Three gorgeous table setting ideas

Is your table boring? Do you keep interesting dinnerware hostage in your cupboards?

I caught myself in the boring-table-setting tunnel, and I said to myself: “Wait a minute, where’s the fun, the style, the spark, the joy? I should know how to do this…”

We all have beautiful table runners, glasses and plates somewhere in the cupboards. I say it’s time to get them out so we can look at them while we eat every day, and feel like it’s a special occasion, even though it’s just another day at home.

I’ve got three ideas that I hope will inspire you to put together a gorgeous table setting!

First and most simple to recreate, it’s the organic look: white, brown, green. Simple shapes, natural textures and rustic touches.

img_7797

On a wooden table I’ve put a lacy plastic-coated placemat,  white ceramic plate and small plate with mushroom (West Elm, 2010 collection), Spanish terracotta tapas dish, French wine glass, green candle and bamboo bowl (Ikea), mismatching cutlery and taupe cotton napkin.

Here’s another one: a classic white and blue, revisited with lots of different patterns and styles, so it’s more fun and less formal.

img_7806

On a baroque blue and white tablecloth, I’ve used white china and traditional ceramic of Delft. On melamine silver tray there are Polish handmade mug and vase, and a blue sugar bowl by Danish brand Everyday Greengate. Next to the yummy apple pie my mum made for my husband, contemporary French cake server by Sabre.

Third and last: a gorgeous magnolia motive inspired me a clean and feminine table setting in white, pink and brown.

Magnolia table setting

This table runner was a lucky find in a Swiss supermarket. I love the floral pattern. I’ve added white china, simple classic cutlery, white napkin, a pink Moroccan tea glass, and a floral ceramic bowl by Italian design brand Seletti.

I hope you’ll feel inspired to use some of your forgotten table beauties now!

Buon appetito!

Nursery styling for a baby girl

Ok, this time I have a valid excuse for being absent from the blog: I just had a baby.

My baby girl and her 2 years old brother are keeping me occupied on a level I never experienced before. Time flies, and not because I’m having fun, but because I have too much to do and I just don’t like leaving things behind or for others to do. It might be slightly pathologic, but… TA-DAAA, that’s me!

Although there’s nothing more creative than creating a baby inside you and giving birth to him or her, I have been pouring more creative energy into shopping and styling for my baby girl.

When I had my first, Oliver, I was renovating, on a budget, and – let’s just say this – it’s not as much fun with boys! Clothes and accessories tend to be boring, repetitive, stripy mostly. But if you haven’t already, please check out my post about my little boy’s room here: ideas for neat, efficient and colourful ways of decorating for kids.

This time around I have a master bedroom big enough for a nursery corner next to the king-size bed, and it’s nice to create a lovely little place where she sleeps, gets changed and dressed.

Pictures have not been edited, because if I wait until I find the time to do that, I might end up posting when she’s one – please forgive me!

 

How colour coding will please your eye.

I am a colour coding activist. My husband rolls his eyes at me when I lay our grocery shopping at checkout organising it by colour. And even if I may come across as OCD, I do it whenever I can.

And wherever I can: the lingerie drawer, the glass cabinet in the dining room, my child’s toys in his room… And I would like to convince my readers to try and do it somewhere in the house and see the difference.

Even something as boring as a raw of detergents can be eye-pleasing:

colour coding detergents

Detergents out of reach but not out of sight? Colour code them!

More delicate and pretty glasses deserve to be organised in a gorgeous display cabinet, just like this:

colour coding glass cabinet

Rainbow effect in the glass cabinet.

And last but not least, a classic: colour coding for your library. My library is white so it offers the perfect blank canvas for the colourful books to pop:

colour coding bookshelf

Colours separated by white, a classic library styling.

Give it a try! Any attempt you would like to share?

 

Colour coding ideas

 

Kids room styling

kids room styling

This is the room I have most fun styling in the whole house – who would have said that only 3 years ago!

I think kids room must be bright, organised, easy to clean, uncluttered, playful, and relaxing at the same time.

This is what I did with my 2-year-old boy’s room in our Swiss apartment.

SPACE

The room is rectangular, simply white walls and ceiling, light timber floors, one large window as wide as the whole back wall.

As a basic feng-shui rule recommends, I placed the bed as far as possible from the entrance door, in a corner, so that feet don’t point at the door, and head rests against a solid wall.

Alongside the bed-head wall, I placed an open bookcase for books and toys, and on the opposite wall the 2 metres wide wardrobe.

At the centre of the room there’s a generous space for Oliver to play, on the floor or on his little table that travels often between his room and the living area.

Here’s a sketch of the layout:

kids room layoutCOLOURS

To create a playful but uncluttered space, I opted for white furniture, against which the many many colours of books and toys are even more fun, without creating a visual mess.

I had in mind painting the walls a dark shade of blue-grey, to create more contrast with the furniture, but this past winter has been so wet and depressing I am not so sure (sometimes I forget I’m not in Australia anymore!).

kids bed styling

 

BOOKSHELF STYLING

I chose an open bookshelf so that we could have a beautiful display of colourful toys and books, which are the soul of the room.

Our white lacquered IKEA bookshelf is divided into 16 cubes, and for each I picked a theme or a main colour. In this simple way, objects are grouped nicely and look even more attracting to kids: we have the vehicles cube, the animals cube, the blue books cube, the white books cube, the soft toys cube, the timber toys cube…

You can do this with floating shelves as well, but I find these cubes are easier to keep clean and tidy.

kids bookshelf styling

 

WARDROBE ORGANISING

I am a recently converted to to the Mari Kondo method of home (life?) organising. It gives me such a sense of calm and satisfaction when I see all the clothes almost-perfectly rolled, aligned, all visible at the same time for a conscious and effective choose of outfit!

If you haven’t read the book, get it here, if like me you’ve got no patience and just wanna now NOW, search for Mari Kondo interviews, videos, articles, and Pinterest pins.

I find the not very deep drawers of IKEA wardrobes are perfect for storing clothes, and I organise my boy’s neatly among 4 sections:

  1. underwear, sleepwear, swimwear
  2. pants, tops and sweaters
  3. bed linen and bibs
  4. larger blankets and towels

wardrobe organising

Finally, I gave a warm, personal touch by hanging or displaying handmade timber items that were carved or painted by friends, or that I bought at the fleas markets.

Hand-painted timber keepsake box and hard-carved timber toys

Hand-painted timber keepsake box and hard-carved timber toys

 

Italian nursery rhyme painted on a timber star

Italian nursery rhyme painted on a timber star

 

Timber stars 1 metre wide, with name bunting (one is for baby coming in a few months!)

Timber stars 1 metre wide, with name bunting (one is for baby coming in a few months!)

 

 

 

kids room styling ideas

Contemporary bathroom styling

In this bathroom with dark wall and floor tiles (concrete look, chocolate colour), the white vanity is the stand-out piece and where the attention focuses.

I styled it in three ways.

ONE, objects are grouped at both sides of the basin. On one side perfumes and lotions, displayed on a mirrored tray, on the other side a bunch of white freesias and a potted orchid (not in bloom at the moment, just green leaves).

Bathroom styling.

Bathroom styling.

TWO, I added some colour and a provincial touch grouping lavender flowers in a manson jar, and leaving just the orchid leaves on the other side.

Bathroom styling

Bathroom styling, with lavender.

THREE, This is a more minimal styling, not so practical for everyday use of the bathroom. It’s good for a guest bathroom or for putting a property on the market. I used white Singapore orchids in a Murano glass vase, a small jar with volcanic pebbles, and a beautiful big candle in the shape of a horse chess piece (by Seletti). I hung a long Indian tassel to the door handle to add personality.

Bathroom styling.

Bathroom styling.

Jewellery organising: sorted!

How well is your jewellery organised?

I’ve been looking for the perfect way to store and display mine for ever. I’ve tried a bit of everything: boxes, trays, hanging bags, coat-hangers, trees, drawers… even a totally home-made built-on-door wire system. Now I think I’ve found the one.

These are my top-7 requirements for a great jewellery organising system:

  • I need to have all of my jewellery sorted (not just “what fits on the tree”)
  • I want to see everything at one glance – in order to make the best possible decision and don’t forget about pieces I own
  • the jewellery pieces need to be separated from one another (I don’t want to end up with a nest of necklaces tangled together anymore)
  • jewellery needs to be easy to reach and put back at its place
  • protected from dust, or at least easy to clean

NECKLACES AND PENDANTS

Organize all your necklaces with this simple hanger

Organize all your necklaces with this simple hanger

This is a beautiful hanging system made with timber and hooks. I had mine handmade by Veronica, you can purchase one or make it yourself with the right equipment (timber, hooks, drill, sanding paper, paint)

  • custom-painted so it fits in with the bedroom style and colour pallette (for me white and black stripes)
  • custom-built to a 13-hooks size, so it holds as many necklaces as I need
  • necklaces and pendants are separated, tidy, easy to see and easy to access
  • for dust protection, I hung it under a shelf.

What doesn’t work: flat storage systems (they take too much space and get too dusty); jewellery tree (it’s either unstable or monumental, and it limits the number and length of necklaces you can display).

BANGLES

Hang up a timber double wine box to store your bangles

Hang up a timber double wine box to store your bangles

I found the best bangles organiser in a timber wine box. It’s the perfect shape and size, and you can entirely costumise it to your needs – I used a 2-bottles box, but you can use a single, or even a triple one.

All you need to do is remove the sliding top, drill two holes in it, and screw it into the wall. I left it raw for a natural look, but you can paint it, or cover the inside with wallpaper trims.

  • bangles fit perfectly
  • variable storage capacity: you can choose the wine box in size you need, and even add more later on
  • the thin bangles are stacked together around a velvet jewelery sachet
  • protected from dust thanks to the horizontal panels
  • everything is visible
  • all bangles are easy to access

What doesn’t work: the typical horizontal-velvety-cylinder system makes you take bangles out in order to reach for those not on the extremes, occupies a lot of space because you have to have it on a flat surface, and it’s more exposed to dust.

EARRINGS

Collect and display all of your earrings on a canvas, then pop it against a wall.

Collect and display all of your earrings on a canvas, then pop it against a wall.

Earrings are a big deal for me. The play a key role in your look because of how close they are to your eyes and mouth.

My previous storage systems failed miserably, and I often had to give up on my first choice because I could only find one of the two earrings.

This is my best solution ever: just buy a cheap canvas in the shape and size of your choice, poke holes in it with the earrings themselves, and display them exactly as you want them. Then, sit the canvas on a desk/chest of drawers, and against the wall. I intentionally don’t recommend screwing the canvas to the wall, because you need to comfortably fit a hand between the canvas and the wall, to get the earrings on and off.

To select the perfect shape and size of canvas that works for you, I recommend laying down all your earrings neatly on a table first.

      • you are totally in control of the personalised storage capacity
      • the pair is together forever (no more looking for “the other one”)
      • it fits all different shapes and lengths of earrings: small studs, long pendant, wide chandeliers… You just need to poke holes where you want them!
      • totally inexpensive solution (I paid $6 for it) and easy to make (no tools and no skills required)
      • easy access to every earring just moving the canvas from the wallthis system works
      • best for fish-hooks or post earrings

To organise your loop earrings, I suggest:

  1. punch 2 holes at the top (or bottom) of the canvas, aligned on a horizontal line (one will be at the very left, one at the very right hand extreme of the canvas);
  2. have a cord or string going through the holes and fix it with 2 knots at the back so that it shows like a straight line from the front;
  3. hang your loop earrings on it.

What doesn’t work: jewellery boxes, loose storage in a big bag, fixed-size jewellery trees and hanging systems.

RINGS

Rings organized in recycled candle jars: completely see-through and protected from dust

Rings organized in recycled candle jars: completely see-through and protected from dust

I store my rings in recycled candle glass jars.

  • all rings are visible through the glass
  • maximum protection from dust
  • minimal surface space taken
  • no cost at all: just take an empty candle jar with lid and wash it from any wax residue with warm water

DELICATE ITEMS

Put your brooches, precious bracelets, delicate earrings in fabric or clear plastic bags before storing them in a jewellery box.

Put your brooches, precious bracelets and delicate earrings in fabric or clear plastic bags before storing them in a jewellery box.

All of the above applies for custom jewellery (not your most valuable items). Some pieces, though, need extra care, and I store them separately.

Brooches, the few bracelets I own, anything fragile/timber/paper/lace, together with pieces I don’t normally wear but I keep just in case I’m going to need them for a dress-up party, are individually stored in fabric sachets or sandwich bags, and then collected in nice timber jewellery boxes. This is not a very practical solution as you will need to remember what is stored separately, but it’s definitely worth it if you want to give delicate pieces a longer life.

 

And this is how everything comes together:

The whole jewellery organising system: bangles, necklaces, earrings, bracelets and rings.

The whole jewellery organising system: bangles, necklaces, earrings, fragile pieces and rings.