So far I am loving my interior styling experimentation. It is nice to know I tried the fully styled look on our foyer bench, but then intentionally took things away to make it more practical for our family. The result looks styled, but livable.
I am back today with how to style an ottoman. I previously shared how I styled the rectangular rug ottoman in our family room, and I am happy to report it still looks the same way. Now, I want to focus on the round ottoman in our living room that has always been bare. I crave something on it, but really struggle with practicality. It rolls around, so the boys constantly move it around to play. The hubby and I like to kick our feet up on it to watch TV. And, our pup thinks it is her dog bed. Despite all that we are trying an experiment to live with it styled. I tried it three ways before settling on a livable option for us.
Pretty, NOT Practical
Ever notice how furniture stores face arrangements on the coffee table or ottoman away from the sofa? Also, they prefer to go big or go home. It makes sense, because the arrangement should look good as you approach it, and big things look full and expensive. Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware are great examples of this. So that is where I started with my first look.
I went for what felt like a crazy over-the-top big look. I added my DIY mercury glass hurricanes to the round ottoman tray. I even put one on top of a few books to make it look even bigger. The hurricane on the books reads visually as one object. To round out the trio I added my decorative wood sphere, to mix it up using the Rule of Three.
It looks good, dare I say great! But, there is no way I could live like this. The tray is too heavy and piled high to move easily. I would never leave large glass vessels in reach of my kids. Visions of them covered in glass shards would haunt my dreams.
Let’s try a look without breakables. Loving the shine of the mercury glass look, I decided to bring in some silver. A thrift store silver bowl was perfect to hold a seed pod ball (borrowed from one of these DIY topiaries). The paper covered books stayed. I topped them with another silver piece holding a candle and a silver-handled magnifying glass. To balance all the shiny silver, I brought in my pet store grapevine branch.
This look seems a lot more practical with young boys and a dog running around, but something about the silver makes it a bit too formal for me. Although, I love the reflection of the star pattern on the underside of the silver bowl.
This look is also really flat, because everything is almost the same height, and seems a bit lifeless to me. It doesn’t work for our fun, young family.
Pretty AND Practical
Onto the next look! I loved the simply styled look I used to show off my pet store grapevine branch. But, the candle in the glass jar didn’t seem right for us then or in the look above. And, the paperback books were bothering me. I don’t even know what is under those covers. I think magazines are more our style.
For this look, I replaced the books with some magazines I want to read. I topped the magazines with a small succulent and a pair of silver jacks. On the tray, I added the grapevine for a natural wood tone. I decided a small scalloped bowl, found a while back on clearance at Anthropologie, was better for us than the silver tray with candle on top. The bowl holds a small magnifying glass I found at Junk Bonanza (the boys love to spy with it) and a deck of playing cards (my oldest loves learning new card games).
Ahh, this casual and colorful look just feels right. It looks decorated, but not overdone. The tray can be picked up and moved easily. I might actually remember to read those magazines. And, the boys are pleasantly distracted with the playing cards and magnifier.
This is a look we can live with. It is going strong after 48 hours. The boys have added toys to the tray and taken them away just as quickly. Our puppy has found plenty of other places to nap…thank heavens we have such a long couch. And, we just nudge the tray over towards one side when we want to put our feet up.
Which look do you like best? Think you could ever live with the catalog-styled look?
I am sharing this post here:
The Happier Homemaker – Monday Funday
I Should Be Mopping the Floor – Monday Inspiration
So Much Better With Age – Give Me the Goods
The Gunny Sack – Time to Sparkle
NY Melrose Family – Whimsy Wednesday
Ginger Snap Crafts – Wow Me Wednesday
City Farmhouse – The Inspiration Exchange
Milk and Cuddles – Wednesday Link Up
You gave good ideas though for trays so I’m glad you do it lots of ways. Like adapting DIY mercury pickle jars and elevating one with spineless books to alter heights is a good tip for a table top or my entry table. I also like to put objects into shiny silver bowls and it adds sparkle. Good tip we can adapt for Christmas or summer shimmer! But for today in a family room, I like the magnifier plus the cards in that cupcake looking dish, the two giant jax, with a bright pot of succulents. It looks coordinated and fun especially with the piece of grapevine pruning s as I eye my vine’s leaves turning crunchy and in need of pruning oh about January/December…maybe this time though ill leave the pruning s for our green barrel!!!
The third one is definitely the winner! Just wondering how long til the wood gets turned into a sword… ;) I know that’s what would happen in my house! Haha
I like the second look with the textures and shine. But I totally get wanting to have some magazines out. They’re colorful and make you want to sit down, relax, and read.
I personally love the over the top first one. Its gorgeous but my three littles would destroy it in minutes!
I love the first look, but I agree, there’s no way I could live like that either. The second with no breakables would probably be the one I’d go for. The practical looks good, but maybe too practical. LOL I would think that defeated the purpose, but my style is different than everyone else’s so. Thanks for sharing! Great ideas.
Melanie (Reasons to Skip The Housework) says
So so pretty! My three year old would take it apart in 6 seconds…but I love it! We’d love to have you join us at The Weekly Creative Link Party!
Melanie & Diana
I need some definite help in styling at my house! Anything gets moved by my little helpers!