5 Designer Tips for Styling your Coffee Table

A coffee table can so easily become a place where you leave your empty mugs and remote controls, but I’m here to help you out with these 5 designer tips for styling your coffee table.

A coffee table needs to make a statement. When you think about the furniture that you might have in your living room, your sofa and coffee table are the focal point. They sit in the middle of the room and attract the most attention. So don’t let your coffee table become a sad place for empty mugs. When you’re styling your coffee table, you want to create a piece of artwork that will bring the whole structure of your living room together.

All of the below are elements you need on your coffee table to complete the piece. Take one out, and the look won’t work the same. So if you don’t want to have to call in the Santa Monica interior designers to help you, follow these tips for styling your coffee table.

Use a tray as a foundation

You need to create a solid foundation for the table. I know, you’re thinking, But the table is the foundation? It is, but everything needs to be layered correctly. A large bowl works just as well as a tray, like this one from Shea at Studio McGee:

 

styling your coffee table with ornaments and books

 

See how the dark wood of the bowl stands out against the light coffee table and the light coloured books she’s used to decorate.

A tray is also very useful when you want to clear the coffee table quickly. Just had a big parcel arrive and need somewhere to put it quickly? Any items in the tray can be lifted off quickly and with minimal damage.

Add height and layers through ornaments

Getting an ideal coffee table style is all about height and layers. A flat coffee table won’t do any compliments, and will look worse than if you left it empty. Kimberly from Swoonworthy has achieved this height perfectly.

 

white, gold and pink themed coffee table styling

 

Note that she has a tray with ornaments on that are at varying heights. She’s also raised the gold birds by putting them on a pile of books. The table looks well balanced and definitely not overcrowded. She’s even got a mug on a coaster in the picture. It’s stylish and you can see the gold, white and pink theme runs through the rest of her living room. This is also key. You need to match the style of the coffee table with the rest of the room, otherwise it’ll look disjointed.

Make use of plants and foliage

Plants add some fresh greenery to the coffee table, and to the rest of the room. They lighten and brighten, and can also be used to achieve varying heights. You can do this by opting for some small succulents or cacti, or go bold with a tall plant such as an orchid.

I love trailing ivy so this is how I’ve styled mine at home.

home coffee table

 

I love the way it drapes nicely over the books. The books I’ve used are interior design/home books that have nice brightly coloured spines. I’ve got a bowl on the table, and of course the look wouldn’t be complete without some candles.

Plants are also good for your home, and help to purify the air. In a space such as a living room, which we spend a lot of time in, this is an added bonus.

Stack some books to add height

When you’re styling your coffee table, reading material is a must. It adds height to the table, something we’ve discussed is very important. It also shows your guests what your interests are, and could be a talking point. It’s best to add some sort of ornament on top of the books, so they taper off into a pyramid point. Put the biggest books at the bottom and the smallest on top. Then add an ornament for that final bit of height and the tip of the pyramid.

See this example from Lark and Linen.

 

white styled coffee table with plant and books

 

The books are in size order with the largest at the bottom, and then she’s placed a tall and more narrow ornament on top.

Don’t forget that books can also be stacked on the floor at the base of the coffee table, like this example from The Every Girl

books underneath living room coffee table

Again, the books are all varying height, and stacked in size order to add to the aesthetic.

Pile of coasters

A coffee table still needs to be practical. A pile of coasters either placed in the tray, or set in one corner makes it easy to put a cup of tea (read: glass of wine) down in the evenings.

The most important tip is that you need to leave some space. Don’t over clutter the table. You still need a place to put your mugs and TV remotes so the coffee table is still practical for your everyday needs.

 

 

Combine those tips for styling your coffee table to make a statement of your living room. I’d love to see photos of your coffee tables, so send them over!

All pictures have been sourced and credited.

 

 

Mummy in a Tutu

How to avoid house renovation disasters

Our house renovation did not always go to plan, so here are some tips on how to avoid house renovation disasters. Hopefully, I can help a few people out, and they can avoid making the same mistakes that we did.

Making a stud wall

We ‘found’ an old doorway that had clearly been boarded up a few years ago. Our house must have originally had a hallway, and this would have been the door that ran from the back of the hall into the kitchen. It had been boarded up with chipboard which couldn’t be plastered over.

This set us back a couple of weeks as Jay had to make a stud wall himself, which he had never done before. It would have been fluke to get it right first time, so it had to come down and be built again. Luckily, Jay had learnt from his mistake and got it perfect the second time, using the right tools

The floor had to be levelled twice

With a house, know that nothing is going to be straight. Literally, none of our walls are straight, and our floors weren’t level enough for the wooden flooring in the kitchen. It also didn’t help that cement had been used to glue the tiles to the floor.

When Jay was lifting them up, a huge metre-wide chunk of concrete came up with the tiles. This had to be filled in with concrete, and then the floor was properly levelled.

But even after one ‘go’ of levelling it wasn’t level, so we had to do it again.

avoid house renovation disasters for mess

Photo by Nolan Issac on Unsplash

Some of the plastering had to be redone

Thanks to our wonky walls, the plastering was done twice to try and level them out. Some walls were fine to be left, but our chimney breast was visibly out of line. It was re-plastered to bring it straight with the other side.

This doesn’t sound like a big job, but it meant we had to wait another week for it to dry before we could emulsion the walls.

Some of our skirting didn’t even touch parts of the wall, because it was so out of line, so we had to fill this in afterwards with caulk.

The radiators went on before the skirting board

This is a logistics problem that no one thought through. It wasn’t too much of a problem. It just meant me and Jay were on our hands and knees with a laser level. We had to get the skirting cut straight and then nailed on correctly.

Top tip to avoid house renovation disasters: try and paint the skirting before it goes on the walls. If you have a workbench, balance the skirting on it and prime and gloss it. It might take a couple of days, but when the skirting is on the wall, it’s difficult to paint it accurately whilst crawling on the floor. I did get some on the freshly-painted walls (ssh, don’t tell Jay).

Always leave a toilet in when renovating the bathroom

Even if you have to plumb it in again at the end of every day, it’s crucial that you leave the toilet in. I had to use my neighbours’ for around 8 weeks. Luckily, we weren’t living there full time, and Jay often used my flower beds instead (thanks).

Photo by Paco S on Unsplash

Keep every single receipt

The amount of money we have probably wasted because we wanted to take something back, that we didn’t use, is probably ridiculous.

Luckily, places such as Wickes have a six-month return policy, so you still have time to find that receipt even four months later.

If you’re lazy, it’s best to stockpile things that need to go back, so you can do it in one trip.

I hope these tips on how to avoid house renovation disasters helps you somewhat! Really think about the order of things logically to avoid making things more difficult for yourself. You wouldn’t put the flooring in and then paint the ceiling!

Any other tips you’d add? Let me know in the comments.

 

 

Interior Design: My Living Room

We’re so close to moving in now, so I wanted to share my living room design ideas.

I’ve booked my days off at the end of the month for moving in. Enough time to pack, clean and unpack. I’m so excited for deciding where things are going to go, and messing about with layout, especially in the living room.

The look’s a bit different to the last living room moodboard I made in this post. 

Our sofa is currently sat in our kitchen waiting to be unwrapped (it’s like Christmas!). We went with a neutral colour, which we might end up regretting. No one’s allowed red wine on the sofa.

Everything’s a bit neutral, but we’ve decided that’s the best way, and then we can add colour in the curtains, cushions and artwork on the wall.

Again, our carpet and paint is neutral, so if we do ever want to change the furniture, anything will match.

Our carpet and sofa are from SCS  and the paint is from Johnstone’s. 

Our main furniture is classic oak. So far we’ve only got a coffee table, but I’ve had my eye on this Next console table for a while.

We still need a TV stand and some form of shelving for my hundreds of books. I’m also looking for an overhanging floor lamp, something a bit like this:

 

I’ve created a moodboard with the carpet and paint we’ve chosen, and our armchair, which I’m in love with.

 

I can’t wait to get everything in it’s place, and focus on the finishing touches, like shelving, lighting and artwork. My love for Homesense will get me through.

What is Hygge? And why is everyone talking about it?

If you haven’t heard of hygge, you may have been living under an online rock.

Hygge (pronounced hoo-ga) is the newest craze that has swept the Great British nation all the way from Denmark. Hygge embodies a feeling rather than a word and it cannot be specifically translated.

It is the feeling of being utterly comfortable and cozy. It is is more than likely that you’ve experienced it without ever knowing it. Getting into your pyjamas with a cup of tea after a long day at work is hygge.

Speakers of Danish will know that ‘hygge’ is added to the beginning of simple words: a hyggekrog is a small corner or nook where you can cozy up – perhaps an armchair or a window seat.

Anything you associate as comfy or cozy is more than likely a huge part of hygge: candles, fireplaces, blankets, hot drinks, even rugs and curtains.

hygge fireplace

Also included in this feeling is food. A warming chocolate brownie, or some stodgy home-made casserole can make us feel warmth and satisfaction. Add some candles to your dining table and revel in the comfort.

Throws, blankets, cushions, rugs and curtains help to create coziness. Soft furnishings, funnily enough, soften a room. So grab your biggest jumper and a blanket, get the fire going and settle down to a good book or film.

Danes are amongst the happiest people in the world, and it’s not difficult to see why. All of these images convey comfort, happiness, warm winter nights and contentedness.

How can you embrace this new craze?

As mentioned above, it’s all about soft furnishings and luxury accessories, such as candles and reed diffusers. Enjoy some comfort food and drink all the tea and coffee you can manage. These candles from Trouve have been designed in Denmark especially for the occasion.

Hygge encompasses the ‘simple things’, so even having a 30 minute bubble bath, or a read of a book chapter before bed will have you feeling relaxed.

Will you be taking part in this 2017 craze?

The Finished Kitchen: Final Results

My last house-related post shows our finished bathroom and now we have a finished kitchen too!

The bathroom looks exactly how I imagined it. It’s quite a small room, so we had to go for a joint bath-shower, which meant forgoing my walk-in shower *huge sad face*. There isn’t much light in the bathroom so we got glossy tiles to reflect the little light that there is. I’m also on the look out for a huge mirror to put across all of one wall.

The finished kitchen is also exactly how I pictured it. We purchased it on eBay second-hand for a bargain price. We couldn’t have afforded a brand new kitchen, and I was very wary of purchasing something so huge on eBay. But I’ve absolutely fallen in love with it.

I love my range cooker, made by Stoves. It has seven hobs, two ovens, a grill, and a warming/proving drawer.

Ignore the horrendous state of the surfaces and trailing wires. I love my tiles. They’re from Topps Tiles and come in about five different colours. They’re darker than I imagined, but we’ve gone with a light floor and kitchen so it’s a nice contrast.

Our floor is part of a new collection from Wickes of all places. We’re very impressed with it. It’s laminate but is very thick and has a texture so it feels and looks like solid wood.

Today, our skirting has been completed, and all our sockets have been screwed in and are working. We’ve chosen brushed steel sockets, which match the brushed steel tile trim and the handles of the kitchen units.

Our fridge and freezer is built-in, so you’d never know they’re there, and our washing machine is going in the garage. The only appliance we have on show is the cooker so everything looks neat and tidy.

Hopefully, we can have some truly fabulous parties here!

Before and After

 

Before, the kitchen was from the 70s, and was dark and grimy. The appliances seemed to be about as old as the kitchen.

 

 

During: A lot of the units practically fell away from the wall. It wasn’t a safe space. We had the strangest “outside doors” inside the house which have now been removed, and replaced with a modern archway.

 

After: the room is such much lighter now the tiles and the dark furniture is out. We’ve opened out the kitchen into a U-shape to make it feel bigger.

 

 

The paint colour is a grey/green which looks almost white. It goes perfectly with the tiles and seems to heighten the ceiling.

Hopefully, we’ll be ready to move in soon! The next big job is rebuilding the staircase, so stay updated!