living room inspiration

  • 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:

    Books

    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.

    Flowers

    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?

    Art

    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.

    Runners

    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.

    Coasters

    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.

    Storage

    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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  • How to decorate with mirrors in the living room

    Often used both for functional and decorative purposes
    in areas such as bathrooms and bedrooms, mirrors can enhance virtually any space in
    your home. When it comes to your living room, you may have already selected
    chairs, bookcases, pictures, ornaments, lights and other pieces of furniture to
    lift the look and feel of the space, but you may be wondering what you can add
    as a final component to tie it all together.

    An attractive mirror could be the answer. These accessories possess many benefits, such as making rooms lighter, creating an illusion of extra space, and covering up any unwanted imperfections. In this guide, we look at how you could introduce a mirror into your living room and how doing so could take your interior design to the next level.

    How to hang a mirror on a wall

    In a bedroom, freestanding mirrors can help to accentuate the space and give you a chance to see how you look in your outfits from top to toe. However, in a living room, a mirror is generally better suited to being hung on a wall. Whether it’s positioned opposite a window to bounce more natural light around the room or to work alongside other mirrors in an interesting pattern, you’ll need to make sure that your mirror is firmly secured on the wall.

    To hang a mirror:

    1. Start by planning where you want it to go and check that nothing is behind this space in the wall that could prevent you from hanging it. There are tools that you can use to scan the chosen area. This equipment will alert you to any live wires or pipes that could potentially harm or obstruct you during the process of hanging your mirror.
    2. Hold your mirror up to the wall and mark where you want it to go with a pencil. The marking will either be an indication of the top of the mirror, the sides of the mirror or where the nail will go behind the mirror.
    3. At this point, you can choose how you want to hang your mirror. There are a number of methods, and some mirrors are fitted with a small hook on the back to save you the trouble of deciding the most appropriate option. However, in terms of large or awkwardly-shaped mirrors, it would be advisable to put a hook on either side of the mirror about a third of the way down the frame. Hammer a nail into the wall a few inches down from the top centre of where you want the mirror to go. You can then attach string to the hooks, allowing it to flow down by a couple of inches, and use it to suspend the mirror from the nail.
    4. Once you’ve hung the mirror, check that it’s straight by using a spirit level. If the mirror isn’t completely flat to the wall, you can secure it by putting mirror hanging strips, adhesive tape or even something as simple as Blu Tack in the corners or several areas along the back. Just be aware of how these methods might mark your wallpaper.

    A living room with a decorative mirror hung on the wall.

    A comfortable sofa and modern decor.

    Although this is the most traditional method of hanging
    a mirror, there are other techniques that are better suited to mirrors of
    different shapes, sizes and styles. Read on for help on hanging your mirror to
    a door or tiles, or hanging a frameless mirror.I

    How to attach a mirror to a wardrobe door

    Attaching mirrors to wardrobes, cabinets or other pieces
    of furniture designed for storage is often something done in bedrooms. However,
    as some living rooms also have these items of furniture, it’s a worthwhile
    consideration if you feel that a mirror would upgrade your furniture or
    disguise imperfections.

    How you attach the mirror onto the door of your wardrobe
    will depend on the mirror itself and the type of wood you’re fitting it to. For
    example, if you’re looking to fit a frameless mirror to a thin, hollow door,
    you could use an adhesive glue as long as you’re happy for the mirror to be
    permanently attached to the door. If you’re fitting a framed mirror on a thick
    door, you would be able to fit the mirror using small screws or nails
    connecting the mirror to the door through the frame.

    How to mount a mirror on tiles

    Tiles are rare in living rooms, but if the downstairs of
    your home is open plan or if you have a tiled wall for contrast, you may need
    help with hanging a mirror. Obviously, the concern with hanging a mirror on a
    tiled wall is that the tiles will split, crack and suffer damage.

    However, you’re actually able to use the same steps as
    you would for hanging a mirror using hooks and a nail as long as you use a
    drill bit that is designed for penetrating tile without damaging it.

    When it comes to drilling the hole (or holes if you’re
    mounting your mirror in a different way), you should start by wetting the drill
    bit before carefully drilling into the tile. To minimise the risk of damage,
    take regular breaks and apply more water during the drilling process to cool it
    down. After drilling the hole, you should fit a wall plug as this will help to
    prevent any damage once the nail or screw is fitted.

    How to hang a frameless mirror on a wall

    A frameless mirror can offer a luxurious appearance, easy maintenance and, because it has no frame, it can be simpler to hang as it’s likely to be lighter. Without a frame, however, you can’t simply attach hooks to the back and suspend the mirror from a nail in the wall as this would result in damage to the mirror. Alternative solutions such as adhesive tape or mirror hanging strips are quick and easy to use and, providing you fit them correctly, they’re just as reliable as nails. You could also consider an adhesive sealant, but this is a more permanent option and your wall is likely to be seriously damaged if you attempt to remove the mirror in the future.

    Fern xx

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