Trunk Coffee TablesWalk into any furniture store and you'll find coffee tables aplenty — black coffee tables, glass coffee tables, cherry coffee tables — many of them undeniably lovely. But to create rooms that are not just "nice" but noteworthy, interior designers often forgo the furniture stores' offerings and use creative coffee table alternatives instead. Here are a few of the experts' favorite ways to add life to your living room.
Originally designed as luggage for long cruises, the Louis Vuitton trunks that clothes designer Tommy Hilfiger collects have now docked in his home in Greenwich, Conn. — in the bedroom, the living room and here in the library.
"These trunks are a classic element," says Cindy Rinfret, interior designer of Hilfiger's home and author of Classic Greenwich Style. "The trunks make the room feel well-traveled, as if things had been collected over time."
And while the Louis Vuitton logo does add an extra dose of cachet, you could certainly use other trunks for the same purpose. Look for wooden Chinese trunks or steamer trunks in different materials or finishes, or even a stack of vintage suitcases or photographer's cases. Rinfret also has made coffee tables out of a lobster trap with a wooden board on top; from a stone garden planter flipped on its head; and from a slice of the tree that fell on a client's property. "The coffee table is really the ideal place to get creative," she says.