A destination photographer and self-described ‘misfit adventurer,’ Karmen Harley has had the the good fortune to travel all over the globe. From uninhabited Chilean islands to sun-drenched temples in South East Asia and African savannahs, she’s picked up many travel trinkets along the way – all great fodder for a coffee table that really tells a story.
“The coffee table is a Gumtree find, it’s a huge antique copper tray with beautiful etchings and a lovely tarnished patina. It currently sits on some folding legs from an old side table,” says Karmen of her coffee table that isn’t really a coffee table at all!
“I love it because I can pick up the tray and move it to the dining table to use in the centre or I can use it with one of the many tables that we use when we are sitting outside on the verandah,” says Karmen.
“On my coffee table I have some of my favourite photography books, a little bowl that we picked up in the Caribbean filled with shells, a gorgeous hand painted tea kettle that was a gift from my husband and of course a vase of fresh eucalyptus from our yard,” says Karmen.
“My style is about mixing old with new – Gumtree finds, ebay wins, second hand gems and my travel treasures. I guess I start with a neutral base and then add pops of bright bold colour. And plants, lots of plants!” says Karmen.
“Growing up, my parents had a landscaping business for 30 years so being completely surrounded by plants was a way a way of life. When the house was originally built, the owners planted dozens of wattle and eucalyptus trees so when the wattle is in flower I fill the house with it as it’s so bright and welcoming!”