CoffeeTablegate: The Story of My New Coffee Table from West Elm
I had to do it. I had to eventually give in. Even though I’d trawled eBay for MONTHS, searching through literally THOUSANDS of ugly coffee tables to find the one I was looking for. To find the one that was the perfect balance of vintage goodness, brass and glass with delicately curved legs. To drive 35 miles in the most torrential downpour imaginable to pick it up from a rather unsavoury-looking woman who looked at me like I was bat shit crazy when I’d told her about my search. All of this, and yet I had to give in.
Because Wayne hated it. Not just felt ambivalent towards it, not just that it wasn’t really his bag – no, he hated it. And made sure he told me whenever the opportunity arose. For some reason, I thought over time, he would learn to love my vintage coffee table as I did – to see how lovely it was in the space, how pretty and delicate and vintage-y perfect it was. Alas, after nearly 2 years, his hatred only seemed to grow.
“Well, it’s a lot nicer than that ugly thing you’ve got in there.”
Good enough for me.
It wasn’t cheap and so I knew it wouldn’t be something we’d be able to get straight away. Christmas had just passed and my birthday was coming up and we’d planned on a weekend in Bath to celebrate – a beautiful city I’d never been to – so money was tight.
Well, as fate would have it, the forecast called for heavy rain and gale-force winds the entire weekend we’d planned to go. As the days crept closer and we kept an eye on the forecast, my dreams of wandering around Bath, camera in hand, bundled in faux fur, sipping coffee in outdoor cafes, people-watching and a lovely boutique hotel were dashed. Two days before we were meant to set off, we realised it would be a waste of a trip. Bath is the kind of city you want to explore leisurely on foot – not the kind you really want to be dashing from one place to another in a downpour.
Sensing my disappointment, I got a text from Wayne after yet another exchange about how terrible the weather was going to be and yes, we might as well cancel our reservations.
“If you want, we can get that coffee table instead of going to Bath for your birthday. I had the money set aside anyway.”
It was not an offer I was going to refuse. Being the budget-pinchers that we are, we waited for a sale. We didn’t have to wait long for that although a mix up with UPS and a damaged top meant the wait for the coffee table was a little longer than expected. Through all of it, Russell at the West End London store
was fabulous, really helpful and kind – the kind of service that you would hope to get when things don’t run smoothly.
Well, last week, with assistance from Russell, the complete table finally arrived. And my goodness, is it pretty.
It’s similar in size to my old one but sits slightly lower which works well. And the pale grey of the veining ties in nicely with the paint colour in here too.
You may have noticed that I didn’t actually have to completely give up my old coffee table. The table is actually made up of 3 small tables (one square and two half circles) so the two half circles are now making up the little side table. I think I’ll use the square one in my future office somewhere.
I absolutely love the marble – it’s so beautifully honed, smooth, solid and cool to the touch. It’s making me really
want to put it in my kitchen
which is probably a dangerous thing. But goodness, you can’t blame a girl for dreaming.
I may see how well this one ‘wears’ and how easily it etches/stains and how I feel about it before I consider taking that leap to worktops. In the meantime, I have to admit I’m pretty happy with how the whole saga ended – Wayne is happy now, I’m happy now and that’s what decorating in relationships mean sometimes, happy compromises.
So what do you think of the new addition? Have you had to make any happy compromises lately?
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