Friday, 3 October 2014

Mid Century Modern style Coffee table


Today I want to share the new coffee table I made for our living room!
Drawing on my inspiration from the 100% design exhibition, where the use of plywood and metal hairpin legs seemed to be trending for Autumn/Winter, that is exactly what I've used!
This is such an easy make, almost self explanatory....but I will show you some neat little tricks that you may need should you want to make this yourself....because Plywood is notoriously difficult to cut without splintering!

So all you'll need is a piece of plywood, gloss paint and the hairpin legs.
I used 15ml thick plywood from Wickes and You can buy the metal hairpin table legs on e-bay.
In terms of tools, you'll need a pencil, some paper to make a template with, a Stanley knife , a jigsaw, sandpaper, some screws , a drill and a screwdriver...

The first thing I did, was actually to paint the surface of the plywood with 3 coats of white gloss!
The reason I painted the wood BEFORE I cut it, is because this will help prevent the plywood from chipping when cutting it!

I decided on on an oblong oval shape for my coffee table.
On the underside of the plywood (where I didn't paint it), I sketched out a curved line by eye in one corner of the wood. I simply copied this curve onto the other corners by cutting out a paper template with that curve, then I traced around it on the other corners (flipping the template for the opposite corners)

Like I mentioned before, Plywood is notoriously tricky to cut without it chipping along the cutting edge, and cutting a curved line makes it even trickier!
I painted the top of the table, so that side should be alright, but in order to get a nice cutting edge on the underside of the wood (now facing upwards) I have a few more little tricks up my sleeve!
The first thing I did was scoring along the curved line with a Stanley knife. This should prevent the plywood from splintering away later....

I Then used a pen to emphasize the curved line that I want to cut along....

...because as a final preventative measure, I also covered my cutting line with masking tape...(also on the other side) and the pen makes the line easier to see!

Most importantly you'll want to make sure you use a new, fine toothed blade in your jigsaw!
You should now be ready to start cutting (Phew...finally hey??)

When you're cutting, aim just outside the pen line.This way, if there any splintering in the surface of the plywood, it should fall on the "right" side of the scored line!

This all may seem like a lot of fuss for just cutting some wood...but trust me, taking all these precautions before starting cutting will minimize any risk of the plywood chipping along your cutting edge...and definitely worth it for a nice neat edge!

Finish off by smoothing over the edges with some 80 grit sand paper.

Now all you have to do is position the metal hairpin table legs, drill some pilot holes (being careful not to drill all the way through the wood) and screw in place!

Flip over, and voila: A Mid century modern style coffee table:

Easy, really...don't you think?
I love it!

Please vote for me for best DIY blog

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Styling a book case... and tricks!

Our book case in our living room has been used as nothing but a dumping ground for all the stuff we didn't know quite where to put!
Sound familiar??
Of course it did contain books, which is the purpose of a book case, but as we are not avid readers (as much as I would like to be), there really was no structure or functionality in the shelves!
So, after staring at the mess it contained for a while, I decided to take action!
I was going to "style" that book case , so if nothing else, it looked nice!!
Now, styling is not something I have touched upon before here at Nostalgiecat...mostly because I don't consider myself an expert stylist, but also because I somehow find the concept a bit contrived!
So, after spending a few evenings on Pinterest, reading up on bookshelf styling, I decided to go for it...
So here's a few tricks of the trade that I learnt, alongside some pictures of my first attempt at bookshelf styling!

I started by clearing the shelf off and giving it a good clean!

Starting with the big things, I used a basket to store my magazines and I added some books...this is after all a book shelf, even if the chances are slim they will ever get read!! I say "some" books, because I didn't  put our entire sporadic collection back...I kept it minimal!
If you are an avid book reader and your collection of books are your pride and joy, then this post is probably not for you...I just wanted to make our book shelf look nice!
Try to keep the look and feel balanced by spreading the "piles" of books across the shelf!

Notice how I've turned the books around, so the spine faces back into the shelf....yup! NOT very practical if you like to see the titles of your books, but it makes the display a lot more uniform, so that's what I did!
....or you can wrap your book spines up, like Kristin Cadwallader from Bliss at Home did here
I stored the books both vertically and horizontally for a more interesting expression, leaving some "negative" space around the piles of books!
Negative space, is the space around things, and I've learnt that when it comes to styling something like a book shelf, leaving a bit of emptiness is important!!

I also added an unexpected light source on the bottom shelf, in form of this origami paper table lamp from Habitat...this will help add some nice low-level lighting to the room, ergo enhancing the feel of the space!

Next, I started adding some decorative objects....I took my own advice from THIS POST, and shopped my home for things I already had! I collected items with similarities and kept the color palette neutral , in white's and grey's.

I placed items on top of the book piles, as well as in the spaces in between...

On the top of the shelves, is the ideal place to display your favorite items: Your favorite coffee table books, a decorative bowl, a vase,some figurines (I love keeping mine in cloches) and some candlesticks...whatever you have. Make it a collection, by grouping similar things together for maximum impact!

Try mixing up textures and finishes, but keep to a limited color palette!

Try to layer your objects: 

Work from large to small: Placing larger or taller items first, then layering your items by adding smaller items into the mix last... Play around with shapes and layers, step back and have a look every now and then....tweak as required!

As my color palette was so neutral, I decided to add some greenery....and the green bamboo leaves, cut from my garden, really pops against the neutral back drop of white porcelain and my handmade concrete items..

...and a little Succulant on the book shelf finished off the look...

I am quite pleased with my first attempt to style our book shelf...and it most definitely looks better than it did before....and hopefully not too contrived??
That is the only bit I am struggling with to be honest...does it look the right amount of casual? Not too done??
I'm sure it will not stay so pristine for long, with a 5 year old in the house, so I guess it will naturally evolve into a more natural display!
So for now, I am happy to know that my favorite items are proudly displayed, and my book case is no longer a messy dumping ground!
I looks beautiful!

So here's a little pinnable recap of my top tips on styling a book case:

What do you think?


Monday, 29 September 2014

Mid century Scandinavian style furniture for less...

...from Tesco

Its not very often I do sponsored posts, but when Tesco e-mailed me their Autumn/Winter look book, I knew this was one I could get on board with! So although I've received a small compensation for writing this post, I can assure you that all opinions expressed here are truthful and entirely my own!

I have never been snobbish about buying furniture from supermarkets, I mean :If needs must!! But I'll be honest, only for purely functional things....stunning design is not something I've associated with supermarket furniture in the past. however the new Autumn/winter furniture and home ware collection from Tesco has completely changed my mind, and I am suitably impressed with their ranges of styles.

 I am impressed by the way they are bang on trend with their new collection, and in particular they have really managed to capture that Scandinavian look, with a nod to mid century design that I just love!!

If you, like me, love that Scandinavian interior design style with that retro feel, here's my picks from the Tesco Autumn/winter range that can help you achieve that look for less:

From top left:
The arc desklamp with it's modern lines, and just the right nod to MCD.
I love the Julianne range of sofas and chairs for a more nostalgic retro feel. 
This grey space dyed throw would be perfect for cosying up in this winter.
The modern Miami occasional table has a definite Scandinavian feel to it...
.... and the Cologne glass pendant shade encapsulates the ongoing copper trend perfectly!
The Stockholm range, comprising everything from this beautiful book case, via a beautiful coffee table to the functional sideboard in a stunning retro design in solid American white oak..... it is right on the money with the cut away handle detail!
 The Capri range of sofas and chairs, all handmade in the UK, with the perfect retro feel would make a great basis for furnishing any mid-century style living room.
Throw on a feather print cushion to tap into the current "feather" micro trend ,
and accessorize with some of the lush grey sheepskins (below), and you have a very cool and sophisticated Scandinavian style look for your living room this autumn

Displaying Genuine sheepskin grey.jpg
See what I mean?...Tesco's got style this Autumn!!
It's all down to their new philosophy of having a mid-range line of furniture and home accessories that tap into the current trends and at the same time focuses on quality!
As an avid bargain hunter, forever on a budget, this is great news to me:
it means I can actually afford to get the style I want, and be up to date with interior trends for less!