Leslie D
Leslie D
  • Hometalker
  • Las Vegas, NV
Asked on Aug 13, 2012

What's on your coffee table?

Julie M.Sandra PayetteJo
+52

Answered

I bought a new coffee table this weekend and am having a heck of a time staging it. I found that staging my long, oval table was much easier. I've tried everything in the house on it and finally settled on a rustic wire basket with some green apples, an antique book and a chrome airplane, but I'm still not feeling it (my accent color is lime green). I have an over-abundance of glass and vases/bowls in the house, so I'm trying to avoid repeating those things, and flowers seem too frilly for our taste. Maybe some pictures of your coffee table will inspire me! Please share and offer suggestions for mine!
q what s on your coffee table, home decor, living room ideas, painted furniture
53 answers
  • KMS Woodworks
    on Aug 14, 2012

    WE keep our empty...right know it has my feet on it...propped up with a pillow from the couch...LOL

  • Leslie D
    on Aug 14, 2012

    LOL KMS! The problem with that (other than this is a white table), is that it seems my feet and eyes are somehow connected...the feet go up, the eyes close, then the neck hurts when I wake up.

  • Z
    on Aug 14, 2012

    I think it looks lovely Leslie. I have a very large "platter" on our coffee table with a organic shaped candle on it. I'll have to take a picture later. It's nothing special really. I also have a metal tray I've used on it before with a few magazines, but it's not on the bottom shelf of the console table with DVDs in it now.

  • Miriam I
    on Aug 15, 2012

    I think it looks perfect. I love the green pillow + green apple combo. I'm not fond of overdone coffee tables (or anything else for that matter). This is clean, easy to maintain, and lovely.

  • Sharron W
    on Aug 15, 2012

    I too loke it as is, except for the fact that the apples will ultimately get eaten and then you'll have an empty basket...LOL

  • Z
    on Aug 15, 2012

    LOL Sharron. I guess Leslie will have to either keep plenty apples on hand or buy some good looking fake ones. I have some very realistic looking pears in our kitchen. So far no one has tried to eat them either. ;^)

  • Leslie D
    on Aug 15, 2012

    Thanks, all. The apples are in no danger...they're fake...LOL. I've wanted to put this book on display for a while now. It's not a valuable copy, but it's a 1934 edition of Nathaniel Hawthorne's "Tanglewood Tales". It was inscribed in the room where Hawthorne wrote the book by by Margaret M. Lothrop, daughter of Margaret Sidney (Mrs. Daniel Lothrop), who wrote "The Five Little Peppers", and owned the Wayside Inn at the time it was inscribed. The house was also owned by Louisa Alcott, "Little Women", and I just thought it was neat that this book had been inscribed in the actual room where 3 great authors had written their classics. There was a photo of Margaret Sidney stuck in the front, along with an antique postcard of the Wayside Inn and a copy of the history of Wayside Inn and the authors who had lived there. One of my small treasures.

  • Ally
    on Aug 15, 2012

    I like everything you have on the table Leslie. Maybe you could put a few of the "loose" things on a tray which would ground it somehow. Y'know?

  • Z
    on Aug 15, 2012

    Wow Leslie! That is a treasure. I suppose now that we finally have a home library I should start looking for such treasures, but instead we're filling it with books we've read or plan to read while we spend most of our money on finishing our home. Glad to hear I'm not the only one that uses fake fruit. I'm sure some designers would cringe at that, but they don't live here. LOL

  • Sharron W
    on Aug 15, 2012

    LOL@ Becky...They don't live here....HaHaHa....

  • Leslie D
    on Aug 15, 2012

    I know....fake plants/fruit is supposedly the #1 design mistake you can make, but your'e right, Becky....unless they want to come help me eat an entire bowl of fruit, fake it is! . Ally, good idea! I'll try that...but I'm a bit OCD, so it has to be an odd number of things...great, now I have to go count the applies...LOL

  • Z
    on Aug 15, 2012

    Being OCD myself I find it hard to break most rules. You know, don't cut corners while turning a corner when driving, fully stop at all stop signs, stay on the right side of an aisle or hallway when walking in a building, etc.... But give me a design rule (other than the odd number thing because that *always* works) and I'm happier breaking them over following them for the most part.

  • 3po3
    on Aug 15, 2012

    Becky, what's the opposite of OCD? I break all those rules all the time. As for the coffee table, I have always thought that a coffee table book or two are all a coffee table really needs.

  • Z
    on Aug 15, 2012

    Well, I suppose you could have another form of OCD where you have a strong need *to* break the rules Steve. LOL

  • Sharron W
    on Aug 15, 2012

    @Becky & Steve....Isn't that called Rebel....LOL You are decorating rebels...HaHaha

  • Z
    on Aug 15, 2012

    Boy I never thought anyone would call me a rebel. 8^0

  • Ellen H
    on Aug 15, 2012

    I may be a rebel too. I won't have a chalkboard (painted or otherwise) in my house, regardless of how popular that chalkboard paint becomes. I hated chalk and chalkboards and chalk dust when I had to endure them in school - still hate them.

  • Ellen H
    on Aug 15, 2012

    Sorry Leslie D -that had nothing to do with your coffee table. If you don''t like the idea of a tray, how about putting the special book at the top of a small stack of books (two more for odd # total, LOL) that are slightly larger and darker - to make it stand out more. Maybe a volume by one of the other authors, to enhance the story.

  • Leslie D
    on Aug 15, 2012

    I agree, Ellen....I'm not a "shabby chic" kind of person. It's beautiful in other people's homes, and where I like a rustic element or two just to give warmth, I would drive myself nuts trying to clean and/or repair what is supposed to look worn and dirty....LOL

  • Leslie D
    on Aug 15, 2012

    ...and hopefully I won't offend too many people, but every time I see words in people's houses, like "Love", "Live", "Laugh", "Famly", etc., I always feel like I'm walking into a self-help book.

  • Ellen H
    on Aug 15, 2012

    I can't quite imagine myself going to the trouble of painting a piece of furniture, then sanding it down to make it look like it hasn't just been painted. My bathroom vanity looks like that already and I want to paint it, but it was originally painted with an oil-based paint and my allergies can't handle messing with that. Latex paint doesn't bother me too much.

  • Becky H
    on Aug 15, 2012

    Leslie, your eye for design is still working!! Your table looks great as it is; you don't need to ask for any ideas. I'm so happy for you to have your living room back!!

  • Z
    on Aug 15, 2012

    No chalk paint in our home either. I'm more of a naturalist. If something I have aged in real time then I'm okay with that, to a certain extent, but I won't work hard repairing something to then beat it up. Though I must admit I like the look, I couldn't do it myself.

  • Leslie D
    on Aug 15, 2012

    I think I will try a small stack of books...thanks...I'm just not happy with it, and I see so many beautifully staged bookshelves/tables on here.

  • Z
    on Aug 15, 2012

    Well if you're not happy with it then it doesn't matter that we all like it. What I do when I can't quite get something like this right is to start grabbing things from my stash drawers or from other rooms and "play" until I get that "YES!" feeling.

  • Leslie D
    on Aug 15, 2012

    You should have seen my husband and I in "Home Goods"....after trying everything we owned, we were all over the store, grabbing different things and setting up "mini vignettes" to see what may work. My husband is a very patient and understanding soul....LOL

  • Sherry L
    on Aug 15, 2012

    When I had a round coffee table I used a large fruit bowl and filled it with in-season flowers, fruit, pine cones, Christmas balls, what ever was appropreate at the time or holiday. Add a couple of candles in pretty holders.

  • Z
    on Aug 16, 2012

    LOL Leslie, I'd have to drag my hubby into a Home Goods store. Well if we had one. We do very well together in a Sears tool department though. We both love our power tools. He lets me do all the decorating though. Oh I like Sheila's idea of an apple on top of the books. Since it's a fake one and you don't have worry about it going bad and harming the book.

  • Sharron W
    on Aug 16, 2012

    @Leslie, the one other thing you might try is a round metal basket or Colander if you have one...in terms of Hard edges (squares, rectangles) I'm fine with mixing in a few triangles...LOL but when I'm making a round pot or tray I don't want a hard edges form on it, it's distracting to me......Just one of my quirks, but it leaves me feeling unsettled as if something is not "finished" I just bought the college bound kid a gorgeous Colander, SS inside, red on the outside...I can just see it with your green apples in it...

  • Marg C
    on Aug 16, 2012

    Steve, I believe that's called ORPD...obsessive relaxed personality disorder. haha!

  • Z
    on Aug 16, 2012

    Sharron, I can be just the opposite as you. I like mixing soft and hard edges. LOL @ Marg!

  • Leslie D
    on Aug 16, 2012

    I was looking for some sort of a round tray or wire basket, but just couldn't fine one. Everything in the room is hard angles except for the drum light and now the table underneath, so I did want a circular object on the table. I just have so many bowls/vases and glass pieces that I felt as though I needed something different. I'm going to try some of the suggestions here, and see if it makes it any better. I'll try some different arrangements and post a "which one do you like best" question. Thanks, all!

  • Leslie D
    on Aug 16, 2012

    OK, better? I've looked at it so much now, it's hard for me to judge! LOL

    q what s on your coffee table, home decor, living room ideas, painted furniture
  • Ellen H
    on Aug 16, 2012

    I like the book stack better. I think the basket the apples are in is perhaps a litte fussy for your style. What about a pottery bowl for the apples - add warmth and earthiness but in a clean way?

  • Ellen H
    on Aug 16, 2012

    I also just happened to think - flower pots come in comtemporary styles and make great decorative containers - you might find one in black or dark grey that you could use as a "bowl" for the apples. I guess you could even put a plant in it if you wanted (LOL).

  • Leslie D
    on Aug 16, 2012

    I think you're right, Ellen...where I wanted something a bit rustic for warmth, the basket just stands out like a sore thumb in the room. I'm liking this more...

    q what s on your coffee table, home decor, living room ideas, painted furniture
  • Ellen H
    on Aug 16, 2012

    Yes, yes, yes. By George, I think you've got it!

  • Leslie D
    on Aug 16, 2012

    Thanks for your help! I work from home, so I now have everything spread around the room....plant and bowl moved, baskets all over the place, etc. Hubby will wonder what happened....LOL

  • Becky H
    on Aug 16, 2012

    Those black and white stripes work very well with your room!!

  • Leslie D
    on Aug 16, 2012

    Funny thing is that I tried this bowl, with its matching taller vase over the weekend and didn't like it....I just needed Ellen's perspective to usei t alone, with a plant in it!

  • Becky H
    on Aug 16, 2012

    She gave you good advice!

  • Marg C
    on Aug 17, 2012

    this definitely works!! It has the height you needed!

  • Marg C
    on Aug 17, 2012

    and now we can all get ORPD'd!

  • Z
    on Aug 17, 2012

    YES! You got it. LOL Marg

  • Lola
    on Mar 28, 2015

    Wooden bowl or anything wood, such as a wooden candle molds which you can use as candle holders

  • Barbara White Gallagher
    on Jun 22, 2015

    Try draping a piece of fabric or a silk scarf or a tapestry with fringe over part of the table to soften the look and make the table blend in a little more. I have used animal print or geometric print long silk scarves (color and design to match your decor) and my favorite is an old Egyptian tapestry with fringes all around. It makes a huge difference. Place some of your items on the fabric. You could also use a much larger book that is colorful.

  • Debi53
    on Jun 23, 2015

    Round tables are so hard to decorate. I suggest a triangle decorating pattern.Go out from the center of your table & let each of the items form one point of the triangle. Space them apart just enough to form a triangle, but close enough to look like a grouping. Place a large round low basket (like the pic) as one point. Stack a group of large hardbound books on the other side as the second point. The books should be large enough to balance the size of the basket. You could also put an interesting item on top of the books. For the third point, choose a chunky candle holder, lantern, or similar item to add height. I love the suggestion of filling the basket with seasonal items as someone else mentioned. The other thing to use to fill the basket is a collection of things you love or collect: unusual smaller boxes, tins, old perfume sprayers, wooden or ceramic decorative balls, or anything that you personally find interesting. When I had a round coffee table, I filled a round basket with loose family photos from my childhood as well as my children & our family. No one could resist looking through the basket & it was always a great conversation piece. Just make each of the three items large enough to hold its own on your large table. I think this might give you the balance & interest you are looking for. Thrift & antique shops are the best places to find this kind of decor & the hunt is the fun. Best of luck & please post a pic whenever you finish.

    , Not necessarily this color but just included the pic as an idea Wooden would be even better
  • Bron
    on Nov 12, 2015

    there are so many answers here I can't read them all so I hope I am not repeating what you have already read. When I looked at the picture of you coffee table the first think I thought of was that it needed height. If you want to stick with the apples maybe put them in a tall glass vase. ( i know you said you had enough of glass bowls and jars but maybe with the apples in it would look ok?). I noticed the plane as well and thought that it looked such and interesting item. Maybe if you could stick to a theme like planes and have a selection of 3 planes set out in a triangle pattern as in a previous suggestion, it would be an interesting conversational piece. Groups of items of uneven numbers look good.

  • Diana Deiley
    on Apr 10, 2016

    I'd go with 3 items, a book, a candle, and maybe an old clock or a small plant. Because of its size, you can change things out whenever you like creating a mystery for your guests to enjoy each time they visit. :)

  • Jo
    on Sep 5, 2016

    Anchor your items on a large tray. I set a large oval galvanized metal tray on my dark round wood coffee table to create contrast. I put in three large items-a big fat candle on a dark dish, a glass bud vase and a set of stone coasters. Just lift the tray when dusting.

  • Sandra Payette
    on Nov 20, 2016

    book, plane, apples

  • Julie M.
    on Dec 15, 2016

    I like clean and simple and we lean toward contemporary. Anchor that table with some height then put your smaller item at the base. This is fake but it is what I have at Christmas since I am not fond of lots of fussy Christmas thingys.
  • Julie M.
    on Dec 15, 2016

    PS I live in Summerlin. Would love to meet over coffee tables LOL!
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