Making the Most of Small Spaces {Nesting Tables & PB Challenge!}

Small tables for serving dessert

As I’ve mentioned before, one of the things I’ve grown to appreciate about blogging is I have had so many opportunities to venture outside of my normal creative zone to try something different.

One of the “just for fun” decorating challenges I accepted this Fall was to style nesting tables from Pottery Barn two different ways, without altering the tables at all. You can vote on the various blogger’s tables here. At first I couldn’t imagine how to style nesting tables at all. They are so small! I mean, they are nesting tables. Aren’t they self explanatory? How could I see them any differently? But when faced with the challenge (and the more I thought of it) the more I realized I COULD have fun doing this.

I decided to take this challenge in two different directions, both of which involved making the most of small spaces.

Shelf on Counter for Food Serving

For the first challenge I decided to push myself outside the expected and use the nesting tables in a totally different way. I pondered it for awhile. Then something random hit me, I could use them UP on my counter in the kitchen (you can see my kitchen remodel here) as a shelf to make better use of counter space to serve treats at a party!

But would that be weird? A table on a counter?

That’s where your creative mind can play tricks on you.

You start questioning your sanity.

Is it UNACCEPTABLE to put a nesting table on your counter?

Dessert Station

Are there nesting table police that might ticket me for violating a rule of nesting table use? Or what about kitchen designer judges? Would they mock me for improper treatment of kitchen counters?

But real creativity requires you to push back those thoughts of what is OK to do, what is ACCEPTABLE to do, or fears of what anyone else will think or say about it. It requires you to think outside the box and push forward. Nesting tables are not sacred.

I will totally use my tables like this again in the future!

For the second nesting table styling challenge, I decided to feature the use of nesting tables in line with their likely original intention to be used on the floor.

Nesting tables

Sometimes simple is best. I don’t usually have time to over-think or reinvent the wheel or get crazy and turn nesting tables into lanterns by hanging them upside down from the ceiling. Which incidentally was an idea I thought about half jokingly (BUT would be totally cool).

So instead of just setting them somewhere, I thought about how nesting tables could be used to help create a meaningful cozy destination spot in our home. Instead of just functioning as a regular side table, how would they actually help create a corner I’d want to go?

Pottery Barn Nesting tables

I imagined a cozy corner where I could go to curl up in a chair with my feet on an ottoman. What else would I need there? I’d want a surface for a lamp and my coffee cup, room for my basket of projects I’m working on or magazines I want to read and maybe a few books to thumb through. By pulling the tables apart slightly I had more than enough room for a functional surface, even in this small corner of my family room!

It’s simple but practical.

These little tables are so flexible! I love their small size, you can tuck them in almost anywhere. And they are perfect for small spaces because you can pull one out and make them into two separate tables when you need them. Whether they are used together, or apart they only take up a small amount of space.

Small tables for serving dessert

Nesting tables are probably one of the most useful and flexible furnishings you can have in a small space, don’t you agree?

Now, Pottery Barn has a friendly design competition between several blogger friends of mine who are also involved in this nesting table challenge. You can find it on the Pottery Barn Facebook page. Go check it out, and VOTE. I was not compensated for this challenge, with the exception of the nesting tables provided for the styling.

Gold DIY Place Cards & Thanksgiving Tablescape

Pretty ideas for Thanksgiving tablescape with gold touches

Hi friends! Michaela here again to share with you my monthly entertaining ideas. It’s mid-November– say what?!– and Thanksgiving is right around the corner. I wanted to give you a simple tablescape idea for Thanksgiving dinner, along with the easiest DIY place cards to add that special touch to the table top.

Materials: Mini canvases (found at Michael’s), black marker, gold paint, paint brush.

Step 1: Write the names on your mini canvases. Let dry.

Step 2: Using gold paint, lightly stroke the brush across the canvas, adding just a touch of gold on top of the lettering.

DIY place cards for Thanksgiving!

Gold painted DIY placecards for Thanksgiving dinner table

I just leaned these adorable canvas-turned-name-card up against an ivory pumpkin. I think ivory and white pumpkins are classic, and can definitely last without looking too Halloween, all the way through Thanksgiving.

For the tablescape, I put down a new gold runner, collected pretty candlestick holders, fall colored candles, larger pumpkins for the center of the table that I spray painted a metallic gold/silver color, natural looking placemats, china, a wine glass and pretty gold goblet (complete with an orange straw for sipping!), gold flatware, and a cloth napkin.

Beautiful gold tablescape with DIY placecards

Gold DIY Place Cards for Thanksgiving Table

Pretty what you have tablescape for Thanksgiving

Spray painted metallic pumpkins for Thanksgiving Table

Tablescape ideas for holiday tables

Fall Tablescape - Candlesticks

Details {contains affiliate links}| Gold Runner (sale!) / Placemats (similar) / Gold Flatware / Mercury Glass Candlestick Holder (similar) / Pumpkins: Trader Joe’s / Gold Rimmed Goblets (sold out; similar) / Straws

Most of these goods were found from around my home, which proves it really is that simple :) Since both gold and silver are “in” this year, don’t be afraid to mix metallics, creating a sparkly table for your guests. I hope this post put you in the mood for a little Thanksgiving decorating!

You can see a little video of the tablescape today and say hello to me over at my design blog or check out my interior design services on my website!



Our Cozy New Guest Room & Home Library with Three Target Threshold Bookshelves

A home library with three Target Threshold bookcases!

A million years ago, I started a makeover of a guest room / room for my  daughter when she came home from college on the weekend.

guest room makeover progress before

This was how you last saw it as it was in progress, in a post where I was talking about creating a visual flow between rooms. The walls had been painted (the beautiful gray color is Studio Taupe from our living room, but lightened with white.) and we were getting ready for new carpet. That, my friends, was over a year ago! How does time fly?

Long time no see, but I’m excited to finally show you some progress today, namely the addition of our new library bookshelves (as you can see, there has been more completed in the room and I will update you on in detail on in an upcoming post. I promise you won’t have to wait as long this time!).

A home library with three Target Threshold bookcases!

Since we last talked about her room, my daughter graduated with her interior design degree and is now working full time, living on her own (see how much happens in a year’s time?). This room will still be her room to come home to, of course, but also a guest room as needed. Mostly day to day it is a space I’ve claimed for myself as a space to relax, since I’m the only girl living in the house during the week! :-). For simplicity sake, we will call it “the guest room.”

But secretly, I call it MINE. Haha. I LOVE it.

One thing I really wanted in this room was bookshelves. As I’ve mentioned in other posts, we love books. Just as I love the open shelves in my kitchen, where I can keep cookbooks or have fun with accessories, I want to have bookshelves in several rooms of the house. I not only love the look of bookshelves, I love how practical they are in making the most of a space.

A home library with three Target Threshold bookcases!

Because our rooms are on the small side, I feel overwhelmed if they are filled with too many pieces of furniture or overwhelmed stuff. Yet, I am not a minimalist so too much emptiness, lack of personality or not enough function in a room and I start to twitch.  :-)

Built in bookcases are a match made in heaven for me. But for my realistic budget of time and money, ready to assemble bookcases were a perfect compromise!

We found ours from the awesome Threshold line at Target online and they were delivered to our door. My husband put them together for me. They are three separate bookcases, but side by side they form the look of one! No modifications necessary!

bookshelves in bedroom

We are super happy with how the bookcases turned out and their contribution to a room I now LOVE being in. I feel like we just gained an extra room!

Plus, the best part of this was that everything on the shelves was already in our house! That means I didn’t have to go buy anything new to fill them up, I just had to shop in my other rooms. DOUBLE BONUS! Amazing how much stuff ends up all over the place without a designated home — it has been a long time dream to be able to add more usable space without adding on or moving out! It feels great to finally find a new home for wayward books and accessories and have the room to add to our collection if we want to.

I’ll share more of this room makeover soon, it is now one of my favorite rooms in the house.

Little by little our house is getting de-junkified, more organized, and we are on our way to making the most of the space we have! 

NOTE: I can’t wait to show you how our son’s room is coming along (my next update for you will be THIS WEEK!) We couldn’t be more excited to be making so much progress on the bedrooms.

A home library with three bookcases from Target

This post on our home library is published in partnership with one of my favorite places to shop, Target! I received a gift card in exchange for sharing about their great library program (below), but my post and room are my own.

Target is transforming 16 school libraries as part of The Target School Library Makeover Program, an initiative that breathes new life into elementary school libraries across the country.

By reimagining school libraries and transforming outdated spaces into state-of-the-art learning centers, Target hopes to foster a love of learning and help more children on the path to high school graduation.  Each remodeled library features 2,000 new books and a complete technology upgrade including iPads, interactive white boards and more. Each student also receives seven new books to take home!

The Target School Library Makeover program is part of Target’s commitment to helping more children learn to read proficiently by the end of third grade. As a result of programs like this, Target is on track to give $1 billion for education by the end of 2015. Here’s a fun infographic that shows you a look at the life of these projects, I really love this program!

Do you have a home library?

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