On Display

On Display

Once you've scrounged up, bought or built an end table, it's time to display some interesting items. Here are several guidelines for placing items on your end table or coffee table:

1. Make sure that the table can be used - leave space for a coffee cup or other often-used items.

2. Do not display anything so large it will block conversation.

3. Show items that relate to the room's theme and color scheme and that have meaning to you.

4. Vary the height of the objects and use odd-numbered groupings (accessories tend to look more interesting this way).

5. Hide necessary but unattractive items in attractive containers.

6. Avoid over-accessorizing (clutter!). It's OK to have an empty coffee or end table!

Typical items found on end tables are lamps, vases, books, small boxes, live plants, paperweights, baskets, framed family photos, bowls, candlesticks, pictures or plates on stands.

Other possibilities include:

• Tabletop water fountains.

• Unusual sculpture pieces.

• Antique majong or domino games with the pieces cascading out of the box.

• Antique shoes, banks, toys, opera glasses or fans.

• Bowls filled with beach pebbles, shells, buttons, bottle stops, bells, marbles, or other collections.

Save money and have fun finding the perfect "alternative" end table in your garage or closets. Then, rediscover the beauty of hidden treasures found in your drawers and cabinets. Allow the lowly end table to become an integral and creative ingredient in your home's décor.

Kit Davey, an interior designer based in Redwood City, Calif., helps clients redecorate their homes through the creative use of their existing furnishings. E-mail Kit your questions: kit@ctwfeatures.com

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