This past week I’ve been feeling bummed out because I have creative itches I can’t scratch. Don’t get me wrong, I’m soaking in and enjoying every moment with little 3 month-old Nina. She makes me smile and laugh even when I don’t feel like smiling. I’m so lucky to have 4 healthy children and get to stay home raising them.
However, I also feel inspired and want to do things and create things outside of mothering. I feel even guilty for writing that because it makes me sound ungrateful or discontent. And I don’t think I am either of those things exactly… I love my life, I love this stage, but there are certainly parts to every day that I want to not be physically needed by anyone. I don’t know if I’m making any sense…
Well, today I chose to do something about those feelings. I woke up and decided I would restyle the console table in the living room. Even if it took me all day. Even if I couldn’t go out and buy the things I wanted. I would use what I have and make it a little better. It seems like such a minor thing, right?
Here is what it looked like last fall when I had just stripped the wood, and to be honest, nothing had changed. The only difference was the fiddle leaf fig had died, so there was nothing on that right side.
So I started by taking the vase off, and then sweeping the floor. Then I fixed the curtain rod by moving the bracket out further so it would hang just outside of the window. That had been bugging me for years.
Then I went onto Pinterest and typed “console table gallery wall”. I wanted to find some inspiration for how other people were styling their console tables that have gallery walls above them. I do this sort of thing a lot when I get “stuck” looking at my own space and can’t think of what to do different.
I found several images I loved and instead of looking at what they had that I didn’t have, I looked for shapes. What shapes did the items they use create, and what did I have that could create the same shape? Here are a few I used as inspiration.
Everything I loved had some branches with greenery. So I went outside and clipped a few different types to play around with. I “stole” vases from other places in the house until I found the height/shape I liked.
Then I noticed all of them had something sculptural. I had a little porcelain bust I could use. There was always some stacked things in the middle, but with a low height. So I gathered together some low bowls, a pretty box and some books, and played around with heights, contrasting colors/textures.
Then I noticed there was often something metallic used in console table styling, so I grabbed a few chunky brass candlesticks from my collection and put it on the other end to balance things out. Groups of threes are a no-fail number when using clusters of things for styling.
When I was editing these pictures I wasn’t sure I liked the white box on top of the book– it looked like a lot of white, so I swapped it out for a wood bowl with some blue beads. I actually love both versions, but I wouldn’t have tried out this version with more color and contrast if I hadn’t taken lots of pics and evaluated the end result. Taking pics during the process is great to ‘check in’ and see how it looks compared to your inspiration pics.
Which do you like best? The dark bowl with blue beads or the white box?
Once I had finished that, I was on a bit of a roll. So after I stopped to nurse Nina, I just carried her around with me as I took everything off the buffet in our front room and restyle that.
I went through the same process and came up with this:
The vase is just a large jug that I put the top part of the lamp (it’s attached to a big cork) into. I don’t know if it’s THE lamp for this spot, but the scale is right!
I love the look of frames layered over a mirror and this blue star print is something I made years ago from an apple stamp. The vase of roses is from our 15th anniversary this past week, and they are just the right “sculptural” element. I’ll have to think of what I’ll replace them with once the roses die.
In the mirror you can see our entry hooks and shelf… I’m thinking to maybe put some wallpaper on that entry wall soon. What do you think? Maybe something not too bold? I’ve never done any wallpaper in our house and I’m thinking it might be fun to try out the peel-and-stick variety!
That’s it for my console styling tips! I didn’t buy anything new, and honestly it can be such a challenge with you feel so “stuck” by everything you already have. But I hope I’ve showed you that with a few inspiration pics, studying out the elements you love, you can create something that is ‘good enough’ until you have the time or money to get what you really want!