Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A Dilemma of a Coffee Table Nature

Major disclaimer:  Solving this dilemma will not solve any of the real dilemmas facing Australia today like homelessness, our failure to encourage renewable energy investment, the division between rich and poor or our obsession with footballers and swimmers.   

But to me, it is still a dilemma.

Everyone has something they will never have in their home.  Mostly, that thing will be in the nature of finishes: marble is a common dislike, as are certain kinds of tiles or other flooring like cork or parquetry.  Or maybe mahogany furniture is not permitted to cross the threshold. 

For me, it is coffee tables.  Or should I say, for my husband it is coffee tables.  He loathes them.  He won't have any in the house.  Ever.  Under any circumstances.     He says that they are Always Ugly.    in fact, there is no coffee table I can show him which he will like.  

This is kind of an issue for me.  I would really like a coffee table in one of our sitting rooms.   After all, they really draw a space together.  On the other hand, they have lethal corners just ready to cut a little running and falling head.

In building my case for a coffee table I collected images of ones I like, and I find that they (and in fact the rooms they are in) all have similarities:

They are either glassy and wrought iron:

Or acrylic or lucite:

Or a low interesting wood texture: 

More lucite:

More gold'n'glass:  

More lucite:

And look at this divine oval thingy:

So, this is my idea.

Who amongst us hasn't said, in response to a question from spouse\partner\accomplice 'Is that new?' about a [insert new item of absurdly unnecessary clothing]:  "What?  This old thing?  I have had it for years.'

What about a coffee table which is barely noticeable?  Something see through.  If I secrete it away, by the time it is noticed I will be able to honestly say I have had it forever and it will be too late to trash.

I am sure that lucite is as yesterday as Tuesday, but I still rather like them.  

So, my question is - is this a good plan or a bad one?  Do I live with the no coffee table ban for ever?  Or find a dasterdly way to get around it? 

(Images: (1) Gunkelman Flesher (2) (10) Angie Hranowsky (3) Nina Vintage Files @ wordpress (4) Decorpad (5) (6) (7) DecorPad (8) Elle Decor (9) Apartment Therapy  (11) Vogue Living Australia)


Devon said...

Okay, lawyer friend, why can't you simply put two side tables together --or two ottomans-- and use them as a coffee table? Arguably, you haven't inserted a coffee table into the household. You've simply repurposed husband-approved furniture in a way that accomplishes your goals (coffee table) and doesn't go against his 'husbandly dictate' (no coffee table). See? Parfait!!

Good luck. :)

Raina Cox said...

I went through the same thing with The Hubz, but his reasoning was child safety. He didn't want our then infant daughter knocking her head. She managed to hurtle herself into a doorjamb twice resulting into a couple of enormous goose eggs.

So 3.5 years on, I still have no coffee table in the family room (lounge). I need to get on that.

I'm of the opinion that those simple curved tables are classics. Freedom Furniture does them in a few sizes for a reasonable price.

brismod said...

Lucite is lovely. I bet you he won't even notice it - they are so inoffensive. I'd just get the table and some ear plugs, just in case he harps on about it. xx

Engracia said...

Good belly laugh from me, I have the same problem. What is it about coffee tables that gets our hubbies in a bad mood?! I did a tricky thing, my sister moved to the States and wanted to offload some furniture, she has a great round, glass and chrome coffee table which I brought home under the guise of "looking after it while she is away". It now sits in our family room and guess who uses it to place his cups of coffee, bottles of beer, remote controls on? Now all I have to do is find a devious way to get a nice oak one into my formail living room. Find a dastardly way Jane, you'll get great pleasure out of it.

PS it has been freezing here at my place this week, literally, we've even had a glass of water on the deck to see if the water freezes, it does. Winter has arrived in Sydney, well Upper North Shore anyway.

Jane said...

Engracia - it is ironic to say the least that the class of persons who most needs a coffee table on which to rest the remote control which they so zealously guard are also the class of persons who refuses to have them!

Unknown said...

There is no way your child could get hurt on corners with those lucite pieces. And there must be some sort of compromise... no coffee tables, where do you rest your drinks when you have gatherings?

How about extremely large ottomans that double as coffee tables? That way if you get it, you can tell him it's not a coffee table but an ottoman.

Ann said...

My mother has the lucite curved coffee table exactly like those (and that is not designed to put you off - she has very good taste and is not at all mother-ish) We have road tested them for child safety with the boys - not so good when learning to walk (a few very nasty bumps and we had to move it out of the living room for the duration of our stay) but once they were walking confidently - then no problem. As to husbands, I press on in the face of utter indifference and rather wish he had a strong opinion on something... Sneak it in while he's away... it works with shoes... !

Millie said...

An evil thought from across the border Jane - why don't you pop a red milk crate in the centre of the Sitting Room & watch dear husband's face as sets eyes on it!
Millie ^_^

Unknown said...

I'm all for being dasterdly - I mean honestly, where's a girl to put her cocktail! I love lucite - maybe he won't even see it.

A Perfect Gray said...

tough one to solve, I think. I am lucky to have a hubs who does not really have an opinion about our decor, either that, or he doesn't offer an opinion. Either way, it's a good thing.

maybe offer a 'this for that'. you get the coffee table he gets that great tool/toy/sports thing he's wanted!

Mise said...

How about making one yourself? No one would have the heart to banish a handmade one from the house. Nice round bit of lucite, add fancy wrought-iron legs. Produce with quiet pride. Call it an occasional table, absolutely not a coffee table, just in case.

Kerry said...

I'm sure your husband is extremely lovable...but I have never heard of a coffee table ban before! An ottoman has to be the short term answer's not a coffee table, and then when he realises how indispensable his non-coffee table is he'll probably be begging you to get a real one! And an ottoman never goes astray!

MFAMB said...

i would laugh in my husband's face if he said he hated coffee tables and then i would go buy the biggest coffee table i could find.
men aren't supposed to care about such things. period. end of story.
thankfully my husband reasons he needs a place to put his shit while watching tv...duh.

Lee said...

Hi Jane, my house is so tiny I couldn't even fit a coffee table in the living room if I wanted to. I say if you've got the space go for it. Hubby will learn to live with the coffee table and, hey, over time he might even grow to like it. That lucite one with the rounded corners is a beauty. Lee :)

Julie@beingRUBY said...

Hey Jane
Is he adverse to ottomans?.. you could use a large ottoman with a tray on top .. which can be removed when not in use....

I actually don't have a coffee table at present.. I broke it by sitting on it too often!!

xxx Julie

jules @ The Diversion Project said...

hehe, i'd go for it! a lucite table is far easier to hide than a new set of golf clubs, or a boat or anything that haubby is likely to buy on an impulse one day. you can't loose : )

Kathysue said...

I don't have a coffe table either. I use two garden stools in front of my sofa. If it is not called a coffe table therefore it is not technically a coffee table,Maybe that will work on him,he he, Good luck,Kathysue

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