Iris Thorpe, of Iris&Co., joins us today with some great ideas on how to revamp your coffee table for the new year. Welcome, Iris!
Christmas is over, the tree is down and decorations are all back in boxes (maybe!). Now, what to put back on your coffee table? Before you start, stop and think it through. I always keep these rules in mind:
1. Less is best. Of course, if you really use your table, things will start to accumulate. Occasionally, edit what’s there or take everything off and start fresh.
2. Having objects of various heights is very important, so I usually start with something tall, such as a candlestick, vase, pitcher or a putti on a custom stand.
3. Add something low and round or oval.
4. Layers always add interest: candles, boxes or objects placed on a stack of books, for example.
5. Various materials create different textures. Try wood, glass, sterling silver and/or pottery.
6. Use books or magazines that you and your family are really interested in reading.
7. Where is the table located? If it’s in your family room, keep in mind your daily activities, and leave extra room for work you might bring home, an appetizer you may have while watching the football game or space to put your feet up and read a good book. Your living room should be a place to display a collection of your favorite finds that will not be moved, so plan the space accordingly.
8. Plan ahead and have items on hand in a closet or drawer, and be ready to change your table if guests are coming. Have bowls and trays for food that you know will easily fit on your table.
9. Fresh flowers or plants are my favorite objects to add. You do not have to break the bank and order formal arrangements. Three silver trumpet vases with a few roses … a vase or pitcher, which you already know has a small opening, so only a few stems will do. The Niermann Weeks tole planter is certainly an investment piece, but it’s a perfect go-to container. Add two or three potted plants, such as the white hydrangeas, and it is complete.
10. Finally, let the size, shape and material of your coffee table guide you.
Here are some examples of coffee tables with great style:
This white gessoed table in our shop has a vintage handkerchief planter with an orchid, but the bowl is just as beautiful empty.
Topped with a tray to hold items, this custom-upholstered table has a shelf below for extra objects, such as games or books.
Shown here with Earthborn pottery and a rustic olive jar with tulips for a pop of color, this wooden Nancy Corzine table also has a shelf for extra storage.
This screened porch, which is often used for entertaining, has a unique chicken coop that serves as the table. The homeowner removes her books to make room for food and entertaining.
Perfect for families with small children, this wooden table from Circa Antiques is large enough for activities, yet also can be styled with books, orchids and pottery for a clean look.
What about choosing a coffee table? That’s another story for another day. Until then …
Thank you, Iris, for sharing your expertise with our readers today! All photos courtesy of Jean Allsopp Photography.
Iris Thorpe is a designer, collector and owner of Iris&Co. Driven by her love of art, Iris&Co. features art shows several times a year, making fabulous artwork accessible to her clients and customers. The shop showcases some of their stunning pieces alongside unique African artifacts and an eclectic collection of Southern artists. Iris&Co. is the only dealer in the state for famed Niermann Weeks lighting and furniture.