Pre-children, side tables were never on my radar. Why would they be? If I had a cup of tea, I could simply sit for a few minutes with it in my hand and drink it while it was hot. A glass of wine? Could be placed quite safely on the floor if I needed to put it down. Magazines could rest on the cushion next to me. And reading glasses? Well, pre-children I didn't really have a need for those either. So I deemed side tables the things of grown ups, mostly sitting neatly next to cushion-filled sofas with ornate lamps placed upon them ... and most definitely not required in our calm, toy-free, minimal apartment in Zürich.
But now, with two sets of little feet running around the house and causing chaos, side tables have almost become a necessity ... a safe (ish) place for a drink, a book, and my glasses to rest. And, much like the comfort of flat shoes on a night out or the happiness at putting my feet up on a Friday night when the boys are finally asleep, side tables have snuck up on me as one of life's middle-aged joys. When I do get the odd minute or two to sit down, I want my cup of tea right next to me, on a pretty table, and preferably accompanied by a biscuit or two. It's not too much to ask for, right?
I talked about my favourite corner in our home a month or two ago. I had it just right. With one exception. I hadn't found the perfect table to sit beside it. And then, after much browsing (much, much browsing!), I spotted a gorgeous raw beech one on the Laura Ashley website. I wrote a pleading email to the fabulous team there and begged them to let me have a closer look at one and also asked if I could possibly customise it using their furniture paint, too. Because they're so thoroughly lovely they said yes to both and a couple of weeks later the Elgin table arrived along with a paint called Pale Amethyst, chosen to complement the cushion and the blanket on the armchair.
And this is how it turned out - I couldn't be happier with it. All the furniture and accessories sit together so nicely. I'm now debating whether to buy another two tables to use beside our bed. And furniture paint is quite addictive, let me tell you.
If you want to read more about how exactly I customised the table and see a few more photos, you can pop over to the Laura Ashley blog. Let me know what you think!
I've also recently stumbled across another middle-aged joy ... handmade felt slippers ... but I'll save those for another post. I want to say that they're life-changing but that's a bit on the extreme side. They're pretty amazing, though. Stay tuned!