What Should (and Should Not) Be on Each Table in Your House
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What Should Not Be on the Entryway Table: A cozy candle can instantly warm up any room, but there's no need for one here, Schwartz says, since you probably won't want to light a candle on your way in or out. If you want to walk in the door to a favorite scent, consider placing lavender or eucalyptus in a simple jar instead, Schwartz suggests.
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What Should Not Be on the Coffee Table: Coasters—no matter how gorgeously textured and unique they are—don't belong on this busy surface. "Those things always end up at the edge or toward the back of the coffee table," Schwartz says. A better place for one or two coasters, though not the entire stack, would be on a side table. "Side tables are there to rest your drink," Schwartz says.
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What Should Not Be on the Kitchen/Dining Table: Your olive oil decanter. The table is a convenient spot for the bottle when you're ready to chow down salad or sourdough with dinner—but keeping the vessel off the table might even preserve the oil's quality and taste. Keep it in a cool, dry, dark cupboard—away from damaging heat and sunlight. If you've got beautiful bottles, glassware and decorative shakers, display them on shelves, in pantries, armoires or buffets, Dovey says. "For a dining table setting, I'd only leave out perhaps a beautiful vase and some candle holders—all else should be away until it's time to set the table."
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What Should Not Be on the Nightstand: A water carafe. Sure, a bedside pitcher can save you a trip into the kitchen at 3 a.m., but it can leave marks on your wooden nightstand, Liess says.
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For an outdoor cocktail table, try small metal sculptures (nothing with high-gloss metal polish that will rust, such as nickel) or a unique stone you've found—this can conveniently top a pile of napkins so they don't blow away. "At a New England home, use chunks of granite," Bitter says. "Or if you're at the beach, the beautiful seashells you found that day."
What Should Not Be on the Outdoor Table: "Avoid anything that's glass, that is going to blow over and break," Bitter says. She recommends Jonathan Adler plastic barware, tableware and serving trays for outdoor dining.