Phoebe Lovejoy Russell: Elegant Thanksgiving (Coffee) Table Design

November 12, 2013

In my first guest post for New England Home, I gave some tips for dressing up your Thanksgiving dining table so it befits that dressed-up turkey you spent so many hours on. But many holiday dinners start in a living room over cocktails, and in every living room there is a coffee table. So why stop in the dining room?


A coffee table breathes life into the home. It is at the center of your most welcoming room and it serves as command central for people to gather.  It is the perfect place to show your personality and add some holiday cheer.  Plus, little items can make a big impact here, making it an easy place to design.

On my recent trip to Artefact Home | Garden, I teamed up with owners Maureen and Sue Walsh to style a laid back luxurious coffee table.  We wanted a table that would keep our guests happy but impressed, so we paired some beautiful-but-functional items with some special pieces that have a nice holiday flair.

We started with a textured leather tufted cocktail ottoman from Verellen. It is so nice to be comfortable in a living room and putting your feet up on a plush ottoman invites people to relax. We then layered it with a pine wood tray that has gorgeous silver edging and is handcrafted in Argentina.  This gave us a sturdy platform to add some items for entertaining.

here are some of the key components we used:

Blanket: Blankets are for curling up in, but for the guests arrival, we folded it and placed it under the wood tray to add some texture.

Planting: In every room I design, I always have some sort of fern, moss or green plant. Maureen from Artefact created this amazing succulent planting. It is planted in a brass pot with a brushed rustic finish.

Decanter or Pitcher: Having some sort of vessel to hold wine or juice for easy access is great. Have some coasters at the ready is also a sensible idea.

Votive Candles: Offer some pretty mood lighting.  We placed them into these beautiful silver leaf mouth blown vessels.  A fancy box of matches adds a thoughtful touch to the table, too.

Books: I have so many design books that I love browsing through. Show off some of your collection or some seasonal favorites by placing them in a stack.

Happy Holidays from our coffee table to yours!


-Phoebe Lovejoy Russell

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