Earlier this week we were invited to an exclusive home entertainment styling workshop hosted by Fête/Life Magazine’s founders, Annabelle Kerslake and Jane Cameron, at IKEA Adelaide.

“The reason we love working with IKEA so much is because of the design ethos they have. Everything is beautifully designed and if you can find the pieces that work with your aesthetic, you’re actually bringing good design into your life,” says Annabelle.

The girls demonstrated amazing style solutions, implementing the simple, minimalistic and monochrome philosophy featured in their magazine.

“The idea is to try and streamline your life and streamline your home, streamline your entertaining, everything you do, to get the best quality of life,” Annabelle says.

To showcase this, Annabelle and Jane set three different dining tables, each ideal for a different occasion and appealing to a different aesthetic.

The first, featuring IKEA’s ‘Oppeby’ table in white and ‘Adde’ chairs in black, was the most minimalistic of the three, bringing together style and almost effortless convenience. Annabelle stressed the ease of grabbing a couple of statement pieces from around the house, such as pot plants, bringing them together on the table top, and creating a setting perfect for a casual get together (perhaps involving takeaway pizza)!

The second setup featured IKEA’s ‘Ryggestad’ table in black and ‘Vassad’ folding chairs in dark-grey ash-veneer, and is ideal for a cheese and wine night with some close friends, with Annabelle reminding us that we don’t need to cook a three course meal to have friends over. This set up is interesting enough to catch your guests’ attention but simple enough that it will work on any kind of table.

Annabelle and Jane’s third and final style heroes the ‘Norråker’ table and bench as well as the ‘Janinge’ chairs with armrests in grey. This setup is more for a special occasion, such as Christmas Day, and showcases the art of blocking and building mass to create the desired design effect – in this case, using the flowerpots.

After attending Annabelle and Jane’s styling session, we’ve put together a list of their top tips that embody the Fête/Life philosophy:

  1. Create a home entertainment kit – a big tub full of entertainment crockery, glassware, napkins, placecards etc. that you can pull out at a moment’s notice to whip together a quick and easy get together. Annabelle and Jane highly recommend IKEA’s ‘Kuggis’ range for crockery storage.
  2. Find a multipurpose range of glassware such as the ‘IKEA 365+’ that can be used as water glasses, pot plant holders or even to serve dessert!
  3. Try to invest in a good quality table so you don’t have to waste time and effort on linen.
  4. Have your base (plates, linen, glassware etc.) in a monochrome palette to keep it simple. If you want to add pops of colour, simply change napkin and flower colours. The type of food you serve will also change the mood.
  5. Splurge on ‘IKEA’s 69c Oftast’ dinner and side plates for when you host bigger events so it doesn’t matter if any of your clumsy guests break them!
  6. Make up individual settings with nametags or placecards to make your guests feel a bit special.
  7. Use tea towels as napkins as they can be a bit more interesting in design.
  8. If you don’t have the perfect table, just get some IKEA paper and roll it down the middle.

However, the most important tip of all from Annabelle and Jane is to keep it simple!

“You don’t want to be so overwhelmed with making it nice that you never do it,” says Annabelle.

“We do understand, there’s no point having this magical life in a magazine. For us, the magazine is a vehicle to help everybody live their best life.”

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