One coffee table gets three different makeovers
Our design team revamps a coffee table and then builds a stylish space around it.
Style at Home's talented design team puts their own unique spin on IKEA's VITTSJÖ nesting-style coffee table with a personality-packed room to match. Discover how it all comes together and how you can create the same look in your home.
We love IKEA VITTSJO'S strong lines, ideal scale and multi-functionality. The players: Style at Home’s design team. The challenge: Put a unique spin on this nesting-style coffee table and then build a personality-packed room around it.
“I gravitate to light, airy rooms – that’s just what I like,” says senior style editor Ann Marie Favot. Inspired by a fresh pastel palette, she had her coffee table bases painted mint and grey, leaving the tempered glass tops intact. From there, Ann Marie settled on Farrow & Ball’s Yukutori wallpaper for subtle colour and texture in the room. Copper-toned accents and a pretty mix of toss cushions finish off the space. “It’s my version of Scandi style,” she says. “Simple yet decorated.”
Senior style editor Ann Marie Favot made a coaster by putting felt tabs under a hexagon-shaped mirror. “The geometric trend is so big right now,” she says.
The colours in this toss cushion’s graphic print provided the jumping-off point for Ann Marie’s scheme.
Complementary colours add interest and dimension to this modern nesting-style table with a linear silhouette.
Design editor Stacy Begg didn’t shy away from making a bold change to her coffee table. “I’m really into brights and neons, so I picked the brightest pink I could find for the bases,” she says. Stacy continued the pink theme throughout the room with the wall colour and rug, while all the other main pieces – from the sofa and side table to the macrame wall hanging – remain neutral. “It’s a mix of industrial, hippie and preppy,” says Stacy. “Let’s just say I was feeling playful.”
Design editor Stacy Begg found these plain Russian dolls in a thrift store and gave them a colour-block treatment with paint in her accent colours.
This lumbar cushion adds a more traditional note to the room. “I love chintz,” says Stacy. “It’s my preppy side coming through.”
Unfinished plywood makes an inexpensive tabletop and speaks to the trend toward lighter wood tones for furniture and flooring.
“My goal was to play with texture, colour and pattern,” says associate design editor Morgan Lindsay. Once she settled on a high-gloss navy for the bases and a faux marble treatment for the tops, the rest of the room fell stylishly into place. A whimsical gallery wall – Morgan’s signature touch – breaks up the wave-inspired print of Farrow & Ball’s Aranami wallpaper. While the colour scheme is a study in crisp contrasts, the wooden stump side table injects some natural warmth.
Associate design editor Morgan Lindsay printed out a saying in a font she liked and then covered the letters in gold glitter.
Texture, pattern and eye-catching trim make this grouping of toss cushions pop against the white sofa.
Low-maintenance contact paper mimics the look of marble at a fraction of the price. Navy table bases offer bold contrast.
crisp white towels
Find everything you need to know to pick durable towels and keep them looking and smelling fresh.
Did you know?
The quality of a towel is measured by its grams per square metre (GSM), ranging from about 300 on the low end to 600 on the high.
For good measure
Ensure you're using the right amount of detergent with pre-measured pods.
Triple threat: This naturally sourced detergent deep cleans, targets stains and softens laundry. Grab Green fragrance-free 3-in-1 laundry detergent, Well.ca, $11 per 24 pods.
Earth-friendly: A low-foaming vegetable-and mineral-based option that conserves water. Nature clean unscented laundry detergent, Canadian Tire, $8 per 24 pods.
Non-allergenic: A powerful formula that is less irritating to sensitive skin. Free & Gentle laundry detergent, Tide.com, $10 per 31 pods.
Buying guide: The truth about thread count
Is there anything better than sliding into a bed laden with good quality sheets? At the end of the day, I can't wait to stretch out under my fresh, soft covers and nestle my face into a good cotton-covered pillow. We spend a third of our lives in bed so quality sheets are key, but how do you get quality for your money? There's no doubt that most consumers believe the higher the thread count, the better the quality, but this isn't entirely true. With the help and expertise of Joanna Goodman, owner of Au Lit Fine Linens, we expose the truth about thread count and what it takes to find quality bed sheets.
What is thread count, really?
Simply put, thread count is the number of threads woven into one square inch of fabric. This number is based on the threads woven horizontally ("weft") and vertically ("warp"). Extra threads can also be woven into the weft threads to increase the thread count. These added threads are called "picks" and are added in the overall count, which is how some sheets end up having thread counts in the thousands. This is why the idea that high counts equal better quality isn't really accurate. Consider this: Joanna says most weavers will say the maximum number of threads that can be woven into one square inch of fabric is 500 to 600. Though the number is arguable and, according to Joanna, "depends on the mill you deal with," it gives you an idea of where the line is between single-ply, unpicked weaves and ones that add threads here and there to bump up the count.
What to look for when buying sheets
Joanna lists three things to look for on the label: if it's Egyptian cotton, where it's woven and, lastly, the thread count. While thread count is a bit misunderstood, the buzz around Egyptian cotton is true. "The very best cotton in the world is grown in Egypt. So Egyptian cotton will be of a better quality," Joanna says. She also recommends pima cotton, which is grown in America, "though not quite as exceptional as Egyptian." When it comes to weaving, however, she swears by the Italians as being the "master weavers of the world" due to their "long tradition of weaving" and use of the best Egyptian cotton. Be sure the label says 100% or pure Egyptian cotton though, otherwise it may only contain a small percentage of the good stuff. As for the thread count, look for a minimum of 200. From there, it's all about preference!
What to avoid when buying sheets
Joanna's one key piece of advice is to watch out for extremely low priced, high thread count sheet sets. A complete sheet set with a high thread count for $100 or less is probably not the dream bargain you think it is. As Joanna believes, "you always get what you pay for." The price tag for bed linens will vary depending on the sheet size and what items you're buying, such as a duvet cover, sheet sets, or pillowcases. "A superior quality 200 thread count queen set (including flat, fitted, two pillowcases), made of Egyptian cotton and woven in Europe, could retail reasonably for about $150-$250," says Joanna.
What do you prefer?
After going through the quality checklist, go with what feels best for you. If you're looking for a durable linen, Joanna recommends any percale from thread count 200 to 800. Percale is any cotton woven with a 200 thread count or higher and will be more durable than a cotton satin of the same thread count. It's also less likely to pill than cotton satin because it has a denser weave. Love the feel of a cotton button down shirt? Joanna advises a crisp, dense 200 thread count percale. Prefer a silkier sheet? Go for a 300 to 600 cotton satin. If you want lighter sheets, Joanna says, a 400 thread count sheet can be soft and light, while an 800 percale would be soft and dense. The higher the thread count, the more likely multiple-ply thread is used or picks are added, making the fabric denser and heavier.
Now you know that quality is not just about the number, so don't let numbers rule your bed! Remember what to look for on the label and be wary of too-low prices for supposedly high quality items. Beyond that, go with what you prefer. Get a good feel of the sheets before buying. Whether you're unzipping the packaging or lying down on a display bed, make sure the fabric feels good against your skin and soon you'll be having sweet dreams!
Find out how to keep your new linens crisp and clean with our tips to whiter-than-white sheets.