Coral Table Styling

Remember when we talked about decorating a dining room and how I begin the process and how pretty blue and white is and my two tried and true decorating rules?

Let’s review.

Number 1:  Listen to your space.

Number 2:  Decorate with what you love

Easy, right?  But what if the rules aren’t working.  Maybe your space is acting like a teenager and giving you the silent treatment.? Or maybe your space decided it wants to speak another language that you can’t translate?  Or maybe your challenge is that what you love for your space costs more than an island in the south of France?

No worries.

When all else fails and the decorating outlook is full of cloudy skies and you are having a terrible, horrible, no-good very bad decorating day, I have a rule number three….

….listen to your cat.

Scrollwork Piece

This is the ironwork piece and table that I styled three ways.

I had already styled it with neutrals.

Then I moved on to turquoise.

But when I started to try to style coral, I hit a decorating roadblock.  That was a lot of styling and a lot of colors and a lot of tables….

….and I was running out of ideas.


And so there I stood with an empty table and a large ironwork piece on the wall….

….and I had nothing.


As in nada.  Zip.  Zero.  Not a thing.

I vainly looked around the room for inspiration.  I needed something else big and iron and cream to offset the large scroll work piece.  I had grabbed a large ironwork piece off the front door, but it was gray and not the right color.


Here’s a picture of the piece on the front door in all its front door glory when it was decorated for fall.


Here’s a close-up.

Isn’t it pretty?


But pretty and let’s be honest…..well….gray.  Just not the right look for my table.  I sighed and stared at with squinted eyes trying to make it turn into something that would work.  I was about to give up and settle for a large wire sphere in the place, when all of a sudden….

….I heard a crash.

It was Nash.  Remember Nash?  That tiny kitten so full of personality that she makes me smile everyday.  She never met a decorating project she didn’t like who had been supervising the entire table styling process from beginning to end.  And in her supervisory capacity, she had inadvertently knocked over the iron piece from the front door.

I bent down to pick it up and my heart skipped a beat.

It was perfect.

It was wonderful.

It would totally work…..

…..if I simply turned it around and showed the reverse side.

iron piece

Here’s the piece just as Nash wanted it.

Large.  Oversized.  Extra scrolly.  And cream.


Coral 10

The moral of the story?

When decorating look at everything from a new perspective.  Turn rugs over.  Flip a fabric to the wrong side.  Change the mat on a picture frame.  Turn an old iron gate into a backdrop.

The answer to your decorating dilemma might be just under your nose.

Or your cat’s paw. 🙂

talk to me

PS  Here’s Nash all grown up with one of her fan club members.

I’m pretty sure she’s making plans for her Fourth of July decorating. 🙂

Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
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  1. Image for Cecilia Cecilia

    Too cute of a story! Nash having to show you a new perspective lol. But she's right - always check the other sides. They may just be what you need. :-) Love orange kitties - they are so full of personality!

  2. Image for Margaret Ryall Margaret Ryall

    You are spot on in this post. Some of my best decorating ideas have come to me sideways because I want to re- use things I have in new ways, but I don't have a cat! As always, i thoroughly enjoy reading your posts!

  3. Image for sammijo sammijo

    I always love your decorating along with your stories! My grandmother used to make conversations about how an object might be speaking to you, she could always make me laugh! It's always great to look outside the box or in this case to Nifty Nash :-)

  4. Image for Jonell Harrison Jonell Harrison

    That's where I am right now with the Mantle in my living room....NOTHING. Oh, there's something on it but it's been there since Christmas or maybe it was Easter, it's still been there too long but I just wait until something SPEAKS to me...all I need usually is just one little glimmer of inspiration and I take from there. Great post, Thank you!

  5. Image for Rebecca Turner Rebecca Turner

    So serendipitous! I love how you've used Nash as a character! Cats always seem to want to help, don't they? Mine (now deceased) used to try to "help" me with sewing projects by sitting on the end of my fabric., lol Seriously though, I love the visual texture that you incorporate into your decorating, and I'm so happy to see you use coral! It's my favorite color. My guest bedroom (which my granddaughter claims as her own) is on the pinker side of coral...and my living room, (which is mostly neutral) has deliberate orange accents. To me, any color is better appreciated in small doses that allow the eye to bounce around the room...rather than heavy color saturation. One is less likely to tire of a color, and if one does, the accents are easily changed.

  6. Image for Debbie L. Debbie L.

    Karianne, oh how I loved this story. Good ole Nash provided us with humor and a new beautiful vignette! Maybe I need a cat to help me in my decorating dilemas LOL. Sweet tender picture of your dd and Nash.

  7. Image for Marisa Franca @ All Our Way Marisa Franca @ All Our Way

    Well, isn't that just the cat's meow!! What a talented cat -- she must have learned a lot just by following you around. I do have a confession to make -- I looked at the fabric on your pillow and it was love and first sight. I saw hearts floating around and now I'm on a quest to find that exact print!! Thank you for the inspiration and your iron piece is perfect for the table!!

  8. Image for Regina Regina

    Adorable! And the cat is cute, too! ;) We just ripped up the carpets in our living room, and the dining room is next. Quarter-sawn oak flooring, no staples or nails except around the perimeter, but the finish is tricky. Not quite sure what to do until I get all the carpet-pad residue off! I'm thinking a long weekend, then I get to REdecorate!! :) Love it! Happy Summer weekend!!

  9. Image for Cindy Cindy

    I'm glad I read this story, because I almost spit my coffee out when I read, "listen to your cat!" lol! Oh I how I love to come to this blog and read...I think you should write a book!!! It would be a best-seller for sure:) Your not only a great story-teller, your an awesome decorator!

  10. Image for Mary Crozier Mary Crozier

    Thanks for the inspiration. I am totally stuck on how to decorate our family room. We live in an historical home in Phoenix (yes, though not as old as homes back east ours is 103 years old). It was once an outdoor porch that was enclosed in the 1940s. It has beautiful scored concrete floors and French windows/doors on 3 sides. And I so struggle with how to make it special. Half is where we watch TV and the other half is having an identity crisis. I will try and look at it with fresh eyes....

  11. Image for Ann weisman Ann weisman

    You are too, too funny and it seems your cat is too and so very helpful. Don't you love when when they sit on your project and decorate with their lovely fur. Have a fun weekend

  12. Image for Jillynn Jillynn

    I LOVE this!!!! Now you just need to come to my farmhouse and help me with my main floor!!!! I just can't seem to think and picture what I want.. which I am usually great at!!!!! My upstairs is almost completed and now I will want new projects to do;-) Keep up the ideas! It will come to me soon and then I will be posting all about how you helped me break my funk;-)

  13. Image for Deb Deb

    now...what happens when you don't have a cat? lol This turned out beautifully...I love shopping my house when I need to fix up a space. The coral and creams ; ) perfection!

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