous.” Thanks for sharing the peony story/vignette!

  36. Silas, re: your vignette:
    “Hey, you should buy that dresser. And that lamp. And that flower and the bowl with stuff in it.”

    Me: “Why?”

    Silas: “Because it’s so pwetty and it looks so fancy.”

    Isn’t that really all the affirmation anyone could ever need??? :)

  37. Such a pretty space! I don’t know how to be a minimalist…I just can’t do it. I love seeing other people’s spaces though, very inspiring!

  38. Mrs. Nester – I love this beautiful vignette! And I’m obsessed with your beautiful vase, too. My mother always gives me peonies for my birthday, and the shape and scale of your vase would be a perfect accompaniment for her perfect blooms. Would you mind sharing your source?

  39. I’m always trying to find ways to make my regular old stuff look like they belong in a vignette. Like the random, not-special books on my nightstand? Stack them up neatly. I’m also a big believer in cute baskets and boxes to corral things like sunglasses, keys, etc. Not apartment therapy-worthy, but fine!

  40. I love the simplicity of your vignette. I am striving for that simplicity in our home. I hate clutter but somehow I still have so much of it!

  41. I tend to set my junk down all over the place too (snort). The emptiness of your vignette is refreshing. Peonies are beautiful flowers, but i’ve always felt like they smelled like a salmon patty.

  42. Love your spaces! I apologize if you’ve already answered this in a previous post, but where are the gold bedside task lamps from? I adore them!

  43. Yes, the article I was looking for. Your article gives me another approach on the subject. I hope to read more articles from you.

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