How to Make a Wood Tray



How to Make a Wood Tray

Hello everyone how was your holiday weekend? Can you believe Labor Day has come and gone already? Summer has flown buy way to fast.

Well last week when talking about how I like to style a coffee table.I mentioned  one of the essential pieces (in my opinion) is a gorgeous tray to help corral all of the other items and make them look like they have a purpose.  Today I thought I’d share how to make a simple wood tray for the coffee table (or anywhere really).

Wood trays are so incredibly versatile and can be kind of expensive depending on the one you buy . Building your own can be a great alternative. Bryan put 2 of those together for me one afternoon from scrap wood we had laying around. Once you see how you’ll be dying to make one for yourself.

The construction of it is really simple. It’s just a bottom piece and 4 sides. It does require a few tools though but would be a perfect beginner project for someone just starting out. Since we planned to paint it we didn’t even bother to miter the edges. But enough talk here’s how:


  • 1/2” MDF panel cut to size (we cut ours to the inside dimensions of the box which are 14” x 18”
  • 1” x 3” pine board for the side pieces
  • Assemble the pieces as shown above

Once your box is built spray with a few coats of high gloss paint for a sleek lacquer look and you have yourself a beautiful and versatile tray for your coffee table or anywhere.

Thanks to Sarah from Thrifty Decor Chick for hosting another Before and After party.

How to Decorate a Coffee Table



How to Decorate a Coffee Table

How you decorate a coffee table can change the entire look of the space. Second only to the sofa the coffee table is the workhorse of the living room. The coffee table can serves as a make shift dining table, a place to put your feet up or the spot that house your remotes.

We’ve had our coffee table for as long as I can remember. It was one of the first pieces of furniture my mom bought as a newlywed. It seen it’s fare share of TV shows, hosted countless meals and a rousing game or two of monopoly. I was straightening up the house the other day and just decided it was time to shop the house and properly fancy up the coffee table.  The question I asked myself is how do you make it both stylish and useful.

Style a Coffee Table

After a bit of internet research and some cleaver observation here are five pieces that I think bring together both form and function and will turn your coffee table into a beautiful decorated space.

  1. Books – for your guests to read.  Duh They’re called coffee table books for a reason!
  2. Box – for storing those unsightly remotes in one convenient place.
  3. Flowers – for texture a color, don’t have fresh flowers consider a potted plant or succulents.
  4. Object, for something personal unexpected, my shell ball was bought back on a weekend getaway.
  5. Tray, for holding the previously mentioned items

Decorating a Coffee Table

Keep reading below to see my picks for a beautifully decorated coffee table. And tell me what do you put on your coffee table? Share you tips in the comments.


Coffee-Table-Decorating-Pro copy

Natural Horn Box – Serena and Lily*, Lacquer Tray – West Elm, Turquoise Glass Bottle Vase – Luna Bazaar, Decorate by Holly Becker – Amazon*, Sculptural Spheres – West Elm

Links with an asterisk contain affiliates, What this means is that if you make a purchase from one of these links Our Lake Life may receive a commission on the sale of the product

Thanks to Sarah from Thrifty Decor Chick for hosting another Before and After party.

Celebrity Homes: Bobby Flay’s Hamptons Kitchen



 Get a dose of Celebrity Style with Bobby Flay and Stephanie March’s Hampton Dream Kitchen

Bobby Flay Kitchen Elle Decor

Celebrity chef Bobby Flay’s and wife actress Stephanie March recently invited Elle Decor into their dream Hamptons kitchen.  This bold celebrity kitchen includes 2 ovens, a 10 burner commercial range, a griddle, a deep fryer. It’s not surprise that Bobby’s Flay’s house is set up kind of like a restaurant. It holds 2 cafe tables and a large island.

The bold cabinets painted majestic blue by Benjamin Moore dominate the interior and set the tone for the overall space. Even if your not willing to go the extreme with a wall full of turquoise. There is still plenty to take a from this celebrity space. Keep reading to see how to get the look…

Get the look Bobby Flay Kitchen

Benjamin Moore’s Majestic Blue Paint – A wall full of turquoise cabinets is a lot for anyone to commit to, but try just a few accents in this bold blue hue would go a long way.

Antiqued Metal Drum Pendant, Restoration Hardware– Hung in a pair over an island these drum pendants from would cast the perfect glow.

Riviera Side Chair, Serena and Lily – I’ve been obsessed with the French style bistro chairs since I first laid eyes on them.

Adjustable Iron Table, West Elm, What’s not to love about this industrial and adjustable iron table?

Maple End Grain Cutting Board, Overstock – Every good chef needs a large wood cutting board that’s as stylish as it is functional.

Wicker Trays, Decorative Things – You can never go with wicker tray to catch all the things that seem to accumulate on kitchen counters.

*inspiration photo styled by Gregory Bissonnette; Photography by William Waldron for

Let’s Talk Pillows



Well hello everyone, how has your summer been? We’ve just been enjoying the past 2 months of summer. You know hanging out by the lake, swimming, tubing and hosting a ton of BBQ’s for friends and family that come over in droves at the mere mention of a 90 degree day. It’s an insane amount of fun and a little crazy at times but it’s exactly the reason we bought a lake house in the first place.

When I started to redecorate the living room I wanted the room to feel casual, a little bit coastal and really reflect the summery blues and greens of the outdoors. I had painted the walls white and took the whole room back to a neutral base. I was in to mood for a really quick way to add some watery colors into the space and of course I bought some fabric.Painting-white-walls-in-the

One of my favorite and quickest ways to change out the feel of an entire room is to swap out the pillows. So the orange pillows were out and I made a few new pillows from the fabric I mentioned on the inspiration board I put together ages ago.


This time instead of my old stand by envelope pillows. I sewed these with zippers. Lucky for me it actually turned out to be way easier than it sounds. The first one took a little bit longer to make than I would normally spend because of the slight learning curve but after that it was smooth sailing. Jesse at Scout and Nimble has a really easy to follow tutorial for anyone looking to do the same.


The overall look is very summery and airy and I’ve been really embracing the coastal vibe they give off. For the Fall I’m thinking of maybe replacing the stripe pillow with a really rich indigo velvet and maybe some darker blue curtains would be nice.


And that is the first step, a quick and easy pillow switcheroo.

5 Coastal Decorating Ideas from Sarah’s Cottage



Neutral and Blue Living Room Design

photos: Sarah Richardson Design via HGTV

Happy unofficial start to summer everyone. I don’t know about you but I’m ready for it. Over the weekend HGTV replayed Sarah Richardson’s Summer Cottage episodes and I so enjoyed watching them over again. I may have even enjoyed watching them more the second time around. I love all the calming blues and greens in the space and got to thinking about how she pulled it all together. Here are some of the images from the show and my own observations.

Mixing patterns like a pro by using a single color.

If you’re intimidated by mix patterns try using a single color as a jumping off point. Sarah said “The Chiang Mai Dragon fabric on the ottomans which had so many different blues, from inky indigo to faded cornflower” was a jumping off point for the living room. By using patterns in the same blue tones the whole room feels put together and cohesive without the use of a single color feeling boring.

Coastal Decorating Sarah's Cottage

Mixed seating creates a casual elegance

Mix up your seating in the dining room.  Sarah used secondhand banker chairs painted a soft blue, a pale green bench and upholstered wing back chairs upholstered in 2 different fabrics around the dining table.

Continue the same colors throughout an open floor plan

Pale blue painted antique corbels support the peninsula overhang. Three different colors were used on the kitchen cabinets. Benjamin Moore’s Wedgewood Gray on the peninsula, Gray Cashmere on the uppers and November Rain below continue the color palette into the kitchen. The marble backsplash incorporates the many colors and brings it all together.

Use a statement piece in a small room

A dramatic large scale bed is the focal piece in the in the guest cabin, but she softened the look with subtle gray accents. A bedside lamp made from a birchwood tree brings a natural element while large windows and doors makes the tiny one room structure feel larger and one with nature.

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