Have you ever ‘shopped your home’ to refresh a space? I have. I love experimenting with styling and decorating, but I’m not prepared to spend oodles of money for every little project in order to do this. While I do love a good find at home goods stores and thrift shops, there are times – like now – when zero-dollar-decorating is the only way to go! After recently spending money on household repairs and masonry work, and after taking a short, but an enjoyable trip to the beautiful area of Niagara-on-the-Lake this summer, I’ve been trying to be creative about redecorating and refreshing parts of my home.
This past weekend’s target? The living room coffee table.
I’ve always been a little obsessed with coffee tables and coffee table styling. I love to see what other people are up to in the magazines, in blogs, on YouTube as well as in the homes of friends and on Pinterest (I even have a board dedicated to styling coffee tables and surfaces of all kinds). I think my constant scouring for information comes from a place of wanting fresh ways to display objects that I already love – like all my candles or some of the quirky objects that I’ve picked up on my travels like rocks or seashells or even shed antlers (found by hubby while stomping through the woods). As the centre of the living room and the centre of conversation and activity therein, I believe the coffee table should have some aesthetic appeal and yet still be usable! Nothing is worse than a cluttered table with no space to set down a glass!
So, this past weekend I went about experimenting with our own coffee table and thought I’d share some tips on coffee table decorating, 5 different ways while I was at it (with bonus tips at the bottom of this post concerning how to maximize your home shopping experience!). If you are looking to refresh your coffee table, these looks are easy to create or copy! I encourage you to do so 🙂
Here are the 5 looks:
Look #1: Contained Contentment
For this look, all you need is a tray on which to display cherished and practical items. Whenever displaying any items (in a tray or not), think about both your vertical and horizontal space. For your vertical space, consider varying heights – often 3 different heights works well. And for your horizontal space, think about creating ‘zones.’ I like two to four zones, depending on the size of the tray. ‘Zoning’ can help you avoid clutter and, instead, create cohesion and style. Below are two versions of Look #1. The tray in both is small, so I created 2 distinct zones – can you spot them?
Contained Look #1: Romantic
Contained Look #2: Pretty & Rustic
Look #2: For the Love of Books
If you don’t have a tray, but wish to create cohesion and love symmetry, then why not use books and magazines to achieve this? They are a great way to create zones. By stacking books – 3 is a good number – and magazines, you can create a cohesive design and still display your treasures. Symmetry is always pleasing to the eye and creating zones using books and magazines are an easy way to do just that. Don’t forget to add some height with a vase, sculpture, or flowers.
Look #3: Contained/Uncontained
If you liked both look #1 and look #2, you can also try combining them. In this case, your tray can be designated as its own zone. Then, create two or more additional zones by stacking books or by displaying a large vase or a collection of 3 smaller vases (as long as the vases can fit within the zone). Once you get into the habit of ‘zoning’ your table, you can create all sorts of combinations. This is just one that I put together using items within reach.
Look #4: The Collection
For some of you, there are treasured collections that you’re just not sure what to do with. Perhaps you acquired a collection of pretty vases over the years, tinted bottles, cute bowls, brass candlesticks or other charming objects. Why not pull these out of your storage and display them on a single surface like a coffee table (or console or buffet)? This is a great way to create visual impact. I love using collections of white objects (or any in a similar hue), including these cute little bud vases that I purchased at the grocery store a few years ago for $3 each.
Look #5: The Statement Piece
Sometimes, we can forget the simple beauty of displaying one large statement piece. While the look these days in home décor is to layer, layer, and layer some more, sometimes being spare with your decorating will make a greater style statement than anything else. Why not pull out that large decorative bowl, grapewood root, or oversized sculpture that you still love? This bowl used to be our coffee table décor for the first couple of years in our home and, although, I have replaced it with a version similar to look #3 (contained/uncontained), I still love the impact that a statement piece can have.
So, what do you think? Are you ready to do some home shopping to refresh your space? If you are, here are some tips on how to make the most of shopping your home:
1. Clear off the surface (or space) that you wish to freshen up. Sometimes it’s hard to envision what you’d like to do when there are items already taking up that space. You can be more creative when you have a blank canvas to work with.
2. Walk through your home and explore every part of it. Look through your shelves, drawers, closets, baskets, boxes, upstairs and down, basement and unexpected places, like the garage (I found the shed antlers used in look #2 there!). You never know what you will find, what you will reuse, and what you may have once loved and forgotten.
3. Think outside the box: Why not display items traditionally used in one way and exchange it for another? A pitcher used for serving beverages is equally serviceable when displaying flowers or branches or pussy willows. A serving tray is not only useful when carrying food and beverages to guests, but in corralling decorative items together for display.…Think of an item’s potential, rather than its traditional use.
4. Paint a mismatched collection in a single colour: Consider taking a mismatched collection of items by giving them a fresh coat of paint in the same colour or shades of the same colour. Then display them together as a collection on your coffee table, dining room table, shelves or other surfaces.
5. Finally, take pictures of your redecorated surface to help you finalize things. We often see images in magazines or online that we’d like to recreate, but when we do it in real life, things don’t seem quite right. By taking pictures, you can get a fresh perspective, see things as you do in the magazines, and catch things that are a little ‘off’ or that you might not otherwise see.
So there you have it! Coffee table decorating, 5 different ways. The 5 looks created here are just a starting point for creating your own look from well-loved objects within your home. What do you think about shopping your home to refresh a space? Speak your mind! I’d love to hear from you 🙂
Happy home shopping 🙂