Modern Met Chic Etsy Shop

Hi friends! Remember that surprise I was telling you about in my last post! Well, it’s reveal time!!

This dream of mine has been in the works for a while, and I’m so excited to share it with you! I’ve opened an Etsy shop, and will be selling one of a kind crocheted items.

It all started about a year ago when I taught myself how to crochet. I mostly did it for fun, but man, is it fun! I ended up with a real passion for it, and have been toying around with the idea to sell my creations for a while now.

Then, about a month ago, I finally decided to go for it. And now here we are.

I would like to introduce you to:

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My new shop.

You can find the shop here.

Go check it out! And as a reader, I’d like to offer a little gift to you. For the first month, I will offer 10% off any order above $5 to all my readers (offer expires on 4/4/2016). Simply put down “BLOGFOLLOWER” into the coupon slot when you check out on an item, and it will automatically be applied to your order.

Hope you like my shop! And be sure to let me know what you think!

How to Remove Paint from Hardware

Ah friends, blogging is much harder than I thought it would be. I apologize for not being more consistent with my posts. I have to admit, I’ve found that Instagram is a much easier form of social media for me to keep up with. Perhaps partly because I don’t have to take pictures on one device and then move to a different device to share it. Anyway, if you’d like to keep more “up-to-date” with my days, you can find me here. There’s also something special in the works that’s kept me busy, and I’ll share that with you all soon, promise (If you already follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you probably already know what that is).

Anyway, I do have a fun project to share with you all today. Recently, my mother-in-love shared with me a huge box of hardware from their recent renovation. This is coveted vintage hardware, folks. And it is beautiful. The downside was that over the years, some of the pieces had been painted on. So, after a little research (since I don’t have paint remover), I figured out how to bring them back to life.

This is what the hook I cleaned looked like before I started:

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Talk about caked in paint!

Here’s what you’ll need:

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  • Paint-crusted hardware
  • Nail polish remover
  • A plate or some surface to protect your table
  • A putty knife for extra stubborn paint (I used a table knife)
  • A Q-tip
  • Cotton wads

You’re first step is to setup. Be sure to have a surface that can handle the nail polish; that stuff can eat through a lot of things (made me wonder how in the world it’s safe for our skin; guess our skin is really resilient?).

Next, dip your Q-tip into the nail polish remover, and test it on the hardware surface on an inconspicuous spot. If your fixture is a solid metal (like mine was), you won’t see any of the color come off when you do this; if you see any color come off, then you won’t be able to safely use the nail polish remover to remove the paint.

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Once you’ve confirmed that the nail polish is safe to use on your hardware, go for it! Seep the remover into your cotton wads and go at that paint. Depending on how much paint is on there, this could be a fast or a slow process. Mine had quite a bit caked on, so I probably spent a good half hour on it (hence the reason I only got through one). As I mentioned earlier, having a putty knife handy is helpful; for sections that are particularly thick, I softened the paint with the remover, then scraped it off with the knife.

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And that’s it! Be sure to wash the hardware once you’re done; you don’t need any residual nail polish remover getting on your clothes.

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Doesn’t it look so good?

Go ahead! Go put it up, and enjoy the fruit of your labor.

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How to Update a Jar

Hi friends! Isn’t this weather glorious?? I’ve been waiting for just such a lovely, sunny day for this project, and I’m so excited to share it with you.

I shared with you a while back about the beautiful glass jars that I have in my pantry. They were given to me by my mother-in-law, who had collected them over many years for use in her own pantry. But in their recent kitchen update, they decided to switch to different containers that fit their new setup better, and she asked if I would like to have them. Would I ever!! There was no hesitation in my answer: yes.

I’ve loved using them ever since, but had always wanted to paint the lids so that they were all the same color. Also, the advertisement for pickles was kind of getting old. And so, I recently purchased a can of gold spray paint, and today was the day I stepped out and did some spraying.

Here’s what you’ll need for this project:

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  • Jar lids
  • A can of spray paint
  • Newspaper
  • A sunny day (or a well ventilated room, such as your garage with the door open)

Your first step is to make sure that those lids are clean. Mine were in pretty decent shape, as I had washed them all recently, so I didn’t clean them again, but if they do have any dust on them, go ahead and suds up and get them clean.

Next, spread out the newspaper.

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Lay out the lids on top of the newspaper, and spray away!

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Now, I found out that these lids needed a lot more paint to totally cover them than I thought, so I actually ran out of spray paint, so make sure to get a large can if you have a lot of lids to paint.

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Next, let them soak up some sun for at least 30 minutes (check the label on your can; some spray paints may require more time to dry).

And you’re done!

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I’m so happy with how these turned out!

While I’m on the subject of the pantry, I’ve been wanting to change the liner that is currently in there, and I wanted to share a sneak peak of the options I’m looking at, and I would LOVE your feedback:

Option 1:

Isn’t this so bright and fun? And apparently it’s scented too; not quite sure how I feel about that, but it sounds somewhat attractive. (Here‘s the Amazon link for it)

Option 2:

Michel Design Works Scented Drawer Liners, Blue

I recently decided to change my kitchen colors to blue, white and gray, so this is an option that would match the kitchen. (Here‘s the Amazon link for it)

What do you guys think? Should I go with the bolder pink one? Or stick with the kitchen color scheme?

If any of you have a shelf liner that you love, and would be willing to share it with me, I’d love to see it! Feel free to leave a comment with a picture of what it looks like and where you got it.

How to Make a Necklace

Now I know that this how-to has nothing to do with interior design or home decor, but it was a fun little project I did this week that I simply had to share with you all.

Several months after our wedding, I lost one of the earrings that I wore for the ceremony. I was so bummed; they were my favorite pair that I owned at the time, and I was so disappointed that I wouldn’t be able to wear it any more. I held onto the leftover earring because I couldn’t bear to part with it, and I had hopes that I would be able to find a way to use it, or perhaps even find another identical one (or, miracle of miracles, find the lost earring).

Then, a few months ago, I had the idea to turn it into a pendant. I was so excited about the idea, but didn’t get around to doing it til this week, and I am so pleased with how it turned out.

Here is what you’ll need for this project:

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  • One earring (you may be able to use a post earring for this project, but I used a dangle earring)
  • Pliers
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Wire cutter
  • Necklace chain

The whole process is really quite simple; all you need to do is to twist the earring post around the joint portion.

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Once you’ve finished wrapping it around and creating a loop, cut off the remaining wire with the write cutters.

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Then, string the chain through the loop, and put it on!

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I’m so happy to be able to wear my earring again!

The First After

It’s finally here, folks! I’ve had these photos for a week or so, but I’ve been busy working on an office project that has kept me busy, so forgive me for neglecting my blogging “duties”.

The duplex project that I was able to record and be a part of alongside D&R Concepts is finally finished, and I can’t wait to share the transformation with you! Remember the graffiti, and all the other messes that this duplex had? You’d never guess that it was there now.

Let’s start with Unit A, which by far had the worst damage:

Entry:

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Remember the stairwell that had the graffiti? Here it is now:

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Isn’t it breathtaking? I’ll share the before just so you can compare:

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Talk about transformation.

They put bamboo flooring in upstairs, and it is gorgeous:

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Here’s the kitchen:

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Now onto Unit B.

Although the damage to this unit was less severe, it was the one that needed the most flooring replacement, and again, the bamboo flooring in here is beautiful.

Kitchen:

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Dining and Living room area:

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Upstairs:

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I’m so impressed with how these units turned out. What did you like best?

(If you’d like to see more of the before, here‘s the original post.)

 

How to Organize a Pantry

Can you believe we’re already almost halfway through the first month of this year? Didn’t we just celebrate New Years? Seriously, this whole “life just gets faster the older you get” thing is too true.

I’m sure many of you have made new years resolutions, and I hope that you have been able to stick with them. I, for one, have done…. all right. Perhaps one of your resolutions was to be more organized this year. Well, organization, and keeping it up is a tricky thing, because (as I’m sure you’ve noticed), it’s something you have to do continually. Nothing stays organized. If you use it, it gets unorganized. So the real trick is to organize it the right way the first time. The right way being, the way that is most maintainable.

My pantry is a workhorse, as I’m sure many of your pantries are as well. It gets used EVERY DAY, multiple times a day. I probably go into that room no less than twenty times on any given day. So keeping it organized can be tricky.

When we first moved in, I placed things in there where I thought they would be most useful. And while it’s worked well (the setup lasted almost a year, which is pretty impressive), when the new year struck, I felt the need to reassess it’s layout.

Now, I’ll warn you ahead of time, this post probably won’t be one where you’ll ooh and ahh over it’s prettiness. My pantry (although nice) is, at this point, more functional than pretty. Let’s just say that aspect is a work in progress.

Here’s what it looked like when I started:

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As you can see, it needed some reorganization.

The first step in any project is to clear the space. Completely. If you can’t tackle the whole thing, work on one or two shelves at a time, but go ahead and take everything out. I kind of cheated on this, because I had just recently reorganized some of my homeschooling supplies, which live on the top shelves of the pantry. So they stayed. I also kept my bags of flour on the floor, since they weren’t moving either.

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Once you’ve cleared everything out, your next step is to go ahead and clean it all. Break out that vacuum, and a wet rag if needed.

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Next, you’ll move everything back in, but be purposeful here.

You probably already know to group like with like, but also think about positions too. Are there items you use all the time? Put them just below eye level. This was a mistake that I had made in my original layout. Although my glass jars were close to eye level, they were on an upper shelf, which made taking them out more difficult. So I moved them down a shelf.

Do the same with your canned goods, and your potatoes and onions (if you store them in your pantry).

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Store your lesser used items on the shelves directly above and below the middle shelf (where you’ve put your main staples).

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When you’re putting things away, get creative; use a cakestand to group small items, and store things in wooden boxes (like in the photo below). You can also repurpose shoe boxes (like I did in the photo above) to group things together. I also used a shoe rack to make use of every square inch. It’s perfect for little boxes and cans.

On your top shelf, put items you use the least often (in my case dog treats, birdseed, and dishes I don’t use very often), and store large/bulk items on the floor (like your flour).

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This is what I ended up with:

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To summarize, here’s how my pantry ended up: top shelf: dog treats, dishes, birdseed, etc.; second shelf: boxes of cans, small cans and jars, boxed pasta; third shelf: jars of bulk items; fourth shelf: party supplies (paper plates and napkins), onions and potatoes, cans; fifth shelf: bottles/containers of extra liquids, everyday napkins, etc.; floor: bags of flour and rice, catfood, big dog treats.

I can tell you this project made my pantry a lot more productive, and definitely made me want to use it more often!

 

Do you have any organizing tips for your pantry?

How to Dress Up a Shelf

I know I already posted a how to this week, but this was a little project that I did that I simply could not wait to share with you all. It’s a perfect weekend project, so if you’re looking for something crafty to do this weekend, look no further.

It all started when I was working on simplifying my kitchen décor. I had some stuff that I still wanted to display, but no longer wanted to display in my kitchen. Then I remembered the shelf that I had sitting in the laundry room, waiting for repairs. We all have those projects, right? The ones that just sit in a dark corner, that we’ll get to “someday”? Well, someday had come for that shelf.

The shelf had been in our old laundry room, and I had put our laundry detergent on it. However, over time of using our detergent, it had eaten a hole right through the paint (I didn’t know detergent could do that!). I brought it with us because I liked the shape so much, and had intended to repaint it “someday”, but had never gotten around to getting paint.

Then I had an “aha” moment, and came up with the idea to cover it with fabric! Not only would the fabric cover the hole, but it would add some color and pattern to an otherwise plain shelf.

So, I promptly went upstairs to my craft closet, and pulled out my material. Here’s what I ended up with:

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Isn’t that fun?

Here’s what you’ll need for this project:

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  • A shelf (it need not be damaged)
  • Fabric
  • Glue
  • Tape measure
  • Fabric pencil
  • Fabric cutter and mat (or fabric scissors)
  • Coffee (optional)

Your first step will be to measure the shelf to find out exactly how wide and long you’ll need to cut your fabric. If your shelf has a beveled edge like mine, then only measure to the first edge.

Next, you’ll want to cut the fabric to length. If you want a softer edge, you can add an inch or so on each side so you can fold them under (I didn’t do this, and it came out fine; just make sure that your edges are cut cleanly). Mark your fabric where you’ll need to cut with your fabric pencil.

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Then cut your fabric.

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You’ll end up with something like this:

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Be sure to iron it if you have creases in it like mine did.

Then, glue your fabric onto the shelf, and you’re done!

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I’m SO happy with how this turned out, and wish I’d thought of it a long time ago!

I hope you have fun with this project. Send me pictures of your shelves! I’d love to hear from you.

Ta-ta for now.

How to Make and Style Your Bed

This post just seemed appropriate for the first Monday of the year. What’s the number one habit that everyone tells you to take on? Make your bed. EVERY. DAY. Which, is one habit that used to be a habit for me, but lately, well, not so much. Must have something to do with becoming a mother of two.

Well, anyway, I was thinking about this habit/not-habit of ours (is it ok if I say that?), and I was realizing that if you don’t know how to make a bed, or if you don’t know how to style a bed, then you won’t really know the joy that making your bed can bring. ‘Cause who cares, right? You’re going to mess it up at the end of the day anyway.

My hope is that this post will change that (for you, and for me). Making your bed is important, not just because it makes your bedroom look nicer, but because we all know that wonderful feeling of sliding into a bed that has been made.

So, let’s get to it.

Your first step is to start with clean sheets. Now, I get it, you’re not going to have clean sheets everyday, so this is more of a weekly step (apparently you’re suppose to wash your sheets AT LEAST once a week, for hygienic purposes).

Start with the base sheet. That’s the one with elastic on the edges. Tuck that sheet around the mattress nice and tight.

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Next, I place my pillows. I do this because I hate having to take off the pillows and put them under the top sheet every time I go to bed. It’s just not efficient. (Note: this step will only work with The Minimalist style I’ll discuss later.  You’ll need to skip this step for the other ones.)

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Third, spread that top sheet nice and tight over it all.

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Now, here’s the tricky part.

Most of you know how to tuck in a top sheet, but I’ll share the basics again,  just in case you’ve forgotten:

First, tuck in the bottom of the sheet under the mattress. Be sure to pull it tight and flat. No lumpy bedsheets allowed. You’re going for a cocoon feel here.

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Next, pull up the corner of the sheet until it’s parallel to the top of the mattress.

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Then, tuck in the edge of the sheet.

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Lastly, tuck that corner in.

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Voila! A nice, neat edge to your bed. Tuck the rest of the edge of the sheet all the way to the top, and repeat steps 1-4 on the other side.

Your bed should end up looking like this:

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Now that you’re all done with the sheets, it’s time to dress it up.

Styling a bed is all about color and theme. I’ll show you three basic styles that all use the same items, just so you get the basic ideas.

A quick note on colors; I like sticking with solid colored sheets. If you have patterned sheets, it can become harder to find a comforter/blanket to match, and personally, I would rather have the pattern showing on top than have it hidden under a blanket.

Spread your basic blanket down. This should be your cozy, thin blanket, the one that makes you want to cuddle. This step holds true for all three styles.

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Another quick note on bed styling: ALWAYS tuck your blankets behind the footboard, if your bedframe has one.

Ok, style no. 1 is The Minimalist. I LOVE this style, because it’s easy to do, and looks nice and sleek.

Fold your comforter in half, and lay it down at the foot of the bed. This accentuates the contrast between the base blanket, and the plushness of the comforter, making it look extra cozy.

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I’ll call the next style the AirBnB, because it’s a little cozier than The Minimalist, but not full on Bed and Breakfast (the third style I’ll show).

Keep the comforter at the bottom of the bed, and don’t put the pillows under the sheets (like I mentioned earlier). Stand them and another set of pillows along the headboard. For a fuller look, use king size pillows for the back two, or put three pillows instead. Put the patterned pillowcase pillows up front. Last, add a couple bed pillows on there. Make sure that these are smaller than your typical throw pillows, since that will overwhelm the whole thing.

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All right, now here’s the Bed and Breakfast. This one is all about comfort.

Go ahead and pull up the comforter, but make sure that the end is still tucked behind the footboard. Then, stand those pillows up at the top again, but flip them so that the patterned pillowcases are at the back. This is important for visual cohesiveness. If you want it to be extra cushy, add a third row of pillows. Add the bed pillows, and if you have one, put one of those tube shaped pillows in front (anybody know what those things are called?). Your last step is to add a throw blanket; you can spread it out at the foot of the bed, like I did, or just toss it on.

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And there you have it. Three different styles for your sleeping pleasure.

Before I sign off for today, I want to share one last tip. Obviously, you won’t be taking everything off everyday to make your bed. So a quick tip on freshening up your bed in the morning; Pull up the edge of your blanket so that you can see the top sheet, then pull that flat, both up to the top of your bed as well as down along the sides. Repeat the top sheet tucking as necessary. Then, pull the blankets back up and to the sides, and you’re all done!

Here’s to a year of freshly made beds.

How to Set a Table – Christmas Edition

Christmas is two days away, folks. Are you getting excited?

One of the funnest (yes, I said funnest) parts of Christmas is the food, and along with it, the table setting that decorates the table. But if you, like me, haven’t really even thought about what you want your table to look like, fear not, I’m here with some easy table settings for you.

I have three different styles of table settings for you today.

The first one is your naturalistic one. This one is great if you’re hosting brunch, or simply want a more casual table setting.

Here’s what you’ll need:

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  • Evergreen branches (I have three different kinds here, but ended up only using two. You really don’t need a lot; one or two branches should be plenty)
  • A white table runner
  • An oil lamp (if you don’t have one, a large pillar candle with a base would work)
  • Tea light candles with holders
Your first step will be to cut down those branches. Make short segments so they’ll lay flat.
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Next, lay down the table runner and place the oil lamp/pillar candle right in the middle.

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Lay the branches around the lamp/candle as if you were framing it. Spread them out so that they cover most, but not all of the table runner.

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Then “sprinkle” the tea light candles around, and you’re done!

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Voila! You can make the branches as thick or thin as you want, but personally I feel that less is more in this situation.

The next table is a little more formal, but is the easiest of the three. I call this one the Golden Holly.

Here’s what you’ll need:

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  • White round placemats (one for each place setting + one for the center)
  • Gold ornaments
  • Two candlesticks
  • Holly branch (pick one with lots of berries)
  • Your trusty salt and pepper shakers
Step one for this table is much like the first table: set out your placemats at each seat, and one right in the middle. Set your candlesticks an equidistance away from the placemat on either side.
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Next, place that holly branch on the placemat in the middle and sprinkle the ornaments around it.
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That’s it!
The third table is great for the kids table (or anyone who is a kid at heart). I call it the Nutcracker and His Friends.
Here’s what you’ll need:
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  • A nutcracker
  • A Christmasy tablecloth (stick with something monotone)
  • Fake snow
  • A small wood stump
  • Some ceramic animals
  • Any items that are foresty

You all know step one by now: lay out that tablecloth.

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Next, lay out the snow, making sure to keep a small section open for the nutcracker and the tree stump.

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Then, put out the “friends” in such a way that it looks like they’re playing in the snow.

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I love this little birdy, and how serene it looks in the snow. Just a happy little bird snoozing away.

There you have it. Which one do you like best?

How To Style a Coffee Table

This how to is akin to my How to Set a Table (Thanksgiving edition); the end result is going to look different depending on your personality, style, and what you have available.

Styling a coffee table will largely be determined by the room it’s in. A formal living room will look best with a table that’s more artistic, less utilitarian (unless of course your style is minimalist, in which case the second coffee table I show you would fit better). The family room coffee table is going to be a work horse (it’s just the nature of the room) so you’re going to want something that’s functional. You’re not going to want to have to clear the space every time you go in to use the room.

So let me talk about picking a coffee table first. As I mentioned earlier, your table will need to fit the needs of the room you’re putting it in. So while the living room coffee table need not be large, you’re going to want something more heavy duty for the family room, since that’s the room you’ll be doing the most things in (like board games, crafts, etc.).

I’ll share my living room coffee table first:

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As you can see, it’s a more flowery table. The sides are actually drop leafs, and can be put down if there’s going to be a large crowd, so it’s very functional, but overall, the style is not utilitarian.

I’ve also practically covered the table, but that’s fine, because I’ve still left space for cups and plates, should I serve any food to my guests (which trust me, happens frequently). The main goal for the living room coffee table is to look pretty.

How to Style a Coffee Table 2

How to Style a Coffee Table

So go ahead and put a whole bowl of pinecones and a pretty frame on there. Be creative.

The second table is the one in our family room. It is one solid table, and I like it that way, because this is the table the kids play on, sometimes literally on top of. You want this table to be large and sturdy.

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You can see that Sophie (our dog) wanted in on the photoshoot.

You’ll notice that I’ve put my “decorations” on one side. This allows me to have part of the table already cleared for play. You are more than welcome to center your tray/basket, but be prepared to move it a lot.

 

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A quick word about your tray: keep it useful. I like to put the books/magazines I’m currently reading, or books that the kids find interesting in mine. You could keep your coasters in it too. It’s purpose is to store all those things that tend to be transient, those items that need to stay out because you use them frequently.

In each table you’ll notice that I practice one rule: the rule of three. For some reason, three items together is really pleasing to the human eye. So try and keep your decorations down to three main items (this is where the tray is really useful, because even if you have multiple items in it, I still only counts as one visually). I’ve also tried to have the items staggered in size: one low, one medium, one high. They’re also small, medium, and large, respectively. Keep these tricks in mind, and you’ll be styling in no time.