Styling the Coffee Table with Antiques

Dear Diva Readers,

top: 5px; float: left; color: white; background: #781300; border: 1px solid darkkhaki; font-size: 60px; line-height: 50px; padding-top: 1px; padding-right: 5px; font-family: times;”>While the primary purpose of The Antiques Diva & Co is to custom-plan and lead antiques buying tours throughout Europe, our brand encompasses so much more. It is a lifestyle brand, incorporating aspects such as travel, entrepreneurship, decorating, food, and antiques. I love the fact that many of our clients are top antique dealers and interior designers from around the world and that my Diva Guides and I get to take them on buying tours and source antiques for their projects through our to-the-trade/buying-services” target=”_blank”>Buying Services. In my own down time, one of my favorite things to do is decorate my own home, picking up pieces on my travels and creating meaningful vignettes in my flat in Berlin.

Toma Clark Haines Berlin Apartment, Coffee Tables, Coffee Table Decorations, Antiques Diva Berlin Apartment, Toma Clark Haines, Decorating Tips, Antiques Diva Lifestyle

A friend here in Berlin recently asked “What are you doing on your day off?” and I said, “Redecorating” – her response, “Oh no! But your apartment is perfect why would you mess with it!?!”  Her thinking was that once the house was decorated, the fun was over!  Not so! Never in my world!!  Even without a floor-to-ceiling overhaul there are several little areas that you can play with in your home and change up with the seasons or whenever you get the whim for something new. One of these spots is the coffee table. I love the fact that accessories can change constantly on the coffee table. It can be a space that truly reflects your mood, interests, and collections.

Antiques Diva Apartment Berlin - Toma Clark Haines, Coffee Tables, Coffee Table Decorations, Antiques Diva Berlin Apartment, Toma Clark Haines, Decorating Tips, Antiques Diva Lifestyle

There’s no rule-book when it comes to what can and cannot go on the coffee table. However, with a few tips to keep in mind, there are some tried and true pieces that will always make your tabletop a winner.

COffee Table Decor Lonny, Coffee Tables, Coffee Table Decorations, Decorating Tips,
Coffee Table Décor – Lonny Magazine style


Using trays to anchor the coffee table helps keep things “neat.” Display a collection of items on a beautiful antique silver tray, then when it’s time to serve hors d’oeuvres, you can remove the collection easily and set the snacks on the coffee table.

2- Books
There are several things that can make a house personal and books definitely fall in this category. Whether you set out a few antiques volumes—I like old leather bound books— or stack your favorite coffee table books, guests in your home will be able to tell a bit about your interests from the subject matter and titles.

3- Flowers
Having fresh flowers in the house always makes me happy. Simply picking up some tulips on the way home from running errands is an easy way to add that something special to everday.. And why not place them in the middle of the room—on the coffee table?! By keeping a gorgeous antique vase on the coffee table, you will be reminded to always bring fresh flowers home. When my antique crystal ice bucket isn’t in use with champagne… it’s a hold all for whatever flowers I find at my local train station.  Get creative with your floral vases!

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Whatever you decide to place on your coffee table, remember to keep it interesting by adding layers— you need items of different heights— by placing objets d’art on top of a stack of books. Also think about mixing up different mediums— glass, metal, silver, wood, natural materials— to keep it interesting. I’d love to see some of your coffee table photos! Share them with me on The Antiques Diva & Co Facebook page!

Happy decorating,

The Antiques Diva® 

Living The Antiques Diva Lifestyle

Dear Diva Readers,

Antiques Diva Home

top: 5px; float: left; color: white; background: #781300; border: 1px solid darkkhaki; font-size: 60px; line-height: 50px; padding-top: 1px; padding-right: 5px; font-family: times;”>In my last post I wrote about the deliciousness of Poggenpohl’s luxury kitchens – just a few hours after that blog posted, I was in my own kitchen whipping up a dinner party.  Not just any dinner party… but our FIRST DINNER PARTY we’ve hosted since we lost our home in a fire on Thanksgiving 2012. The last 6 months have been a whirlwind. On a professional level – Antiques Diva business is blooming beyond my wildest imagination and it’s incredibly exciting.   On a personal level – they’ve also been some of the most challenging in my life, as we struggled to start over having lost virtually everything we owned.

A Sneak Peak at our new home in Berlin….  Slowly but surely our decorating decisions are coming together!

On April 4th  – about 5 months after the fire – we finally moved into our new home – and then my busy season hit at work and 3 days after moving I went on the road, hitting 3 continents within a month’s time.  Juggling decorating a new home with a travel schedule that could only be described as insane has been…  well, INSANITY.  But 2 solid months after we moved in, our house is beginning to look like people live here! This weekend’s dinner party with dear friends who let us stay chez them following the fire was a wonderful way to feel like life was returning back to normal.

Antiques Diva Home Berlin

My husband with John & Gayle Butrin of Matthew’s Table.  Special Thanks to Matthew’s Table for letting us stay with them after the fire in our home.

While I haven’t written much on my blog about our new home, I have actually been writing about the decorating process at The Daily Basics where they are featuring a series called Lessons in Real Life Decorating.  Several years ago House Beautiful  did a series where contributing editor Frances Schultz embarked on a renovation of Bee Cottage, sharing with readers behind-the-scenes details of how she decorated her home. As owner of Europe’s largest antique shopping tour company, helping both the trade and tourists buy antiques abroad in 8 countries, I have a brilliant little black book of sources.  In this series I reveal where I personally choose to shop to decorate my European home.  I share photos on what I buy and why and, better yet, tell what I paid for certain purchases on this side of the pond.   For example, see the silver domes I used for that “voila” moment at my dinner party?  I bought them in England on a recent Antiques Diva Tour at The Blanchard Collective.

My series is not a guide for how to start over after a fire for my life is anything but “by the book”, but it gives a good glimpse into what it’s like to live and work in Europe and gives you access to my personal source list for buying abroad.  The first two segments are out already with Part One telling about our decision to change our decorating style when starting over and Part Two dishing on kitchens in Europe.  Did you know when you move into an apartment in Europe the kitchen is often not included?

Speaking of kitchens… let’s get back to that dinner party last night!

Le Menu:
accompanied by a nice Prosecco

Seared Scallops Garnished in Truffles
accompanied by white wine from Tuscany – a 2009 Vernaccia di San Gimignano

tory” target=”_blank”>Sugar Pea Soup with Parmesan Creamtory” target=”_blank”> Garnished with Truffles and Seared Scallop

Antiques Diva Home Berlin

Papardelle with White Truffles
accompanied by a Vino Nobile di Montepulcciano

Antiques Diva

Roasted Lamb Filets served on a bed of argula with side of Greek Salad

Antiques Diva Home Berlin

Cheesecake (brought by our guests)

Antiques Diva Home Berlin

We were very fortunate that, while most of our furnishings in our former flat were not salvageable after the fire, our extensive glassware and crystal collection was saved sans probleme! So was the silver my great great grandparents brought with them on the boat from Dover when they traveled to America before the turn of the century.  Now want to hear a confession?  In a pinch, needing a table cloth to fit our new table and give a festive flair of the occasion, I discovered last minute that IKEA’s king size duvet covers made an ideal oversized table cloth.  This satin table cloth is machine washable and yet just dressy enough to  be perfect décor!  I love it when last minute improvisations turn out beautifully.

Antiques Diva Toma Clark Haines

The Antiques Diva & husband with Gayle Butrin.

Bon Appetit!
The Antiques Diva®