The Story of a Coffee Table & Working With What You Have

Last night, I was cleaning my office. There was a piece of glass that used to be on my coffee table that I had been using in the office. I no longer needed it in the office, so I brought it back downstairs.

As I was carrying it, I realized how heavy it was and it brought me back to such a strong memory that I thought I would share with you today.

When Dana and I first moved to NY, the company he worked for put us up in an apartment for 3 months. At the end of the three months, we still had not found a house, so we were on our own. We found a very small, unfurnished apartment in a nice town nearby.

It was two rooms, a kitchen and a very small bathroom. We didn’t think we would be there very long, so we were not too concerned.

All of our furniture was in storage, so we loaded our clothes in the one room and headed out to buy a new mattress. Then we headed to Goodwill and bought two plates, two bowls, two sets of silverware and drinking cups.

My Dad loaned us a TV and my stepmother loaned us her mother’s coffee table.

We set up the TV on the coffee table and the bed became our couch, office and sleeping zone.

That apartment, with all of its issues is where we spent the first two trimesters of my pregnancy with Sunshine and where we made the decision to build instead of buy a house.

We ended up living there for 8 months.


Now, I know I told you this was a story about our coffee table – and it is.

When we moved into the house, I thought of the coffee table as just an extra hand me down and put in storage in the basement.

Move ahead many months, Sunshine was a few months old and I was a stay-at-home Mom adjusting to not working anymore. I wanted nothing more than to make our home beautiful and welcoming.

I sat in our living room, so frustrated. And then, I had a light bulb moment. That old coffee table was in the basement! I could use that for the time being.

Please keep in mind, I was a new mother, so I didn’t dare go in the basement without my daughter for even two minutes.

So I did what I thought was the best idea.

I strapped the baby carrier on my back, put Sunshine on my back, trekked into the basement and carried the surprisingly heavy coffee table up the stairs to the living room while carrying Sunshine on my back.

I wish I had a picture of it in the living room at that stage, but I only seem to have one at the in between stage. Actually, I really wish I had a picture of me carrying a coffee table and my daughter.

Not my best idea.

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(Notice the cut glass on the table that will be going back on this week.)

As I carried the glass down last night it made me think about how I thought this piece was just temporary, a fill in until I found what I really wanted. After all the furniture replacements we have made and renovations – that coffee table is still there.

Maybe it is because I am more sentimentally attached to it than I realize.

But maybe it is because not every piece of furniture in your house, in my opinion, has to be perfect. Sometimes it is okay if it just works. You don’t love it, but it works if you don’t hate it.

Do you have items you are frustrated with either in your home or in storage? Maybe look at them again. Open your mind, considering updating them some. Maybe just what you are looking for is already in your home. Or maybe, it is what works, and that could be enough for now.

Someday, we may decide to replace our coffee table. And I am always toying with idea of painting it.

But for now, it works.

And that is enough for me.

Wishing you a great day and thank so much for reading!


October 09, 2013 — Anil Sharma