What do you display on your coffee table?

What do you display on your coffee table?

Here are five easy tips to create a beautiful and stylish coffee table.




…in every room

I’ve got some quotes for you of what some designers think you should include in every design in every room:

Something living! Nothing injects a sense of life into what can be the least lived-in room in the house like a beautiful tree or plant. My two favorite trees are Kentia palms and fiddle-leaf figs. For something smaller, there’s always room for a maidenhair fern or potted ivy. A vase filled with branches or oversize leaves is a quick fix and will last a while. If the tree and plant thing feels too high-maintenance, you can always just put some tulips in a jar and call it a day.”
—Jonathan Rosen


“Something very personal — an object, a painting, a collection. Things don’t have to be expensive, but it’s the personality that makes any room feel grounded and ‘real,’ not some anonymous space.”
—Jeffry Weisman


“Candles, and lots of them. They conjure romance instantly.”
—Roderick N. Shade


“A tray. It makes a disconnected group of objects seem like a collection.”
—T. Keller Donovan

“Trays for coffee tables and ottomans. They keep the tablescapes contained in their own frame, of sorts, and add another dimension and texture to the styling. They also make it easy to lift everything off when you need more room for entertaining.”
—Steven Gambrel


“Candlesticks. I really love the bronze ones by Gene Summers, in varying heights. They layer the light in a room — and are beautiful objects in their own right.”
—Suzanne Lovell

“The one accessory I really fight to put in every living room is a TV. Plasma, of course, and as big as possible. It makes people use their ‘trophy’ living rooms other than for the proverbial high holy days. And if you want to be chic when you have guests, program it to play Matthew Barney or some other video art.”
—Peter Dunham


“Layers of cushions in tactile fabrics. I’m not a big fan of using lots of different colors in a room, but layering lots of pillows of different textures is an incredibly luxurious yet cozy look.”
—Fiona Barratt

“A stylish throw. A good quality throw can last a lifetime and adds a dash of color and pattern as well as comfort and a homey quality.”
—Nina Campbell


In every room I personally think you should include…

…books. No matter how you choose to display them – from disorganized stacks piled on chairs to formal glass pained bookcases, books provide appeal that few other props can mimic. High tables, low tables, even the end of the settee can be ideal places to keep books. For character and warmth – no other ornaments come close!

AMDV Coffee Table Books5

…one black thing. Black creates depth and interest.

wwwnuevo-estilo via greige

…and excellent lighting. Lighting has the superpower to make the people feel comfortable, to change and control their moods, or to give a certain feel to a room.




Quite a Lovely Contrast


Con·trast n. /kon’trast/

“opposition or juxtaposition of different forms, lines, or colors in a work of art to intensify each element’s properties and produce a more dynamic expressiveness.”

Yesterday I was very surprised to receive this lovely reminder of spring from ProFlowers.

He’s good…

With tomorrow being Floral Design Day, I thought I’d turn to Real Simple to give us some techniques and ideas on floral arranging.

With the help of Real Simple’s tips, tricks, and styling shortcuts, you’ll never have to shell out money for a store-bought bouquet ever again.


Flower Arranging 101
1. Create a foundation with foliage. This is the framework for the arrangement. Build a pleasing, asymmetrical shape that leans on the lip of the vase and has a high point in back. Make sure it’s not too thick, so there’s room for the flowers.

2. Add large “face” flowers, cutting stems at different lengths so some blooms nestle low and others extend. The crisscrossed foliage stems in the vase work like webbing to hold flowers where you want them. Take your time, experimenting until it looks good.

3. Weave in wispy elements, like climbing flowering vines or ferns, in three strategic spots: up high on one side, down low (spilling out of the vase), and in the middle, as if they’ve pushed their way through a cluster of larger blooms.


Dark, Dramatic Peonies
Fill a ceramic vase or jug with peonies cut at different lengths, then tuck begonia and coleus leaves around the flowers.


Pink-on-Pink Profusion
In a widemouthed footed urn, use begonia stems (with buds) as a foundation. Separate showy peonies so they don’t overtake the display. Make a concentrated cluster of garden roses to the right. Use sculptural black-centered scabiosa as a loose divider between the roses and the peonies. Tuck in additional begonia buds and blooms to spill unevenly over the lip of the vessel. Black polyresin urn (7 inches high), $8.
Carnation Cluster
In a low oval container, pack a single color of variegated carnations cut at different lengths, creating a shape that’s more like a wavy landscape than a solid mound. Gloss Brown ceramic oval vase/planter (similar shape to shown), $26.

Floral Design Day

Mostly Green Display
Use leafy Solomon’s seal (with its little white “bells”) as a foundation, loosely filling a column-shaped vase and extending from both sides. Nestle bright, velvety cockscomb deep in the middle, just off-center, like a buried treasure. Fill holes with spearmint and poppy pods. Add tall sweet pea vines, placing them to arc toward, not away from, the arrangement. Tuck fronds of wispy maidenhair fern around the bottom on one side to spill out and down, leaving plenty of space to show its delicate shape. Sea Garden Vase.