Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Coffee Table Combo

During the holidays, our coffee table looked like this:

One white tray + three red disco ball ornaments + one box of cheap red ikea ornaments = one unintimidating but rather festive centerpiece.

It was easy to put together. And since we had about two minutes to decorate the house before the Christmas party, easiness was our goal.

But the Christmas party is over. The holidays ended. And my coffee table needs some adornment like Tom needs Katie. And let's be honest...she makes him look sufferable. And I loved Top Gun.

For some casual but chic coffee table inspiration, I hit up Pottery Barn dot com.

What I noticed was that coffee tables had a variation of a book and a tray. Like this one with an opened book and a tray ready to serve. And I love the bohemian flair to this setup...the dramatic color scheme really made the stark white tray seem to fit right in. And the idea of having a cup o tea while reading or a water glass while you browse a mag on that daybed seemed just dreamy.

I love large trunks for their storage and their ability to dual role play as a table. And a stack of books and a tray of monochromatic chotchkies seems easy enough to move should I need a blankie :)


The two-fer coffee table is such a great trend and I would have thought that making a pleasing tabletop arrangement with two separate tables would be a trying task. Pottery Barn makes it look easy with a few books on one and a tray of candles on the other. High five PB!

One of my favorite inspiration pictures is definitely this tray o' hardbacks paired with a bowl of greenery. Again - easy to move if you need to get into the trunk. And easy on the eyes with the large scale of both the tray & the bowl. Definitely casual. Definitely chic. This is one succulent coffee table that really doesn't suck.

Lastly, another example of an easy coffee table arrangement that screams like Paris Hilton "I am easy - you can do me!" A few matching jars of various heights filled with some walnuts and a couple books definitely inspires me to try out the whole TRAY n' BOOKs combo.
So, out went the red adornaments and in came the TRAY n' BOOKs. I used the white tray that was already in the living room and in it situated the large glass jar of green faux artichokes I got for Christmas. Next to the jar, I added a wooden candle to tie in a little natural feel and a bit of brown. Then I snatched the white horse bust that I scored at Target for $6. The various heights in the tray gave it a really cohesive feeling. Then I threw some white books in a stack on the other side of the coffee table to balance out the white tray. Finally, the white books are topped off with a green journal. I love how the little green book balances out the green of the artichokes, don't you agree?
And for all you TV lovers - no it doesn't block the viewing pleasure of the television. But if it did, I only have to pick up one stack of books and one tray to move the whole kit-n-caboodle. And that is definitely something that makes me happy. Because as you know, nothing comes between me and The Bachelor or The Biggest Loser or Survivor or The Discovery Channel or Ugly Betty or Top Design or Big Brother or Dancing with the Stars or The Hills (I know I am too old for it...I don't care). The list goes on and on and on...and now, so does the love for my coffee table :)

What do you put on your mesa el coffee? That's 'coffee table'...sortof. Do you have a go-to-combo that you stick to no matter what? Did a book make it on there? Or are you a plain jane with an old-cup-of-joe coffee table? Let me know...I have one more table in the den that needs a little sprucing...

11 comments:

LJK said...

We keep our coffee table mostly bare, save some coasters. Mainly because the cat likes to jump from sofa to table, and the table is slick/polished. So the cat and anything in his path hit the floor.

However, when I'm sprucing things up for having people over, I'll do a line of 4 clear glass votive holders on the table and some recent magazines on one of the side tables.

I love love the tray idea. I think everybody could use more trays in their life.

Emily said...

Plain Jane here. But you've got me thinking, now, girl. The tray looks put together - not cluttered. Hmmm. Whatever should I do?

Heidi said...

Most of the time our coffee table is bare or we try to keep it bare. In the summertime I try to keep a low fresh arrangement of flowers in the center. That's about it.

queenbee said...

Our coffee table has a few books stacked on each other and thats about it unless you count the matchbox cars that sometimes get pushed around when i'm not looking. I do have a tray in another part of the room, though. Love the look of your table.

*claire* said...

since we have a dog whose tail is like a wrecking ball, and who likes to pace circles around our coffee table -- mine is pretty plain. you did a great job with yours tho!

i have a cool bowl i got as a gift that usually sits on it - it recently held festive ornaments, but now is sadly empty. i might steal your idea and have fake, food-inspired filler - like your artichokes, or pears...

The Fabulous Side of Me said...

That looks great and I love the balance of the artichokes and the journal (love the bow on the journal too!). I have a 1.5 year old boy which means my storage ottaman is bare. Makes me sad, but one day it will be mine again. :-)

Freckles Chick said...

The artichokes and journal are just the right pops of green. And that horse head is so divinely quirky. Lurve it.

We also have a dog who's tail is the ultimate party foul, so ours is bare too =(

20-Something Superhero said...

I prefer a fairly sleek, modern look for our table. But for the most part we have a gorgeous, very modern silver tray/platter thing that is pretty on it's own.

Sometimes it holds different "festive/seasonal" items like snowball candles or faux leaves. We also use a lot of candles, so those usually sit on the top too. The shelf underneath holds two ebony woven baskets (one for each of us) and a woven leather box that holds the remotes and other little items.

We use the top of our table quite a bit, so the less decorative stuff, the better.

Katie said...

I can NEVER figure out what to do with my coffee table...mainly because I can never pull the trigger and buy decorative stuff. Can you come over and do mine? Kthanx. :)

Jen M said...

Absolutely fabulous. As always. You never fail to impress.

Katie said...

Wow - lot's of wagging tails up in your cribs! Let me tell ya what, if we had a fido or a tabby or a Bower Power baby, we would probably have a lot of different home decor items - you gotta take the other members of your family into consideration, right?!

When I do a post about decluttering your coffee table, you'll all know that we are getting a new addition...preferably one that has non-human genes :)

XO - Katie