Sunday, 5 October 2014

House and Home: DIY delights!

Ok, so I promised I'd do a full post on how M and I came to make our coffee table.

Background: our apartment is actually my apartment, which I bought 4 years ago shortly before M and I met. I took my time with furnishing it, because I find that you have to spend lots of time in a space before you can really decorate it to best effect. When in doubt, wait and see whether that bright feature wall, that 3-seater sofa or that 6-seater outdoor dining table is really going to work practically for the space that you have.

Bearing that in mind, as recently as this year we still didn't have an outdoor table. I mean, we had a $10 Ikea nightmare that served a purpose i.e. you COULD put plates of nibbles on it - but it was ugly and because it was outside with our plants, the MDF swelled up and cracked from all the water. We had a 2-seater very practical, very comfortable grey outdoor couch, but no table we wanted to actually keep out there.

We looked and looked at manufactured outdoor tables. I felt that what was on the market was too expensive for what you got - ugly, heavy and generally too big for our balcony (which is quite a generous 10 square meters). M was similarly unwilling to spend money on the pre-fab items available that looked cheap yet came with a hefty price tag.

One Friday night, we were watching Better Homes and Gardens/BHG (don't judge us, ok? I'm exhausted by Friday, I just want to look at flowers and animals and other people cooking on TV) and they showed some of those naff 'look-what-we-made-from-the-show' photos that viewers send in sometimes (which I now totally want to do - such a hypocrite, no?!?) and they showed a fruit-crate coffee table. M and I both spontaneously said, "Hey, what about that?"

The beauty of most BHG DIY is that it generally is something you really can do yourself. So we found the recipe/instructions (?) at this site:

And proceeded to make greatness happen:

Measuring and hammering and stuff...

That OMG moment when it actually starts to look like they said it would...


What we love about this is it looks nice, polished but not over-engineered. The dark timber varnish goes nicely with our green plants. We can bring it inside if we want to, if we're having friends over but it's too cold to sit outside.

The flame is actually an ethanol burner with a big glass cover that we already owned, that just happened to fit in the centre well of the coffee table and consequently looks completely fabulous. A glass of wine at our place is now so much prettier than it used to be ;) xo

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