One chic coffee table, three canny style tools

A well styled coffee table can be a game changer. I recently took delivery of the Athena* coffee table from Swoon Editions which, let's face it, doesn't need much help to look its best. What with its white circular marble top and modernist black metal legs, Athena has got all its beauty bases covered. 

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But not all coffee tables are this blessed. In fact, until now I've mostly got mine from charity shops and flea markets and they have required a little more help in the looks department.  

Over the years I've learnt to employ a couple of basic styling techniques which can really up the ante of a coffee table. With these inexpensive style tools in your accessories arsenal, you'll have everything you need to take a coffee table from functional to fabulous - whether its a Swoon Editions stunner, or a junk store gem.

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1) Vintage vases

Today I noticed the flowers were on their way out. I always spare a few quid for supermarket flowers with each weekly shop, but they have to work hard for their dollar. They may start off as a lush full bunch in a nice vase (you know my faves if you follow my Instagram account; the pink bubble glass one, the fake Zambesi one)... but as the week wears on and things start to droop a little, the flowers get split up and chopped down.

Here's where having a couple of smaller vintage vases comes in useful. You can cut the stems short and let whatever is left of the blooms have one last hurrah. You get at least another couple of days out of your flowers and a fresh new look for your coffee table.

I also have a ton of cheap-as-chips stem vases in my flower vessel armoury. Many are old glass bottles with pretty decorative patterns, which I often team with a smaller vase, but can be simply lovely all on their own.

2) Book club

We know books aren't just for reading don't we? I mean, enjoy them by all means, but just promise not to let the fun end with the afterword. After they've enriched your soul, it's time for them to enrich your coffee table.

Even just a couple of books to stack on top of one another is a way cooler way of displaying flowers, an ornament, or a candle even, than just plonking that item on the table itself. Honestly, once you're into this vibe, stuff placed directly onto a table top will really start to bug you. 

You'll need all shapes and sizes of books to fulfil your different stacking and styling needs. Strip them of their paper cover if it's a bit naff and get down to the naked spine. Battered vintage books are a great look of course, but I tend to use whatever is lying around. Too many times we've lost a school library book, only for it to be found under a vase of freesias a week and a book fine later. 

Your coffee table will thank you for this small book of photographs by Martin Parr, which is just brilliant with our without the addition of flowers. 

Martin Parr  photography book £8.95 Amazon

Martin Parr photography book £8.95 Amazon

3) Kudos Coasters

The one thing you DON'T want on your coffee table is a mug stain. But truth be told, I'm not a huge fan of coasters either. In fact I'm a bit of a coaster snob. I have vintage silver ones that come in their own little stacking holder. They're always knocking about in charity shops and flea markets and they do the practical/ pretty job really quite well.

That said, if I was getting married again and putting a gift list together... or just feeling flush, there are some pretty lush coasters around that make serious coffee table eye candy.  Amara has this game covered of course. Head straight to their website for coasters with a ton of extra style kudos. There's a few of my faves from their collection below. All www.amaraliving.com

So what's on your coffee table? A half eaten Snickers, last season's Next catalogue and a broken phone charger? Maybe it's time you got your kit together? Let me know your thoughts.

Claire x

*Sadly the circular Athena table is no longer available. Click here for the rectangular version or visit www.swooneditions.com to shop more marble top lovelies

 

 

Welcome to Leeds, John Lewis

It's happening. John Lewis is set to officially open its doors to the lovely people of Leeds tomorrow, 20th October 2016 and we're all a little bit giddy about it.

Artist impression of John Lewis in the new  Victoria Gate  shopping complex, Leeds

Artist impression of John Lewis in the new Victoria Gate shopping complex, Leeds

So giddy in fact, that at 6pm last night, a few thousand of us formed a very sophisticated, middle class queue at the foot of the impressive new Victoria Gate shopping complex for an exclusive card holder preview evening.

At 6.05pm, we elbowed each other out of the way to get to the free fizz and canapes and, fuelled with bubbles and bitesize salmon en croute, we lapped up 4 floors of the kind of fabulousness John Lewis is famous for.

Regular readers might not have me down as a John Lewis girl. This is not the place to pick up a neon pink sideboard, I'll give you that. But there is a sensible side to me you know? With John Lewis, I know I'm going to get great quality and value for money. And I know I speak on behalf of my fellow Yorkshire folk when I say, we're bang up for that.

John Lewis is somewhere I head to for products I know are going to live up to their hype. And thanks to its unbeatable list of design collaborators, it is now, more than ever, on my go-to list for affordable, on trend house candy.

Here's a few of my favourite John Lewis homewares available on line and at the shiny new Victoria Gate store in Leeds:

1. Content by Conran coffee and side table set

Black enamel coffee table and 2 side tables £599  John Lewis

Black enamel coffee table and 2 side tables £599 John Lewis

2. Brushed Brass Flos IC Lights

Flos IC wall lights £260  John Lewis

Flos IC wall lights £260 John Lewis

3. West Elm Bar Cart

Brass bar cart £339  John Lewis

Brass bar cart £339 John Lewis

3. Joules Tableware

Joules dog plates and mugs from £9.95  John Lewis

Joules dog plates and mugs from £9.95 John Lewis

On Air light box £75  John Lewis

On Air light box £75 John Lewis

So I know you're all desperate to know what classic homeware items made it back to House Candy HQ?

Flamingo snow globe £15  John Lewis

Flamingo snow globe £15 John Lewis

Never knowingly Undersold, that's me. 

Welcome to West Yorkshire John Lewis, it's about time too. Doors open Thursday 20th October. Happy shopping all,

Claire x