Blog Archives

Posts from January 2013

A Stylist’s Guide to Creating a Vignette - Part 2

January 25th, 2013

This week Meghan shares more tips to help you feel more confident in experimenting with vignettes in your home, I really hope we have inspired you to try one for yourself and I welcome you to Instagram them and tag us @Bowerhouse @Meghan_Plowman - Meghan and I would love to check them out!

Words & Images Meghan Plowman


Designing your vignette and deciding how to arrange your objects can be overwhelming at first. If you are new to vignetting I recommend starting with 3-7 objects in varied size, shape and height. Try positioning your pieces at different levels to create some dimension. That might mean taping a card to a wall, hanging a paper lampshade from a hook or placing an old telephone on a chair. Then it’s time to start playing around with positioning until you are happy with the balance.

Below, I have put together a simple example to show you how I play around with placement and to help you understand balance. I find it’s better to experiment in different ways to see what works rather than just go with your first effort. For this exercise I chose three favourite striped stationery items in different shapes, you can choose anything you like to get you started.

Image 1
To begin with I turned the corner of my notebook upwards and played with the end of twine roll to add some interest and show what these pieces are. Then I placed the yellow pen lying down on the shelf, with the other two pieces upright. Whilst the heights are different, I don’t feel this composition has enough interesting placement.

Image 2
For the second layout, I shifted the heights around - the pen upright in the centre and my twine lying down. Although I like the unusual central peak formed by this composition as well as the twine end unrolled, it still doesn’t seem the most balanced visual to me.

Image 3
Lastly I moved my twine back upright and rested the pen at an angle against it. I like the triangle created by this angle. If you follow the edge of my curled post it note corner, it creates a line that runs past the twine and finishes on the pen tip. This results in an overall balance I am happy with.

Please don’t be scared to change, move, hang and reposition until your eye is happy with the result. Achieving balance takes practice; art and photography books are a great resource for helping hone your eye for composition.


Try to think about the pieces you are using and how they can be displayed; do they have tassles to hang? Are they a vessel or box that can you place something inside? Could something be tied around it? Is it light enough to be stuck or hung on a wall or tied to an edge of a chair?

Be open to changing, stacking, adding to, painting, removing or tying together your chosen pieces. Wrap a stone with crochet or string, hang a scarf on a chair, pull petals from flowers, or make a poster or wire lettering from your favourite quote or line from a poem. It’s about creating something with meaning that will make you smile each time you walk past! Plus, the added beauty of these collections (other than the pieces themselves) is that they can be changed whenever the season or mood suits. You could change your creative corner weekly if you so desire!

Meghan Plowman is a Perth based interior stylist, designer and photographer, follow her creative adventures over on her BlogFacebook and Instagram

A Stylist’s Guide to Creating a Vignette - Part 1

January 18th, 2013

If you have ever wondered how to make a mantle, buffet, console table, desk or shelf look exciting and beautiful like it does ‘in the magazines’ then you must read on! The lovely and talented stylist and photographer Meghan Plowman has contributed her expertise with a two part guide to creating a ‘vignette’ to help you style the surfaces in your house. This French word has many meanings, but in interiors it is essentially a display of objects arranged on a surface.

Words and Images - Meghan Plowman

As much as vignettes are about decorating an empty shelf or corner of a room, to me they are also about story telling. It’s an opportunity for you to get creative, be nostalgic, have fun with colour, or display items that are usually kept in drawers because you cant bring yourself to them throw away!

A vignette can be as simple as a collection of vases on a mantle or a themed corner full of objects inspired by your travels. Here are a few tips to help get you started creating these mini installations with things you love.


You don’t necessarily need ‘designer’ pieces to create your vignette, use items you have hand made, that have special meaning or simply take your fancy. A favourite item of mine is a ball of jute twine bought from a hardware store, it cost $3 and I use it to make garland, wrap around objects or use the whole ball as an object in itself.

A list of items to get you thinking:

  • Cuttings, flowers or sprigs of herbs from the garden (If you don’t have a garden, take a walk to your nearest park to look for interesting fallen twigs, seeds, stones, feathers)
  • Kitchen string, leftover jars, unused glassesFavourite books or old book pages, notes, kept letters
  • Scrap bits of gift paper, old calendars, tape, ribbons, tags, buttons and stamps
  • Photos, either framed or loose prints, magazine pages to cut out shapes
  • Items of stationery such as notebooks, scissors or washi tape (a warning – using washi tape can be addictive it’s so versatile and it won’t pull the paint off your walls)
  • Things to hang or display with - coat hangars, pegs, paper tape, hooks or a chair
  • Pieces of jewellery or clothing – our clothing is usually stored hidden away, but why not display your favourite dress or sweater to enjoy from day to day?


Of course you can simply group objects together that have no connection other than the fact you love them, but following a theme can make it easier to tell a beautiful visual story.

For this first example I decided that colour would be the hero of my display. I chose 4 summery colours: yellow, orange, light blue and dark blue. Then I set about finding and placing simple yet varied objects together at different heights to see what worked. I deliberately chose a limited colour palette so that in the end, the colour tied all the different pieces together and made the story work.

This display was inspired by one of my favourite things to do, beachcombing. I collect shells, driftwood, stones, feathers and seeds from nearby trees and wanted to tell the story of different textures, wildlife and colour associated with a rustic, carefree lifestyle by the beach. By grouping stones, a nest filled with seeds, feathers, sea urchins in a glass and some greenery the picture comes together. I decided to have some fun and include a hand drawn fish bone on a chalkboard – don’t forget you can create some of your own pieces to add to your vignette!

Part 2 to follow next week – ‘Creating Balance’ and ‘Experiment’...

Meghan Plowman is a Perth based interior stylist, designer and photographer, follow her creative adventures over on her Blog, Facebook and Instagram.

5 inspiring ideas to turn your bedroom into a haven…

January 18th, 2013 tagged as Bedroom

For me the bedroom is such an important room in the house, but its a room that is often left neglected as it isn't always 'on show.' As its the room you probably spend most time in why not make it a priority? No matter what your budget here are five ideas to help turn your bedroom into a beautiful, calming sanctuary.

Limit furniture, objects and 'stuff' to a minimum, you want the space to feel calming and induce restful sleep. Don't use your bedroom as a storage room for those 'things that don't have a home in your house' Keep your wardrobe organised with a place for everything, if like me you are short on wardrobe space try packing away items that you don't need each season - coats, jumpers, boots at the start of summer and summer dresses and sandals when winter comes along - I find as well as giving me more space, my old wardrobe becomes quite exciting again when I unpack pieces I forgot I even had!

Image Credit: Desire to Inspire Blog

You don't need hundreds of dollars to refresh your bedding and this is an area you can build up over time. Start with sheets/pillowcases/bed cover, once you have this sorted add a feature cushion or two to bring some colour/texture/interest, then perhaps think about a throw or bed runner. I like to keep my bedspread in classic white and introduce colour with cushions and a throw (see below pic of my current bedding look) Try keeping to natural fibers - cotton or linen which are luxurious and allow your skin to 'breathe' (Ikea has a lovely range of cotton bedding at very affordable prices)

Image Credit: Bowerhouse

If you don't own bedside tables, They are a great thing to add, they help to balance out the room and give you a surface to place bedside lamps and  couple of books, but they don't need to be expensive or take up much room, how about using a stool, vintage chair or small shelf?

Image Credit: Lisa Madigan Blog, Est Magazine, Ellmania

A feature piece of art hung above your bed is great way to bring colour and interest to a room - If buying ready made art is out of your budget why not have a go at creating your own? A fabric panel, vintage quilt or lace curtain hung from a curtain pole on the wall above the bed can give a beautiful dramatic look, A fabric covered canvas is also very simple - Choose a piece of fabric you love, buy a cheap art canvas on a wooden frame in your desired size, stretch and staple the fabric around the back of the frame, or alternatively simply place your piece of fabric in an inexpensive frame from Ikea. For beautiful fabric options try IkeaMarimekko or Signature Prints.

Image Credit: Houzz, Madeline Weinrib, Bowerhouse

Try to stick to a colour pallet to keep the room looking harmonious, for a bedroom it can be nice to keep it neutral for the walls, carpet etc and introduce a couple of accent colours through cushions, throw/runner, Rug, artwork and any decorative items like lamps, photos, vase etc. 

Image Credit: An Indian Summer, Domino Magazine, Planette Deco, Konettiform via Bungalow5, high on dreaming 

Invite Bowerhouse into your bedroom with these pieces…

Bowerhouse First Cover!

January 4th, 2013

Thrilled to wake up to our first cover image in today's 'Habitat' in The West Australian, thanks to editor Cy Clayton for including us in your first issue for 2013!