Monday, April 13, 2009

Decorating Your Coffee Table

Consider Scale and Height
"Using too many little things," says author and home emporium owner Mary Carol Garrity, is the most common accessorizing faux pas that people make. "Instead, create a grouping that keeps your eye moving from one object to another by varying the scale of the items you showcase — but also keeping their proportions relative to one another." One rule of thumb is to make sure the largest item in the cluster is no more than twice the size of the smallest one.
To lift accessory arrangements to the next level, Garrity uses risers to elevate objects in height and importance. Boxes, small plant stands, stacks of books, cake stands, compotes, candlesticks and even upturned vases or bowls can all be used as a "stage" for another object. What's more, "setting a small item on top of a larger one helps them relate to each other and adds dimension to the arrangement," says designer Nancy Barsotti.

Make sure nothing on your coffee table is so tall that it blocks your view of the TV or the person seated opposite you. For example, rather than a tall, loose bouquet, place a tight cluster of flowers with their stems clipped short in a low vase or other small vessel.

Tricks to try:

Top a stack of books with a beautiful bowl.

Crown a compote with a flat tray, then layer the tray with another item.

Set a triple-tiered server on the coffee table and fill it with colorful bits and baubles.

Rest a photo, a petite painting or a pretty dish on a small tabletop easel.

Happy Decorating!



Maya said...

Great tips..., I like the stacked book idea with something decorative on top the best. It's so simple and leaves enough space to put diner plates down.

Libby Murphy said...

Oh that looks fantastic. Some great ideas I will incorporate for sure.
Happy Twirls

Judy said...

I love, love, love Mary Carol....her books are so inspirational. I think I have all but her last one. I would love to go to her store one day even though it's quite a distance from where I live.

Hope you're having a great Monday!

Tara said...

I use old books and ribbon all the time, I just love the look! Great tips and I love the photo you have for your blog, so sweet!

Pat@Back Porch Musings said...

I am a huge fan of Mary Carol and have met her a few times, at her home and stores. She is fabulous. I own all her books. She has another one coming out in September. I'd love to make the "pilgrimage" to Atchison, for the open house and book signing. It's been a since November 2007, since I last made the trip and that was to KC for the new store opening.

Your coffee table looks wonderful.

Darlene said...

Those sound like great tips for the coffee table. Now if I could just keep my cats down off mine (and from knocking things over), maybe they would work!

Susan S. said...

Great's been a while since I "decoratively" put anything on my coffee table. I don't really like the one I have now so I'm thinking of changing it and then maybe I'll "decorate" it a bit more. Thanks for the good ideas

The Family

The Family