Yesterday I received a copy of a southern oriented magazine I’ve subscribed to for many years. Besides the usual gardening tips and recipes and travel information, their home decorating section had an article dealing with styling your coffee table. After reading the one page tutorial and looking at the photograph of a finished example, I realize I am sorely lacking in coffee table finesse.
There’s this tray that I’m supposed to place on my table that “will set the tone” and “anchor the composition” of the look I’m to achieve. Next, I’m to arrange books on the table. Now, this does not mean you’re supposed to display books that you actually are reading; what would people think if they saw a paperback thriller or a steamy romance novel sitting out in plain view? No, only hardcover books that “reflect your interests” are allowed and they must be neatly stacked with the spines prominent. More than one stack is preferable with some on the table and some placed on the tray. I’m sure color is dependent on your living room walls and accents already in place unless you want to perform an entire redo.
The dos and don’ts go on as you are advised as to what other accessories are needed to fill this coffee table and the heights and shapes required that will work to achieve success. After following this step by step guideline you’ll perhaps try running out to your local home décor store to buy additional items to display. If you still feel this tray is lacking something or the look is still not what you want, you can go online for additional help with an instructional video.
I’ve decided rather than going to all the trouble and expense it’s going to take to impress visitors, I’ll just become a recluse and invite no one into my home. Order is not the norm in my life and I do not embrace coordination unless walking down a flight of stairs is involved. I proudly embrace chaos and welcome it into my abode
Whenever there’s a family gathering, you can be sure that not all the adults are drinking from a matching set of wine glasses and you can count on one of the younger folk sucking down Ginger Ale from a Christmas themed mug or one of the other mismatched vessels available. My serving plates fall into the same category. I have a platter that is the last remaining piece from our first set of dishes. We had a service for twelve with all the various extras that we bought for $29.95 from Montgomery Ward in 1968. I have a platter that belonged to my mother and one or two that belonged to my mother-in-law. I don’t call this style informal; I’d just like to think of it as interesting or comfortable.
The living room coffee table was acquired over thirty years ago. I liked it then and I like it now. It’s just a simple wooden table with glass inserts. Our children grew up using the table to do homework, draw pictures, leaf through magazines and coloring books and, of course, act as a snack and dinner counter when necessary. Cats and dogs were on call to help with any cleanup necessary. Shoeless feet and decks of cards could be found stacked there frequently accessorizing and adding detail and height, finishing the total look that we were aiming for.
At the break of dawn, or more to the point, when the dog frightens me into thinking she can’t wait any longer to be taken outside, I usually have a clear picture in my mind as to what needs to be accomplished that day. By 9:00 am I can still see the picture. By lunchtime the edges are getting a little out of focus and by late afternoon I think to myself that I might need stronger glasses to see around the holes left in my perfect picture. I don’t beat myself up over my unfinished list of to dos; rather I can look back at the day and see what I did do that I hadn’t even thought of doing. I guess that makes me an over achiever or perhaps an over doer! (Does that mean that what task I have completed is overdone?)
I do realize that there are some tasks that have to be accomplished within a reasonable time but there are others that might be able to be put aside for a while like taking the dog for an extra walk or two because she’s nosey and wants to see what the neighbors are up to and to take a look at the new puppy across the street. When you remember a friend that you’ve not talked to in a while that might be the perfect time to give a call and say hi. If you wait for the perfect moment it may be too late. Dishes pile up, dust collects and you may not have gotten half the tasks done that you’re supposed to and your desk or coffee table may look a mess but think of the other things you’ve done or saw or heard today that might have gone unnoticed otherwise. Life has two sides, order and chaos. Who’s to say we can’t have a bit of both? BTW I’m waiting to see if a photographer from that magazine comes to my house to do a photo shoot. If it happens, I’ll let you guys know!