Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Southampton tablescape

Give me a big coffee table; the bigger the better. No diminutive or delicate little table me.  I love a table that's substantial, with the weight and presence to anchor a room in style and large enough to house my favorite books and trip mementos. For many, styling a coffee table can be a daunting task, but there's a simple formula that can help you get started:

Interesting Books+ Colorful Flowers + Decorative Objects= Beautiful and Inspiring Tablescape!

In Southampton I found a linen covered  Springer style table at Homenature in town. The glass top and delicate linen finish lighten up the table's form and leaves me considerable room to display some favorite objects; a collection of seashells from a trip to the Caribbean and an antique looking glass from London's Portobello Road. A delicate yellow orchid gives the table height and color.

 New York tablescape
In the city, my coffee table is a weighty Ralph Lauren Chinoiserie inspired table in a deep mahogany finish. The coffee table serves as a central meeting place for the family; great for eating a meal of take- out Thai and home to an expanding collection of favorite design books. A lucky stone Buddah sculpture and giant shell from a trip to Santorini bring interest and character to the dark table and a casual vase of tulips is a welcome splash of color.

Now you've had a chance to see my tables, so tell me, what do you like to put on your coffee table?


Stephanie @ La Dolce Vita said...

Love your tablescapes! They look great. For me, it's usually books, design or lifestyle books, like Slim Aarons, a photobook or album from a recent trip, and then I change other things out seasonally - shells, keepsakes ...
Great post, Barbara!

The Zhush said...

Your tables are gorgeous. So are the examples. I am right there with you on the size and heft. My coffee table is so big in my family room, that my children sit on it to watch tv. When we entertain, and they are asleep, the design books and a large pottery bowl of flannel twine balls come out. In the living room, trays, candles and more design books.

Anonymous said...

cool and chick.... Thx

Kayla said...

I am so trying to convince my fiance we need a giant coffee table. We both read constantly and use our laptops and random musical instruments. He doesn't get it!!! Perhaps I'll show him these pictures.

I love your blog!


Hampton said...

Hi Kayla,
Tell your fiance that there's lots of room on a big table to work on your laptop, play an instrument and have some take-out! Thanks so much for reading and have a lovely day!

The Neo-Traditionalist said...

You have it down to a science---they look LOVELY! I use a lot of the same things. Big heavy art and design books, a vase with fresh blooms, a candle and matches, and some trinkets (brass figures and shells most often). Great minds think alike : )
xoxo katie

Punctuation Mark said...

very stylish post... love your table in the city... has lots of character!

Anonymous said...

I loved reading this article and seeing the beautiful examples. I use a large ottoman topped with a tray as my coffee table in the living room. On the tray I usually keep a couple of current decorating and/or cooking magazines and a small vase of fresh flowers. I try to leave enough room to place a couple of glasses of wine.