Trend Alert: Brass Tray Table

There are very few things I remember about visits to my grandparents on my father's side of the family's house, among them: the smell of stale cigars, the sight of an impossibly tall Christmas tree that seemed to stick around all year, and this incredibly loud, incessant banging noise that can only be made when a child's hands discover the drum that was my grandparents brass tray coffee table. Granted the banging noises I remember were probably from my own fists, but somehow I'm not delighted by the sound 20-something years later.

So do you know what noise resounded in my mind (wrapped in the tinge of that yucky stale smoke smell) the entire time I flipped through this month's Elle Decor? Yep, you got it

Our cover girl, Ellen Pompeo has no idea what she's in for raising a child near that nightmarishly loud baby toy.

Perhaps she could take advice from the young couple on page 147 of the EXACT SAME ISSUE

Diego and April Uchitel have small children and they have this table which leads me to believe that they are not home much and they have a nanny. Or (cover your eyes margaret!) (I still love you!) Elle Decor hired the same stylist for both shoots.

Also, it means that this vintage table, having appeared twice in a single issue of Elle Decor, is hot hot hot.

PS Erin has one and I really hope she doesn't read this post today so she can learn first hand how fun it is when Ike takes his first lap around it.

Erin's Dining Room Drama

In case you haven't already figured it out, I am a serial re-doer. No matter how good a job I do the first time around, I am always convinced that -- given one more shot -- I could do better. Problem is, one more shot turns into twenty really, really fast. I've repainted the guest bathroom three times, endlessly rearranged the living room, second fifth guessed myself while renovating the kitchen, and now I'm itching to redo my already redone dining room. Good thing paint is relatively cheap and I am the wizard of Craigslist, otherwise the Hunny would have divorced me long ago. Still, I'm a busy lady with a new baby and can't afford the time or expense of redecorating 500 hundred times. And so, friends, I am calling on you to help me make this one count. Problem: The table/chair combo is making me lose my appetite. And the chandelier ain't helping, either. I am like the furniture collecting equivalent of the quintessential crazy old cat lady. Mid century mod just keeps multiplying at my house... And while the hodegpodge kind of worked in our old dining room because it looks like a crazy old cat lady lived there:

erin's dining room

I am not loving it with the new, more understated paint job that went in when we redid the kitchen:

erin williamson dining room

So, I like the things on the black wall. The Karl Springer style console, benches and antique painting are a-ok by me. I'd like to add some sconces, but that's not a big deal right now. However, I think the table sticks out like a sore thumb. Or is the problem the chairs? I only have four of the Burke chairs, and I have six of the Danish chairs, but most are broken or need to be restrung. And does that chandelier make my ass look big, or is it just me? Help?!

If I move the table to the back office, I could replace it with something different. Something... longer? More oval? Glass or not glass? I actually own this table with an oval glass top, but it's kind of on the small side:

drexel base

And this awesome set is currently available on Craigslist, but I'm afraid the proportions are wrong for my room:


Great pic, I know! I love the set, but my room is small and narrow, making me think I need a long, dark table and small chairs flanking the sides. Am I crazy to pass this up?

baughman table

Oh, and please tell me that burlwood table wasn't the perfect thing for my room, since I found it and passed it on to a friend...

And here is where I paste in some random dining room eye candy to inspire you to leave witty comments and savvy advice for your old pal, Erin:


via the now defunct Domino. Love love love the chairs!

met home

via Met Home. I like the idea of a long table with chairs on the sides, only. I also like the look of a legless table. Plinths please me.

dining room

via Living Etc. Hey all your breeders out there: is glass kid friendly?

dining room

Can't remember where this came from... one of the above sources. Mostly I just like the groovy mood in this one.

Ok, dear readers. Today I live for your comments. Thursday I shall follow up with more dining room pornspiration. Don't worry. It will be prettier than it sounds.