Hang on to those tiny tables

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Homeowners today upsize, downsize, move from homes to condominiums or decide to retire to their cottage by the lake or seaside beach house. When homeowners move, they get rid of things and generally that’s a good thing. But, there are certain household items you never lump with clutter and in that category are small tables. Keep them. Why? They are hugely versatile, can be used almost anywhere, work indoors or out when you’re entertaining and they don’t take up much room.

My friend, the talented interior designer Sally Trout knows the value of tiny tables and in her luxurious gallery in downtown Sarasota, she stocks all shapes of tiny tables in a wonderful array of materials – glass, metal, natural wood, painted, tile, woven, ceramic, leather, mosaic, mirror, even concrete. These are tables between 18 and 24-inches high and usually just big enough to hold a drink and plate, a few books, a lamp, a tray of hors d’oeuvres, a notebook and pen, a plant or a vase of flowers.

When you need something to place something upon, nothing works like a tiny table nearby. Put two or three together to form an impromptu cocktail table. Carry one out to the pool deck to hold snacks. When you pull out the sleeper sofa, put a tiny table on either side of your guest bed for a bottle of water, eyeglasses, pillbox. If you have a large enough guest bathroom, put a tiny table in there and stack up the plush towels for your guests. Need a space for a youngster to do artwork? Sit the child on a hassock, pull up a tiny table and let the project begin. And if your favorite tiny table is looking a little worse for wear, remember you can usually paint or resurface it.

Sally Trout says she usually brings in tiny tables for a client at the end of the design project. “These small tables are like pieces of jewelry for your furniture and they can be the final touches to a successful room,” she says. Jewelry for your room – and mighty useful jewelry at that.

Sally Trout Interior Design, 75 Cocoanut Avenue, Sarasota. 941-953-4418.

Marsha Fottler regularly contributes to local, regional and national publications with articles on residential, commercial and restaurant design as well as food.