Chic Coffee tables and Suave side tables are certainly becoming a staple in a well put together room, very often influencing things around the room. They are something that people are becoming more and more aware of and the creativity around these is certainly increasing. They are something that started to get attention when seen in the glossy of pages of Country Living, Elle Decor, House and Garden etc often in large Parisian apartments or in the drawing room of a romantic country home. Naturally as things become more coveted and desired, affordable versions come about, and I've got to say they're being done very well.
So how do you go about creating one yourself? Whether it be an affordable centre piece in your cosy living room to add some glamour or a chic staple in your grand hall way, the mutual understanding is that it looks effortless and not staged or methodically put together (only we know thats true)! Something that I often find is a good way of re creating a look I like, is to take some inspiration images whether it be from a magazine, a television show, a book, pinterest, whatever it is and the key here is to take that image and 'break it down'. So to explain this process a little more i'll give you a demonstration of something I actually did myself for a scheme at school.
So this is the image I chose for my inspiration. It worked well for my 'client' who was a 55-65 aged businessman who had just retired to a home just outside of London and wanted a low key, calm reading room with touches of traditional British elegance without being too OTT.
As you can see we have a room with a light and airy feel, with contrasting polished dark wood floors, touches of tradition and that fabulous 'POP' of green.
As an interior designer, your job is not to create a room but to create a room with a 'feeling'. So looking at this room, you get a 'feel' of calm, fresh, inviting etc and that feeling is made up of smaller elements put together in a way that they are seamless.
Often trying to recreate a feeling or space that you've seen in a magazine or in a book can feel daunting and often its that first move thats the hardest. That's where breaking everything down is key!
So lets do exactly that: 1) cream simple sofas 2) contrasting dark mirror 3) round centre table 4) triangular perch seats 5) "scattered" books 6) stone planter with green plants/flowers etc
So your first step has now been done for you and you'll be left with a list of the basic elements that make up this room. Then you want to go back through that list and start filling in the details so the round centre table - it's not overly polished and has a slightly aged appearance which again is contrasting with the slick new polished dark wood flooring, all of these elects contribute greatly to your final 'feel'. Should you choose to go with a more modern rounded table in that centre piece, you're final 'feel' would be slightly different, but that's ok, don't be afraid to adjust things to your own taste, I encourage creativity and confidence in personal taste! Unless you are 100% sure this is the feel you're going to achieve which certainly happens and is absolutely something that happens in the interior design world, then you need to make sure that you really pay attention to the details in the second step of the process.
So now you've got your detailed list, you can start to think about sourcing your pieces. A step I often like to add in is without considering budget or anything like that, ill hit interior design magazines and online and start finding pieces that follow the descriptions of each piece I'm looking for. Ill then take them and put them on a board and play around with it until I'm happy with it. This is all part of the design process and a great way to step back and look at everything and make sure you're happy with what you're seeing.
Below is the board I created after I had found all the pieces I was looking for:
So just to give you a quick run through of my thought process. We've got the cream sofa, very similar, almost identical to the sofa from the inspiration image, the pot planter and a selection of green planting options including Lilies, Orchids and wild field flowers, triangular stools, almost identical again, an aged centre table, I decided to go with a round mirror rather than square, a round side table and a round standing lamp which I preferred to the ones in the image but didn't change to the feel to drastically. I found a fun selection of books and thought the Jo Malone candle was a fun touch, again following the black and cream contrast theme. I also decided to go with a gold figure rather than a stone one because I saw that a lot of my pieces has gold accents so I thought it tied the room together nicely.
So there you have my process of breaking down a room a recreating and modifying feelings and looks I've seen and admired, because thats what design is all about.
Just before I bring this post to an end and pop in some inspiration images for you, I'd just like to cover one staple that you very often see on these side tables and centre pieces and that is beautiful glossy coffee table books. I just wanted to give you a couple of ideas of books that I would recommend using and just would love to share with you. Very often, and I've done it here, people get stuck in the trap of covering their coffee tables with catalogues and books from Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Prada etc and very often I think using entirely this type can be detrimental to the subtly of the final look. Something I would suggest though is perhaps having one in amongst a number of different books. Below I've listed a couple of book I recommend:
Vintage Cocktails - By Brian Van Flandern
The Spirit of Capri - By Pamela Fiori
Emerald - By Jonathan Self
In the Spirit of St Tropez - By Henry Jean - Servat
I hope you enjoyed this blog post, it's one i've been looking forward to doing for so long! Please feel free to leave me any questions below or any blog post requests! Everything I post about is all available on my Pinterest which you can click the link up the top for endless beautiful inspiration which I have attached below!