Style at Home: Make the most of your tables

Mary Carol Garrity
Special to The Detroit News

As 2018 comes to a close, I couldn’t resist making one last visit to my friend Leslie’s beautiful home. Pour yourself a cup of coffee and take a break from the holiday festivities. Today, I want to show you how Leslie uses tables throughout her home, both as gathering places and as mood makers.

Tables can used as gathering places and as mood makers. (Bob Greenspan)


When you have four children, family meals are an important time for everyone to come together and connect. So Leslie wanted to make the dining spot in her kitchen welcoming for family and friends. The white lacquered dining table and chairs have the fun, contemporary feel the family loves and a hint of the chinoiserie styling that is the bedrock of Leslie’s look.

For breakfast or an after-school snack, the family can pull up to the bar in one of these adorable bar stools. Check out how the stools are finished with an apple green detail. Love!

Anne, the Nell Hill’s designer who assisted Leslie with bringing her vision to life in her home remodel, knows how hard kids can be on furniture. Especially during meal time. So she helped Leslie wed style and function when they picked fabric for the custom upholstered dining chairs. The Schumacher fabric that backs the chairs pulls together all the colors and patterns in the space, while the Kryptonite fabric on the inside of the chairs protects them from everyday spills.

For more formal occasions, this dining room is where all the fun takes place.



For more formal occasions, or when Leslie and Dan entertain, the dining room is where all the fun takes place. Leslie is a big fan of wallpaper, so she started this room right by warming up the walls with a navy grass-cloth wallpaper. She found the upholstery fabrics she was looking for to help tell the room’s story. Her farm table provided some old-world charm to the room, keeping it from feeling too formal.

The star of this room, though, is this designer chandelier, which Leslie unearthed in an antique mall. Leslie, the consummate bargain hunter, regularly visits an antique mall near her home to scout for diamonds in the rough she can get for a song, then fix up. This Barbara Cosgrove chandelier was the steal of a lifetime and is a stunning addition to this fresh blue and white room.

Pairing accessories with artwork can be challening, but the effect can be arresting.

Leslie has spot-on instincts when it comes to finding accessories that give her spaces personality. She bravely mixes styles, colors and shapes, and the effect is arresting. But she was a little less confident when it came to selecting and hanging artwork. But she found some beautiful pieces that captured her heart, like the wonderful abstract that found a home in her dining room.

Placing a chest of drawers in a hallway offers you a spot to put a welcoming lamp and a few fun accents. (BOB GREENSPAN)


It isn’t just the dining tables in Leslie’s home that are wonderful. So are the accent tables. This unique table turns a generic hallway into a showplace that carries on the style story created in every room.

Placing a chest of drawers in a hallway not only offers you a spot to put a welcoming lamp and a few fun accents. It also gives you added storage space. I adore this little blue chest, and the blue and white collection it holds is picture perfect.


This column was adapted from Mary Carol Garrity’s blog at