Grouping objects in a pleasing arrangement is the goal of a vignette. Designers work hard on their tablescaping game, creating small compositions layered with texture and color that draw raves on Instagram. We asked some local designers to describe their process.


Pillows are layered on the bed of Keira St. Claire-Bowery’s bedroom at the 2017 DC Design House in Potomac. She chose dusty pastel velvets to give the room a feeling of a retreat. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

The top of your bed should be dressed in layers, says Keira St. Claire-Bowery of Anthony Wilder Design/Build in Cabin John. "The bed is the statement piece of the bedroom," she says.

She suggests going for a look that is beautiful but approachable, and not fussy. First, choose sheets, sleeping pillows and a coverlet or comforter. She likes to tuck the comforter under the mattress to show off a nice bed frame and create a tailored look. Another tip is to partially roll down your comforter at the top, so pillows will be propped up a bit and showcased.

European-size square pillows (26 by 26 inches) with shams are often a good first layer, especially if you read in bed, and visually anchor everything. Add sleeping pillows in front. Smaller decorative pillows bring texture and dimension, she says, but "check with your significant other about how many pillows they can tolerate." In her show-house bedroom, she designed small, dusty-hued cotton velvet pillows in shapes that mimic the geometric motif on her turned wood Mr. Brown London canopy bed: circles, squares and triangles. The pale aqua, lavender, lilac, gray and blush pillows coordinate with the room colors. If you dare, add something fancy for warmth, such a white faux fur blanket. "You want your bedroom to be a relaxing refuge where you literally go to dream," she says.