DIY side table for the livingroom




Spring is finally here (yeaay!) and I have put together a pretty, spring themed living room idea; to help celebrate all the wonderful things that happen during this lovely season. What gets me most excited in Spring, is seeing the fluffy bees, newborn lambs, sprouting leaves on the trees and of course the flowers!  What do you love about spring?

I’m truly loving the pastel colours and decorative patterns that I’ve selected for this moodboard.  With peach, I’ve combined mint green, pink, coral, khaki and brown tones. They look so fresh against the white background.

Most of the items for this look are plain, and to break up the blocks of colours, I have added a floral wallpaper pattern. Some people are afraid of patterns, but I just love them! Too much pattern can look chaotic, but a little bit is nice and can bring some personality into a room.  It is all about balance. If you decorate one wall with a patterned wallpaper, then you can save some pennies by just painting the remaining walls. I’m all for budgeting, whether that be cutting down on unnecessary costs or doing a bit of DIY. In my spring themed living room idea, I’ve included a side table, which you can make yourself. It’s so easy to make and you can find out how to assemble the DIY side table for the livingroom by clicking here.


DIY side table for the livingroom


All the other furniture pieces you can find on Pinterest


You can find so many ideas on the Internet to help you redecorate your home. I have posted a number of ideas on my blog, Modern Retro Living Space and Retro Livingroom Interior, where you can get tips ranging from ultra-modern to classic retro. In more ways than one, sprucing up your home provides a wonderful opportunity to showcase your creativity. There are endless how-to’s on-line and in magazines. Some of them are simple, and some require specialised equipment, such as a bandsaw, to help you create really intricate and fabulous pieces.

Firstly, it’s important to understand the use and features of a bandsaw. Screwfix, a UK-based multi-channel retailer specialising in hardware products, describes it as a tool that helps the user cut straight or irregular shaped lines meticulously. In short, having this power tool allows you to be as imaginative as you can. So when it comes to redecorating or re-purposing your home’s furniture, you can go down an unconventional route and come up with simple conversation pieces like a bandsaw side-table for the livingroom.

Choosing a Pattern

To create this avant-garde furniture, you have to start off by deciding on a pattern. You can opt for an abstract piece or even go with a mid-century side table like the one on Sugar and Cloth. After choosing, print out your preferred patterns on two 8 ½ x 14 papers. Use spray adhesive to stick these patterns on the wooden panel, and then drill four line-up holes in the waste area for the legs.

Cutting Process

Cut through the outline (including the legs for drawers). Conversely, if you opt to have drawers – start with ½ inch off the back part of the box, followed by the top four drawer slots. Do the same on the front side. Once you’ve done these, it’s time to drill 1/32nd through the front pattern lines so you’ll have a guide when sawing the drawers.

Finishing Touches

Using a bandsaw, hollow out all the sides, as well as sand the interior cavities and the inside faces (both on the front and back side). You then have to glue the front of the box back to the actual body before attaching the back part. Put the final touches on your side table project by sanding the outside crevices to ensure a smooth finish.


Have fun and I’d love to see what you make!

Emma Jayne x


About Me







Hi! My name is Emma Jayne and I love Surface Pattern , Illustration and blogging. My degree is in Surface Pattern, for which I studied at the University of Huddersfield. I got a 2:1 with honours. I’ve always had a passion for design and my previous work was heavily influenced by pattern, graphic design and illustration.

About me

Here’s a little information about me… I currently take inspiration from colour, shapes, texture, fashion, graphics, nature, interiors … actually, pretty much anything I come across which piques my interest! From childhood I have always been passionate about art, coming from a creative family. My father and grandfather both loved DIY, my mum loved fashion and interiors and my grandmother, who spent every Thursday and most weekends sewing and knitting with me. I knitted my first jumper at 8 years (it was too big and I could not get to wear it till I was about 10!).

My design BA and studio work at Dorma made good use of my drawing and colour skills. At Dorma I was involved with the whole design process, from initial concept to bulk printing. I have undertaken various freelance projects over an 10 year period, selling my designs in the UK, around Europe and in America.

I love being creative and playing around with sketches, which later, I develop on my computer. I don’t really have one particular signature style and I find that this allows me to be versatile. This flexibility is a useful attribute to have when working on briefs for different types of clients.

In my spare time, I continually search for new ideas and new inspiration; whether that would be in stationery, apparel, corporate promotional literature and web design, to interiors, and even colour themes. I am also a Pinterest addict and before I used Pinterest, I used to keep boxes full of magazine clippings and marketing material.

Things that I like are; vintage patterns & interiors, old and contemporary illustrations, typography, printed fabrics, retro wallpaper, posters, Scandinavian design, pick”n”mix sweets, collecting stamps and listening to music whilst working on my computer.

My objective is to keep up with the current trends, keep updating my skills to constantly strive to become a better designer and to hopefully inspire you through my blog.



I started my blog in 2010, when I was studying on my masters. I wanted a site that would display my development work (like an on-line sketchbook) and where I could store written thoughts and ideas. As time went by, I started blogging inspiration for my designs and updating my design artwork. Now I like to keep up with current trends and to share my passions for different aspects of design and what inspires me. I also add in the odd piece of design work, which you can see on my Etsy shop.



Altogether I have spent approximately thirteen years in education, after leaving school at 16. My qualifications, apart from the usual gained at school, include:-

Diploma L4 Graphic Design
Masters Textile Illustration
BA (Hons) Surface Pattern
PGCE Teaching
NVQ I&II Business Administration
”A” Level (x2) Art
BTEC Nat Diploma Graphics

and a few more…………….



Current – Shop owner/Freelance Designer in Design & Illustration
Deva Design – Surface Pattern Designer
IF Agency – Intern Graphic Designer
Ultimate Communications – Intern Graphic Designer
The Oldham College – Art & Maths teacher
Turner Bianca – Intern Textiles Designer
Dorma – Creative Textile Designer
R.E.D – Freelance Illustrator & Surface Pattern Designer



Global Talent Search 2016






It’s been one week since the fifty semi-finalists were announced for the global talent search 2016. I was a tad disappointed when I found out that I wasn’t within this select group. I did, however, get an honourable mention, which is given to those who came very close to getting though. I’m actually pretty happy with that.  I shall continue to develop my style and portfolio, and will enter the GTS again, next year, hopefully stronger and better than before.


I want to share with you my artwork, from initial drawings to final design. First I began with a mind map, which helps me to devise a strong concept. The brief was to design a tea-cup, saucer and napkin. The images which immediately sprang to mind were characters from ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’.  It sounds a bit clichéd, as these stories are very popular, but at the end of the day, it’s how you translate your ideas and style that’s important. I used the popular fantasy stories as a starting point and invented my own little world. I created a Garden of Curiosities.

For the final piece, my aim was to demonstrate my illustration and pattern skills, because these are my strengths, and aspects of design that I’m very passionate about.

Global Talent Search 2016


I spent approximately half a day scribbling down words and doodling images associated with ‘tea’. I soon came up with a whole range of creatures and developed them, making up new characters as I went along.



For the brief, I kept an open mind and decided to draw on used envelopes that I had lying in a pile in my studio. Sometimes, drawing in a sketch book can make me feel anxious and precious about my work, so drawing on old envelopes helps to loosen me up and be more experimental with what materials I wanted to use.





Here are a few more pages of character drawings. I drew animals that I found around the internet, and then altered them to fit my piece – you tend not to see Victorian ladies with zebra bodies and legs! Others were drawn from memory i.e. wasp and bunny.



I painted the tea cup using watercolour, as I love the fluid lines made from the paintbrush. For finer lines, I used a marker pen. Then I pasted some of the animal characters, positioning them so they’d appear large in scale on the crockery. Here’s my first idea. I’m unsure about how shape of the teacup in this image.



This teacup is a much better shape. I’ve lengthened the actual teacup shape and decided to add more icons, filling up most of the cup surface area.



I chose to have a large image on the saucer, placing characters & icons around the teacup and all over pattern on the napkin. Here is a quick doodle of the pattern. I positioned each icon so the surface area is mainly filled, with equal spacing.



Here is my final tea-set design. I also designed a teapot to go with the collection. All are large in scale, with parts of the green garden background showing. I created the title ‘Garden of Curiosities’ using a stylised font, that sits well with the overall fantasy theme. It stands out, but not too much, as I didn’t want to take away the attention from the other elements.

I am happy with my design and I’d like to design more characters, which would look cool positioned on other products; tea storage containers, dinner plates and biscuit tins for example.



More tea Miss?


Thanks for stopping by!

Emma Jayne x




Do what you love




It’s Friday (Yeayy!!) and I’m off on my jolly holidays later today. It’s only for a long weekend, but still, I’m looking forward to a relaxing break and a change of scenery! The selected fifty for the first round of the GTS 2016 was announced this morning. Sadly for me, I was not one of the chosen few. I do feel a tad disappointed, but there’s always next year! On the upside, I do feel fortunate that I currently work in a fabulous design studio, even though it’s only covering for maternity leave. More so, I’m building up my portfolio in my spare time (evenings & weekends) and I’ll have a few pattern designs from the studio experience to include too.

For all those of you lovely people who have not been successful in getting where you’d like to be right now, you must carry on with your passion. Do what you love and love what you do! With hard work and determination, you will get there. Just don’t give up! Here are some inspirational quotes for you, if you’d like a ‘pick me up’ or if you’d simply like to look at some hand-drawn typography.

Do what you love




Have a good weekend everyone!

Emma Jayne x  😎