interior design inspiration

  • How to decorate a glass display cabinet

    A common piece of furniture in any traditionally styled living room, a glass display cabinet gives you the opportunity to arrange your favourite items, ornaments or anything that reflects your personality to guests within your home. But if you currently have an empty display cabinet and don’t know what to put in it or feel that the cabinet simply isn’t standing out as you’d hoped, you may feel lost for ideas.

    In this blog, we offer tips on what you could do to decorate your glass cabinet, including items that could work in it and installing lighting.

    How to decorate a display cabinet

    Whether you want to accentuate the features of a new display cabinet or simply want to add a new lease of life to a cabinet that’s old and in need of a revamp, there are a few finishing touches you can add to help it fit into your home.

    A lit glass display cabinet presenting a set of plates.

    What to put in a glass display cabinet

    When you bring a display cabinet into your home, you may have made the decision to buy it based on the visual appearance and the impact it could have on making the room feel more homely. However, something you need to bear in mind is what you’ll display in it, especially as it could contribute to how your glass cabinet looks.

    If you have a collection of cards, trinkets or figures, a glass cabinet with internal shelving could be the perfect place for displaying these items safely, while also visually telling visitors what you’re interested in. Alternatively, you could use it as a place to store champagne and other alcoholic beverages for special occasions.

    Other items you could put in your display cabinet:

    • Artwork
    • Awards
    • Books
    • Candles
    • Glassware
    • Jewellery
    • Ornaments
    • Photo frames
    • Plates
    • Potted plants
    • Reed diffusers
    • Statues
    • Valuables
    • Vinyl records

    How to display plates in a cabinet

    Plates are often displayed in a glass cabinet, but if you’re unaware of how to do this, you may need some guidance to make everything look just right.

    Steps for displaying plates in a glass cabinet:

    1. Identify the shelf or shelves you want to utilise. If you only want to use one shelf, it would be advisable to use the middle shelf out of three or the higher shelf if the cabinet only has two. If, however, you want to display plates throughout the entire cabinet, you can evenly spread them across every shelf.
    2. Start by displaying the larger plates along the back of the cabinet, almost making it look like they’re leaning against the back. You can then display smaller plates in front and so on and so forth, prioritising any that match if possible.
    3. Some display cabinets that are designed for plates have indentations for the plates to fit. However, if this isn’t the case, you should use plate holders to prevent the plates from falling.
    4. As a finishing touch, if there are any gaps left, you could use any cups and other matching crockery to keep within the theme while using up the remaining space.

    How to light a display cabinet

    Another way to bring some life to your display cabinet is by lighting up the cabinet and its contents. You can do this by installing lighting within it, and while this may sound like a difficult task, it’s actually relatively easy and there are several ways of doing it.

    How to install LED lights in a display cabinet

    Methods of using LED lights in your display cabinet include:

    Install LED strips -

    For a solution that is effective and reliable, consider fitting LED lighting around the inside edges of the cabinet. You can then drill a small hole in a hidden section for connecting the wire from mains power to the lighting. If you want even more control, you could even consider using an LED strip set that allows you to manage the lighting remotely or change the colour or brightness.

    Attach LED puck lights - If you want an easy alternative that avoids the need to make permanent changes to your display cabinet, you could consider attaching battery powered LED lights. Simply attach them to the underside of each shelf using stickers or double sided cellotape, and when the lights die, remove them to replace the batteries.

    Fern xx

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  • How to decorate a coffee table

    Your coffee table serves an undoubtedly useful function in your home. But whether you have an ornate marble top table, a rustic oak design or a sleek, minimalist glass top piece, your coffee table can end up looking lacklustre if it’s not styled properly.

    It’s time to see this essential item of furniture for what it is - a canvas that can be used to project your style and personality. With a little effort, you can say goodbye to bland and create a conversation starter in your living room. Whether you’re an earth lover who’s drawn to the natural look, a quirky collector of knick-knacks or a stylish devotee of clean lines and monochromatic design, you can make your coffee table work for you.

    In this article, we show you how to add some oomph to this part of your home with some clever tricks and tips.

    How to dress a coffee table

    Whatever your style preferences, following a few golden rules should help you to achieve a chic coffee table look.

    Rule 1: Less is more

    It doesn’t matter if you own the biggest collection of art books known to man or you’ve managed to amass every candle that Jo Malone has ever released, when it comes to your coffee table, less is more. Having a few statement pieces helps to maintain a simple, uncluttered look and creates focus in your home. And remember, you can rotate items over time. So while you may go for Gauguin and gardenia one month, you might swap to Warhol and wood sage the next.

    Rule 2: Variety is key

    Create contrast and interest by using a range of textures and colours. It helps to vary the height and size of items on your table too. For example, you could pair a delicate white orchid with a heavy metallic sculpture. Or you could put two tall gold candle holders next to an asymmetrical ceramic bowl.

    Rule 3: Create harmony with colour

    Bold pops of colour can work well against neutral design schemes but try to keep colours complementary. For example, if you have a pastel theme running through your living room, brash primary colours may look out of place. Similarly if you have a lot of vibrant hues in your space, you might find that more subtle shades can cause your coffee table pieces to fade into the background.

    a decorated coffee table in an elegant sitting room.

    What to put on a coffee table

    As we’ve already said, your coffee table presents an opportunity to showcase who you are. So there’s a whole range of items you could choose to put on it, from vintage fashion magazines, to antique trinkets, to natural artifacts, to contemporary decorative figurines. Here are a few ideas to get you started:


    Whether you love 80s sci-fi cover art, you want to show off your intellectual credentials with a Nietsche hardback or you’d like to start conversations with a display of guilty pleasures, you can’t go wrong when it comes to books. We find that big often works best but there are no hard and fast rules. If you have a small table, for example, a classic Jane Austen paperback may work beautifully.


    A bouquet of flowers can act as the perfect coffee table centrepiece. You could create an arrangement of peonies in a low glass vase for a subtle, fresh look. Or for a more dramatic effect, why not add some roses and baby’s breath to a wine bottle?


    From bold geometric sculptures, to decorative mother and child resin statues, to kitschy rubber duck-lookalikes, displaying art on your coffee table can add flair and interest. It can also tell visitors a bit about you.

    How to accessorise a coffee table

    Whether you’re looking to upgrade a well-loved coffee table or add a personal touch to a new addition, we have accessory ideas to get you thinking.


    A simple runner can transform the look of a table. The textures, patterns and colours can create visual interest and make your table look truly at home in your space.


    Spice up your table with some interesting coasters. From handmade pieces made from recycled newspaper, to rustic olive wood designs, to coasters made to look like your favourite vinyl records, there are a host of great options out there when it comes to finding something to put your drink on.


    Whether you choose a fancy decorative box, a raffia basket or a simple wooden tray, a storage solution can help to keep remote controls, matches, phones and other odds and ends from making your table look unsightly.

    How to arrange books on a coffee table

    Show off those spines by arranging a small stack of books by colour or size. Top the arrangement with a succulent for a really chic look. Alternatively, create balance by placing two books face-up at either side of a centrepiece. If you have a two tier table, you might choose to create a few stacks of books at even height on the lower tier for a neat, sophisticated appearance.

    What to put on a glass coffee table

    Glass is derived from the natural world so natural objects can work really well on this kind of surface. Coral, crystals, natural beads, seashells and greenery can all compliment a glass coffee table exquisitely.

    If you have a mirrored tabletop, you could play around with perception by placing a chandelier on the ceiling above it. Candlelight also looks fantastic on a reflective surface so why not add some tea lights or
    votives (glass candles) to your table?

    Fern xx

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