Love this #77: Baa baa tablemat

Just a quick post today as I've got some fab new tablemats that I just had to share. 

New, yellow and funky table mats from Wayfair

Since we got our new table (ages ago!) neither of us have been happy with using our old, more traditional mats as they just didn't seem to go.  I'd planned to make some fabric mats, which we could slip the older, less favoured mats into, and I still plan to make these, but like many things I've not got to it yet...

Browsing the Wayfair site one day I spotted these and I was smitten.  MOH is less sure, but even he admits they're an improvement on our French Bistro scene!

Aren't they fab?

A Christmas table with TK Maxx

As this year has been all about our new table and chairs, when TK Maxx got in touch to collaborate on a homewares post, I was keen to see how I could use some of their christmas decorations to dress my new table in a fun, and probably not so practical way. So on a recent miserable Sunday afternoon we headed along to the Orpington branch, to see what we could find.

I was rather pleased with this Merry Christmas garland. It's on two strings, so normal people could hang them one above the other. Clearly I'm not normal as I spent more time than I should have getting these to stand up on the radiator cover. The Christmas was trickier, as you can see, and some of the letters were refusing and a little skew-whiff. But I don't mind that, and rather like the character this brings to what is usually an undecorated part of our house. 

Merry Christmas wooden banner, which of course I couldn't just hang on the wall

I think some blu-tak might be deployed!

On the table the jingle bell lights, with gingham bows brought much amusement, as the bells are proper bells. The lights are battery operated and will be great to have on our table Christmas Day for some festive fun.  I'll also be having some of those cute tea lights on the table, even though it will be tough to light the top of his hat.

A christmas table decorated with items from TK Maxx

I was keen to pick up some of these recycled glasses. Not only because they're recycled, but also because our hi-ball glasses are getting tired and could do with replacing. At just £5.99 for four glasses I don't think you can go wrong, and as I'm on a bit of a "drink more water" campaign, having glasses I'm proud to put on the table helps.

Recycled glasses from TK Maxx

And how could I leave this cheeky faced reindeer garland in the shop. It's wooden with hints of gold and cheeky faces, and I know it'll fit in with the rest of my wooden decorations. I also think it'd look good intermingled with my garland of dried oranges, cinnamon sticks and pine cones.

reindeers garlands, father christmas tea lighters and jingle bell lights from TK Maxx
With the jingle bell lights turned on, the reindeer garland and father christmas tea lights, with one of the owls looking on - all from TK Maxx

I told you the jingle bell garland lit up didn't I? Here you can see the one of the owls looking on. These have been the decoration of the year for me, they're really quite cute and have migrated to my tree, making themselves perfectly at home.

These cute owls from TK Maxx are my favourite decoration so far this year
The cheery owl from TK Maxx - one of a pack of three - surveys the decorations on the table
Baubles, bells, owls and tea lights on my christmas table
A cheeky reindeer garland among the jingle bell lights from TK Maxx
A christmas table with TK Maxx

I had great fun styling my festive table with the decorations I picked up from TK Maxx. You'll be pleased to know that as well as the glasses for water and the water jug, there will also be some bubbles on our table this Christmas, because well, because bubbles were made for Christmas.

The other thing I was keen to pick up was a new star for the top of my tree. I'd converted a beaded star decoration which I've used for many years, so it was time for a change. In the end I settled on this gold diamante style star, with its spring-like base, which makes it way easier than my converted star, especially when the tree is 6 foot and I'm not!

A gold star for the top of my christmas tree from TK Maxx

I'm pleased with the items I picked up - the glasses, the jingle bell garland, the reindeer garland, the Merry Christmas sign, the Father Christmas tea lights, the cheeky owls and the glittery star tree topper - and I was even more pleased with the price, all of this came to £38. 

Have you updated your decorations this year?

This is a collaborative post with TK Maxx, who provided a gift voucher for the purposes of this post. All views are my own.

Sharing our chairs

Yes, it's the post I've been meaning to share for a while. We've had our new chairs for what seems like ages now, and I think some of the gloss of having them has gone as it was quite a palaver in the end. We ordered them in January from a very big furniture shop on Tottenham Court Road and expected to wait a couple of months for them to arrive.

We'd hoped they would arrive a couple of weeks after our table at the start of March, but they didn't. They finally arrived, after much to-ing and fro-ing and chasing on my part, in the middle of April. And then one was damaged and needed to be replaced. I was beginning to think this was one of those purchases where everything goes wrong. Finally by the middle of May we had a set of chairs that we were happy with.

I'm not going to name the company - although you may have worked it out already - nor am I going to confirm or deny which it is, but I was pleased they had a robust compensation scheme and through negotiation we ended up with one chair almost free of charge.  So that's something but it's still not the service I expected. I think that's contributed to how long it's taken me to write about these.

Don't get me wrong I'm really pleased with them, but less so the pain that they came with!

So after much research we chose the Eames chairs to go with our white glass dining tableand I persuaded MOH that having more than one colour would be a good thing. Although I ummed and ahhed about the mustard chairs, which we did order. We went for two ocean (blue), two white and two mustard (yellow) and they look great. 

So let's take a look:

mustard eames chair
white and ocean eames chairs

I'm really pleased with how the colours worked out and can't stop myself from smiling when I see the yellow, sorry mustard.  And that's meant an influx of yellowy-mustard items into the house, so it really can't be a bad thing, can it?


Now our table and chairs are more contemporary and fit well with our kitchen, we've also noticed how much lighter our dining area is.  Light reflects off the table, rather than being soaked up by the mahogany table we used to have. It looks great with some of our everlasting sweet peas in a milk bottle, and there's been plenty of these this year already. 

sweet peas in a milk bottle
sweet peas, milk bottle and eames chairs

But the Alessi Blow Up basket also looks good - you can see just how reflective the table is in this shot. 

reflective glass table and alessi bowl

The only thing is our table mats don't really go now, they depict a French brasserie and while there's nothing wrong with them they were bought with our last table in mind.  So I have a plan, which I suspect you expected. I plan to make some fabric place mats, and the material I have from Prestigious Textiles matches perfectly. I used a different pattern in the Java range for the blind in our porch earlier in the year.

At the moment I'm not sure if I'll just make a couple of fabric placemats, or make something a bit more complicated where I can slip our existing placemats inside the fabric, sort of envelope. I'll let you know, but isn't the material a good match?

material for place mats and napkins from prestigious textiles

So there you go, finally a look at my dining room chairs. Now I've got the material out and seen how well it matches, I'm getting a bit more enthused about it all again.

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