Monday 29 September 2014

Console Table Styling

Yep, we found a console table to go with the grandfather clock!  (Actually the Lumberjack says it might be a grandmother clock - it's short for a tall clock - if that makes any sense!)

Firstly, I want to say thanks so much for the really helpful responses I got on my last post.  I was so undecided about what to do, and your responses were so full of great ideas and encouragement - I was lapping them up!

So Kimberly, Amy, Kiwijo, Chrissie, Anna, Alex, Court B - THANK YOU!!  You don't know how much better your comments made me feel - a happy solution seemed possible.  (Ok, I'm sounding a bit dramatic, but I've been rather obsessed about the whole thing lately (poor Lumberjack!)...)

So, step one: find a console table.  Dark wood was the plan - I'd been leaning that way, and your comments sealed the deal.  We were both open to the option of painting something if we couldn't find the right colour (we liked your idea Chrissie - painting a table grey).  We had a bit of a search on various websites, without much luck, then a week of work started and other things took over.  Until on Thursday I got an email telling me that Gumtree had a new look, come check it out.  I thought, 'hmm might as well do a search for a console table'.  One quick search on my phone, revealed something which seemed to be the right colour, had dimensions that would fit into the space we had, and was 15 miles away!  To cut to the chase, we went to see and buy it that night - £40 later and we had a console table - bargain!  We figured if it didn't match when we got it home, we'd just paint it grey - for £40, it was worth a go!

But look...

It goes perfectly!!  I can't believe how lucky we were to find something so quickly that goes so well, and for a bargain price.  It does have a couple of nicks, so we're going to get a touch-up pen to sort that out.

Ok... now, what about that picture???  Well, I was all ready to follow Kimberly's suggestion of propping the picture on the table, layering in front of it etc - very excited about the whole thing I was too.  However, the picture is (in its current frame) 85 cm wide.  The table is 79cm wide.  The table needs to be no smaller than the picture or else it looks wrong and disproportionate.  When we found the console table we knew this, but the Lumberjack said we should focus on the right table for the space and deal with the picture afterwards.  We're glad we went for this one, as we feel anything bigger would be in the way of getting onto and off of the stairs.

I don't know why, but it looks like the table is tiny and the stairs are huge in the picture above.  Maybe it's the picture, or just my eyes - it looks normal in real life!

Once we got home with the console table, I tried propping the picture on it - I put pics on instagram - but it wasn't working - it all looked very old fashioned.  Obviously, the picture still needed reframing (or painting - genius (and yet so simple!) idea, Court B) and I knew it was too big for the console, but I just wanted to get a general idea.

The photos above are the quick snaps I took on my phone.  I did think that if we didn't bother with a mount and got a slim black frame for the picture, then maybe it wouldn't overhang the table.

I just found the whole look a bit drab, though.  But of course, it didn't help that I put old books on the table too (which I actually think are pretty cool on their own) and it was late and dark!  If I'd layered with bright colourful things, and had some sunshine around, maybe it would have worked - maybe it still will.

But in the meantime, I started playing with other things I had...

Like this vase that we bought on our trip to Swanage last year, that I love, but was kind of lost where it was.  The picture is one that the Lumberjack bought from Rome when he was in the Navy (yep, he gets about that one).  It only recently emerged from one of his boxes of who-knows-what, and I think it's lovely.  Just look at how well the colours in the street match the colours in the vase - it's incredible!

Then I took a picture from the living room.  We had bought the print last year for about £2 in John Lewis because we both really liked it, then framed it with a cheap Wilkinson's frame.  For a while I've felt that it doesn't really go with the rest of the living room, but it works so much better here!

After becoming obsessed with Kimberly's blog, Swoon Worthy, and seeing her love of maidenhair ferns, I'd started to think a plant would add some nice softness to the place.  While I was reading her blog, the Lumberjack glanced over and spotted one on my screen (naturally got interested, as it involved a plant!) stated "maidenhair fern", then got on with his business.  Well, that was enough for me, I took that as my go-ahead!  (He had been saying recently that we should get some house plants.)  I bought a bright orange pot for it to add some cheery colour and pull in the oranges from both pictures.

When we bought the table, the Lumberjack came up with the idea of putting a doily on it - a white lacy doily!  In case you're thinking my boyfriend is actually an old lady, here he is in the garden with a chainsaw...

Grrrr manly!  He's not a little old woman!  (Phew, hopefully cleared that one up.)

Anyway, because he'd said that, I thought I'd put my crochet mandala on there...

It was more as a joke, I didn't expect it to go, but I like it.  The red pulls colours from the picture behind, the aqua colour kind of matches the vase, and the grey goes with the floor.  So, it's staying!

The three tea-light holders were added because I realised that I had even numbers on the table.  Two pictures, a vase and a plant - odd numbers always looks better on the eyes.  So, I added the cluster of tea-light holders.  I've had them a while, but they were currently in the cupboard as they didn't really go with anything - now they've found their home!  The colours work with the other bits.  It's all rather autumnal I've noticed too, very seasonal!

I've always been rubbish at styling.  This is the first time I feel I've given it a good go, and am happy with the results.  I am so pleased with how it all looks - very cheerful!

These are my tips:

  1. Use a plant to soften things
  2. Use odd numbers of items
  3. Overlap pictures (at first I had the two pictures side-by-side, it looked so much better when I overlapped them)
  4. Try to repeat colours throughout the vignette

But what do I know?!  What I'd recommend is to check out Swoon Worthy - I got so much inspiration and so many tips from the way Kimberly styles her home - it gave me the confidence to try this out.  (She hasn't sponsored me to say this, I'm just a psycho stalker fan.)

Of course, maybe you think it looks rubbish!  I am aware that it is a lot of stuff for such a little table, but I like it, it makes me happy - I keep going out there to gaze lovingly at it, and move things a millimetre here, a millimetre there.  The best thing is that the table was such a bargain, and the only other new things I bought were the plant and plant pot - both cheap from Homebase!

Regarding the big picture - we are going to take it to a framers in town, just to get some advice and then we'll take it from there.  I will be sure to update you on it's fate!  Maybe it'll end up on or above the console, and the whole thing will change... who can say.  I will make sure it finds a home, though.

Sorry for the extremely long post but this has been consuming me lately!  What do you all think?  Does it work?


  1. Oh you sweet thing you!! Hahaha! It's okay, I welcome all stalkers, crazy, certifiable, whatever, I'm fine ;) I have big locks on my doors but you can still peek through the windows ;) LOL!

    You've done a fantastic job! I love the way the console and the clock are both very traditional but the addition of colour and the way you've done it up make it look so cute and eclectic! Really well done - be careful though. Creating vignettes is wildly addictive and the more you create, the more you will want to do! Ha! Enjoy your cute little space! And I love that you felt the need to share your 'manly' hubby, he doesn't really look like the doily type to be fair ;) But it was a great suggestion!

    Oh and I think the print + console + clock will be too much traditional for a little space now. So yeah, see if you can find another spot for it! ;)

    Well done!!


  2. The table and the clock are made for each other Maria! It looks lovely! And a beautiful plant. Although it is the opposite here - I need to get rid of a few houseplants... but a fern... hm... in danger of becoming a planthoarder. Enjoy your new space. Well done! xx

  3. What a gorgeous table, and very well styled it is too. Really finishes off the hallway. Looks fab Maria, well done :o)

  4. Fantastic, Maria, really fantastic! You have styled it *perfectly*, and I can't believe your luck in finding one that matched the clock wood! Brilliant! I definitely prefer your arrangement on the table. The combination of the table and the old picture just looked outdated, like the two have been living in an old auntie's home like that for I think the painting will have to go with something modern to keep it fresh, just like that console looks up-to-date with the pictures, fern and brilliant mandala! (BTW, your hubby is calendar-worthy, if ya don't mind my sayin'...handsome *and* he can wield a chainsaw while suggesting doilies as decor? Girl, you hit the jackpot!). Cxxx

  5. What a stunning display! I love your vignette and use of colour. The whole hall looks fantastic-so classy.
    Alison xx

  6. I think it looks really great!!! The whole area looks really well pulled together and you can always change the things on the table as the seasons change if you want, and if not it looks lovely all year round in any case! The clock might be a grandmother, as it is rather shorter than a grandfather might normally be, but whatever its name is it looks very at home in your hallway and that is all that matters! Great job all round!! xx

  7. Maria you console table and hallway look great and I envy how tidy it all is. If it were my house there would already be keys, a phone, hair grips, probably a water bottle, a school letter and a random bit of lego on there - but hey everyone has their own style! Never mind all that though - do you have the bestest boyfriend ever? I wish my husband would take an interest in house things! I echo Chrissie with her praise and applaud any man who can be comfortable with a chainsaw one minute and a lace doily the next! Great styling and I enjoyed your post, Sam xxxx

  8. It looks really good and you've given us some great tips here. I like your arrangement. Console tables are great, aren't they? I don't know what we'd do without ours. x

  9. You styled this so expertly, Maria. It looks beautiful! And the vase matching the cobblestones in the picture Lumberjack bought in Rome? Those are some mad accessorising skills. And if I wasn't such a disaster with plants, I would SO buy a maidenhair fern. I always love running my hands through them like an absolute creep. They're so soft, I can barely feel them!

    And isn't Kimberly like, insanely talented? When I grow up I want to be like her.

    xx A


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