May 2012

The pedestal table is one of the most versatile pieces of furniture you can own.  Its design allows you to gather several chairs around the circumference and not have to worry about legs of chairs (or people) hitting a table leg.  They’re most convenient for breakfast nooks and smaller dining spaces, or as game tables in a family room or craft tables in a creative space.


white breakfast nook pedestal table


white pedestal in family room

Simple wood pedestal tables can be found in many places from furniture stores to second hand on Craigslist or in thrift stores.  Painting an old wood table will freshen the look, and it’s a DIY project anyone can tackle.

how to paint a table

What you’ll need to paint your own wood kitchen table: orbital sander, medium grit sanding discs,
foam roller, high quality angled paintbrush, medium grade sanding wedge, respirator, bonding/stain
blocking primer, enamel based paint, cotton rags, clear paste wax.

1.  Sand off any debris with an orbital sander, use medium grit discs.  You don’t need to get rid of all the varnish because the primer (next step) will cling to the surface, varnish or not.  You simply want it to be smooth.



2.  Choose a bonding primer that also blocks wood stains.  Roll it onto the surface, applying two coats to the top for added durability.

primer roll


Allow the primer to fully dry for a full day. Use a medium grit sanding wedge to knock down
any unevenness from the roller on the primed surface.


sand top


3.  Paint your pedestal table surface with a high quality water based enamel paint, both Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams have water based enamel alkyd formulas that will give you a hard finish similar to oil based paints.

4.  Wait at least 3 days for the paint to cure, then protect it with a water based polyurethane or with a furniture wax.  Waxes will give you a soft hand rubbed finish and are a better option for white paint since wax as a protectant won’t amber over time.

5. Apply a small amount and rub in circles with a clean soft cotton cloth for a thin even coating and
allow it to dry for at least an hour. Buff (wipe repeatedly with clean cotton cloth in circles) to a shine,
then repeat this step two more times over the course of a day. Make sure to buff it completely so
your wax isn’t sticky, and you get a nice matte finish.

Here’s the tabletop up close before and after the makeover, from dirty and spotty to fresh and

table before and after

Of course you needn’t choose white – the same steps apply to a table in any color, so get creative!


blue painted pedestal bhg


If you follow these steps, you’ll achieve a durable finish on your pedestal table that will last for years to come!



The mantel is the architectural focal point in any room and how it’s styled has a lot of impact on the look of a space.  The mantel is an opportunity to accessorize with heirlooms, art, or other meaningful mementos.  Here are seven ways to style your own mantel at home! 

Big & Bold.   Adding a statement piece of art above the mantel is a no fail solution and the bigger the better, just be sure your chosen work is proportional to the space where it hangs, allowing for the appropriate wall space around the frame. 


large scale art over mantel


Placing your art off center and counterbalancing with accessories adds asymmetrical interest.


offset art on mantel bhg



Mirror Mirror on the Wall.   An alternative to artwork is a statement mirror placed over the mantel.  Couple it with decorative urns and fill them with cut branches or seasonal flowers for a fresh and natural look that changes every few weeks. 


mirror and branches on mantel


Because all mantels are square in shape, also consider round, oblong, or geometric edge mirrors to add a different shape to the room.


round mirror over mantel bhg


Think Oddly. The placement of decorative objects in odd numbers creates asymmetrical balance. Two objects to the left and three objects to the right (with art or a mirror in the middle) will guarantee an interesting yet uncluttered mantel.

how to style a mantel 1


Layer It Up.  Meaningful photographs on display instantly personalize a home, and layering them in matching frames in different sizes adds greater interest than frames that are all the same size. 


layered pictures on mantel


Double Duty.  In many American family rooms, the complication arises of where to place the flat screen TV.  Placing it above the mantel solves the dilemma and creates one center of attention instead of two, simplifying the furniture placement in the space. 


tv over fireplace


Seasonal Sprucing.   This foundation of this mantel is the large scale mirror in the center and glass candlesticks placed to the sides.  A fresh boxwood wreath, grass in pots, and spring accessories welcome Easter.  At Christmas, the same idea applies – substitute nutcrackers and bright colored ornaments for eggs to create a festive holiday mantel.   


easter mantel


Be Playful.  This mantel is styled with two prints centered in the middle and natural objects placed in symmetry below.  When styling your mantel, use art, a large photograph, or a mirror in the middle, then play around with different sizes and shapes to achieve an eclectic look on the ledge below.  The items need not be exact replicas, but related to each other in color or texture.


natural textures mantel styling


The same principles are applied in this mantel below, with the black and white photographs grounding the display and the silver urns and candlesticks thoughtfully placed to the sides.


balanced photographs and objects on mantel


Following any of these simple principles will give you a mantel display that sure to appeal and reflect your personal style.  What on display on your mantel?


One of the hottest trends in home design is the use of natural wood accents and textures in home decor.  Coupled with the movement to be eco-friendly, the design world has embraced natural wood with much enthusiasm.  Reclaimed wood is all the rage and is appearing everywhere from planks on the walls to furniture for the home. 


natural wood accents 2 bhg


Layering wood textures ties the indoors to the outdoors and is an easy way to enhance your interiors with nature’s own sculptures.


natural wood accents bhg


natural wood branch accents bhg


Green design embraces the beauty that exists in wood and places its character on display in the form of home decor.  Here are a few favorites found online that will bring the trend of natural wood into your home too. 


for the home wood accents


From top left: Isa Chandelier, Alice Lane Home, $3,325; Reclaimed Wood Mirror, The Cross Design, $1,680 CAD;  Ubiquity Lamp, Anthropologie, $298; Dotty Wood Placemat, Crate + Barrel, $14;  Napa Valley Candelabra, Anthropologie, $248; Timber Side Tables, CB2, $169; State Boards; Upwood Crafts; $39;  Wood Ice Bucket, Chic Shop LA, $175; With the Grain Canister, Anthropologie, $148;  Root Mirror, Haus Interior, $330;  Twisty Stool, Viva Terra, $165;  Acacia Wood Bowl, Terrain; $10;  Weathered Wood Lamp, Terrain; $398;  Reclaimed Wood Table, Pottery Barn, $1,299;  Eames Walnut Stools, Home Office Solutions, $879 each;  Twist Turn Console, Wisteria, $649



Are you a fan of the reclaimed and natural wood trend? 





All children have a fascination with animals and for so many of us, that attraction sticks with us through adulthood.  Our human attraction to animals extends to home decor as well, and many popular designers from Jonathan Adler to Thomas Paul are known for their whimsical interpretations of furry friends.  Over the last few years faux taxidermy has been the rage in interior design and we see retailers featuring the heads and bodies of so many animals in ceramic, metal, and even paper mache form. 

The reason for the animal attraction trend is clear – a room with an inanimate animal present has that dash of whimsy that makes a space (for lack of a better word) come alive!   


whit elephant family room bhg


In smaller doses, figurines like this pair of birds add a fun decorative element, as does the framed butterfly acting as a bookend on this styled bookcase.


butterfly and birds bhg


The owl surged in popularity last year, and appeared everywhere from textiles to lamps to figurines, but this year there are other animals getting their fair share of the spotlight from the cunning fox to the flamboyant flamingo.  Peacocks are in vogue for their exotic plumage and dogs continue to reign in popularity among home decor.  

When choosing an animal for your home, consider the more contemporary options available instead of the multicolored glazed figurines of yesterday.  You’ll find the modern interpretations appear in a single color or are reinvented with a new “skin” of recycled paper, carved wood, or other textural elements such as driftwood or twine. These pieces below guarantee you’ll create a conversation piece on your bookshelf, desktop, wall, or sofa. 

animal collection



From top left: Brass Squirrel, Etsy, $14;  Cyrano Rhino, Currey & Co., $282;  Monkey Paperweight, Vivre, $207;  Flamingo Pillow, West Elm, $39;  Colt Horse Head, The Cross Design, $840;  Plumage Pillow, Anthropologie, $128;  Wood Peacock, Horchow, $1,175;  Thomas Paul Lobster Pillow, Design Public, $88;  Bluebird Paperweight, The Cross Design, $45;  White Whale, Z Gallerie, $70;  Crocodile Magnifying Glass, L’Objet, $125;  Blue Terrier Pillow, Fawn & Forest, $28;  Ceramic Fox, Jonathan Adler, $138;  Wood Elephant, CB2, $15;  Sailfish, BassPro, $99;  Arteriors Aluminum Skull, Candelabra, $885


Do you have a favorite animal on display in your home? 




One of the strong trends in design this decade is to lighten and brighten spaces with a fresh coat of white paint on the walls, but some struggle with how to make an all white space interesting.  There are several ways to avoid an austere feeling in white space and instead create a visually appealing one.  Here are a few ideas to ensure your white spaces are always stylish and never sterile. 

Bring Nature Indoors.  Botanicals and textures from nature can be easily brought indoors to make a white space come alive.  Think of layering with the best that mother nature offers with cut leaves, indoor trees, and fresh flowers, and don’t forget about all those river rocks, branches, or shells found on your outdoor adventures.

white living room bhg

shell display bhg

soft color all white room bhg


Blank Canvas for Art.  The benefit of having white walls is they are the perfect backdrop for placing the spotlight on what’s on the wall, whether it’s vintage or whimsical prints or abstract or large scale art. 

white bedroom whimsical art bhg

bird art white space bhg


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