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Little Yellow Couch

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A Prop Stylist's $5 Secret to the Perfect Vignette

We got SO much out of our interview with Becki Griffin, magazine prop stylist and the blogger behind Curious Details.  If you need a good laugh and want to feel like you've made a new best friend, you're going to love this episode!  But here, we just want to share one little thing that stood out to us from our time with Becki.  Off the cuff, she told us a story about how she put together a moment in her home that was truly meaningful, while still being effortless.  (She paints the picture for us so beautifully, you really have to hear it in her own words!  Listen to the episode below). 

Collection of family photos in a bowl encourages conversation and stirs memories.  Photo by Becki Griffin.  

Collection of family photos in a bowl encourages conversation and stirs memories.  Photo by Becki Griffin.  

We were talking about her approach to decorating and why it matters to her that she's cultivated her own personal style.  She said that the act of decorating is really "proof of one's life."  Now, we just looooove this gem of wisdom!  Rather than going into a big box store and picking out a few trinkets, Becki decorates with things she's found along the way through her experiences in life.  And that kind of decorating is what makes her house a home.  

Decorating is the proof of one’s life.
— Becki Griffin on the Style Matters podcast

So here's the story she told us about a recent family vacation she had on Cape Cod.  As she always does, she's walking the beach, looking for whatever nature has to offer.  She might find some shells or some smooth, dark rocks that feel good in her hands.  She then pops into a local thrift shop.  (Yes, you heard that right.  Instead of hitting the fancy boutiques, she seeks out a thrift shop where the locals go to swap out their relics).  She found an old paperback book about the Cape for ten cents that had beautiful blues and greens on the cover, which, along with the subject matter, remind her of the ocean.  She also found a gorgeous, beat-up old tin for a few dollars that she loved for all of it's life-well-lived qualities.  All of this bounty comes home with her.  In her bookcase or on a table, she lays down the book, sets the tin on top, leaves the top open and fills it with her shells.  The colors, textures, different heights and shapes of the objects are all elements of a prop stylists' perfect vignette.  And she spent all of five bucks on it!  Most importantly, though, is that Becki's vignette is meaningful, personal, makes her happy.  

Paperback copy of Thoreau's "Cape Cod" is the base for this personal vignette.  Photo by Becki Griffin.

Paperback copy of Thoreau's "Cape Cod" is the base for this personal vignette.  Photo by Becki Griffin.

So once you know the basics about varying the height of your objects and that an odd number of objects generally works best, there's no other magic formula here.  When you're out for a walk, or receive a pretty postcard from a friend, or stop into your local thrift store, think of the things you find as the building blocks of your decor.  They are all elements of a vignette that you can compose and rearrange to your heart's content.  They will ALWAYS look good because they are connected to you.  They are proof of your life!  

Inexpensive piece of art, probably painted by a student, found in an antiques shop and hung casually with a piece of string can be the best thing for your walls!  Photo by Becki Griffin.

Inexpensive piece of art, probably painted by a student, found in an antiques shop and hung casually with a piece of string can be the best thing for your walls!  Photo by Becki Griffin.

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Little Yellow Couch

We'll send you the kinds of information and inspiration you're craving through relevant and timely newsletters. Don't miss anything new!