mahabis guide // coffee table essentials
A carefully curated coffee table can be the centrepiece of your living room. It’s the place where you can keep your most treasured belongings close to hand, as well as being the perfect surface on which to display reading material, and select pieces that bring the decor together. Whether you are the kind of person who uses your coffee table to pile up remnants of your day, or if the placement of each item has been meticulously considered, we offer up a simple guide to the most de rigueur articles to keep on your coffee table.
Independent magazines have been propelled into the limelight in recent years, a diverse collection of publications concentrating on subjects as niche as slow living, scenic travel, coffee culture, escapism and gourmet cuisine.
Heralded in by the uprising of Kinfolk magazine, there are now a vast array of beautifully presented titles which are perfect for browsing through as you relax on the sofa. It’s a nice idea to have a selection of magazines piled on the coffee table, available for guests to sift through at their leisure. Opt for well-designed tomes that offer the perfect balance of style and substance. A selection of our favourite coffee table magazines are detailed below:
Each issue of Cereal magazine offers insights into several worldwide locations, showcasing places to visit and restaurants to dine in, alongside more unusual (yet photogenic) experiences.
New publication, Musotrees, draws inspiration from Instagram to look into individual journeys and personal insights into destinations, concentrating predominantly on Stockholm for its first issue.
Drift magazine is dedicated to coffee, thoroughly exploring coffee culture in a different city for every issue. Featuring baristas, coffee shop owners, and coffee drinkers, the publication seeks to gain an insight into each city through how, why and when coffee is consumed.
Hole & Corner details stories of people whose greatest passion is their craft. Detailing local craftspeople, innovate small businesses, and people who utilise the environment around themselves, the magazine is dedicated to showcasing a unique view of lifestyle and culture from the view point of the makers.
photos: @northernheart and @brittanybathgate
The selection of coffee table books that you have on display are a clear way of presenting your interests and hobbies. More often than not, these books are as much decorations as they are reading material, usually featuring stylish covers and offering subtle nods to personal ideals. Once the predominant domain of fashion tomes, there are now a staggering amount of titles available. Opt for books that are conversation starters, or that you are knowledgeable about the subject, to aid with entertaining guests.
Kinfolk magazine currently offer two coffee table books, The Kinfolk Table and The Kinfolk Home. The former is ideal for those who love to host gatherings, offering simple catering ideas for both large and small groups, whereas the latter showcases the contemporary minimal homes of creatives around the globe.
For those who love the outdoors, and relish the thought of getting away from it all for a relaxing woodland retreat, Cabin Porn is the ideal tome. Sifting through page after page filled with beautiful photographs of both contemporary and traditional cabins will inspire you to consider your own tranquil getaway.
Fine art and photography books work particularly well, especially if you own limited edition tomes that you wish to show off. Check out The Rise of David Bowie, an ideal memento of the artist’s work, coffee table read, and conversation starter.
Create a Danish ambience in your home by channelling their cosy and welcoming concept of hygge. The easiest way to create hygge within your own home is to scatter your coffee table with a couple of candles and turn off overhead lights. Opt for soy wax blends with natural fragrances for a more organic approach. We love the reusable glass jars used by brands such as P.F Candle Co., Earl of East London and Square Trade Goods Co. that make for great tea-light holders.
A sleek and minimal tray is ideal for placing drinks and plates upon, whilst a large bowl works well as a place to store smaller items that may otherwise clutter up the table. Stray away from cheap plastic options, and opt for materials that complement the rest of your décor and the table itself. Concrete, marble, copper and wooden accessories are all very much on trend at the moment.
One of the biggest interiors trends right now is to bring the outdoors inside your home. Adding an easily maintained house plants to your coffee table is the perfect way to nod towards some greenery without going overboard. We love combining the indoors with the outdoors, and often source our inspiration from this collective of interiors artists: Urban Jungle Bloggers. Check out the work of mahabis ambassador Tiffany Grant-Riley from Curate & Display.
Plants which were popular in the Seventies, such as cheese plants, rubber plants and ferns, are all popular at the moment, but if you have a small space to work with and aren’t particularly adept at keeping plants alive, perhaps opt for a small collection of succulents or cacti.
Don’t make your coffee table all style over substance. Consider the actual purpose of the table, and ensure that it is equipped for what you will be using it for. If you are cautious of leaving cup rings, have a pile of coasters ready for use. And remember to leave a space for the remote control, your laptop and a pile of notebook and pens!
How to style
Don’t go overboard. You want to create a stylish display whilst leaving plenty of room for cups of coffee and nibbles. There are all sorts of guides available, offering suggestions such as stacking books in neat piles, leaving half of the table free for use, or creating one well considered pile of objects right in the middle of the table, but we think that it is all a case of personal preference.
It’s important for a space to look lived in, and not like a showroom, so it’s OK to leave a magazine open, or to have a pile of bills perched on the edge of the table. Utilise your coffee table (or a collection of two or three smaller tables) as a place to store and display a fusion of the objects that you use the most and that you like the most.
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