Now for a totally personal decorating post, but after my furniture setbacks from last week I am hoping you will indulge me. Somehow, finishing the house has become much more than just getting it organized and usable – it’s become symbolic or representative of my success in settling in to our new life. There are days when the frustrations of getting things accomplished here make me feel like I am failing. While I know it’s all fluff, not rocket science and not world hunger solving, I can’t seem to help it. You can see we have made progress, but without getting too analytical, I don’t think that is really what this is all about. Nonetheless, for now, I can’t seem to think about anything else.
In addition to the French chairs and desk that I am now missing, my living room, shown above, still needs a coffee table. I’m trying to balance desire with practicality, and as ever, some kind of availability. At times like this, with a lack of antique stores and thrift shops, I find myself scrolling 1stdibs, the place where dreams are made. There is a whole host of utterly lovely vintage lucite and brass coffee tables to be found there and that is what I would really like to add here. Visually I don’t want to clutter up the space and I assume at some point I’ll be making my way to Istanbul or Morocco or somewhere else nearby and getting a fabulous carpet that I won’t want to cover up. I’d like something airy and light and at great contrast to Yamamoto’s trunk which is being used as the other coffee table in the large square space. At the same time, I’d love some brass to link the two pieces together as the trunk has beautiful brass fittings. Corners, as on the piece below in Ellen Rakieten’s Chicago apartment, would be particularly referential. And I’m loving the way the transparent table looks with a Chesterfield sofa.
Jonathan Adler’s Jacques Table is readily available on his website and oh-so tantalizingly says “Yes, We Ship to Qatar” in big letters on the bottom. Unfortunately, the table is one of those items that is exempt from international shipping. It is too small anyway, whispers the sour grapes voice in my head.
Even better than just brass corners or edges is a table that has a shelf. I love having space to put books and other items without cluttering the top. This one, in a room designed by Lindsay Coral Harper looks like it may even be a closed vitrine. I could definitely have some fun with that.
I think it was this 2010 photo of Elizabeth Bauer‘s NYC studio in Lonny that really propelled this table onto everyone’s want list. Hers has a bit of faux bamboo detailing around the edge and a low shelf that makes for lots of magazine storage.
There are some seriously to-die-for vintage examples of this style to be had all over 1stdibs, from this Romeo Rega beauty…
…to this one by Pierre Vandel. Serious love.
An X frame is another shape I love, seen in Vogue in the home of model Miranda Kerr.
Some pretty ones on 1stdibs…
…including my favorite Karl Springer shape. I’ve been sighing over different versions of this table for years and years and it occurs to me that Mr. Springer could really use a post of his own.
In the spirit of the Springer table is the new Helix Table from Design Within Reach, designed by Chris Hardy. The addition of wood to the legs gives the table a bit more heft, but I don’t mind. I tried to convince DWR to sell me the table without the glass top this summer, before leaving for Doha, as the legs come disassembled. I thought maybe I could squeeze it in my carry-on. Who knows? I may be forced to that plan this summer.
A possibly easier option to come up with is a full-on lucite table with little to no detail to detract. I don’t want this simple waterfall one and I haven’t seen it here anyway, but ironically, CB2 will ship their version to me here. The table is inexpensive ($300) but the shipping is another 150% of the purchase price.
I would definitely consider a big simple square like this one in Claiborne Swanson Frank‘s apartment and if I was back in Hong Kong I know I could get that made easily.
I like this one that shows its joints and we could use brass screws – see I can squeeze in a bit of brass – to connect the parts.
Again there are beautiful examples on 1stdibs, most of which are also quite expensive. I don’t mind the prices on the signed pieces made with metal in the photos earlier, but find it harder to justify prices when it is only lucite.
This is one of those posts that has no clear (ha ha) answers at the end, but I’d love to hear what you think and which ones you like. Any suggestions on sources that might be available to me or even making my own would be appreciated! I think I must be at the six month mark – isn’t that always a dip time in expat adjustment?
Links to all the photos and 1stdibs items can be found on my related Pinterest board, along with many other goodies.