The River House Table Gets a New Life

The River House Table Gets a New Life

After I put away the Christmas decorations, it is always a little bare looking and even a bit depressing. However, this year I am not having that problem because I am rearranging and freshening the decor. We bought ourselves a new large screen tv and hung it on the wall, so now the river house table gets a new life!

hydrangeas, antique crock, old books, antique binoculars, wood tool carrier, styling a long table


I got this table several years ago. It was a table that my parents owned and used at the River House. After my Daddy passed away, my Mama had to sell that house and this was one of the pieces that I got.

 styling a long table

Here it is the day I brought it into the house about five years ago, obviously, no styling done yet.

styling a long table

And another picture from a family party about four years ago.


I was struck by this picture as soon as I saw it on Pinterest:

photo credit:
Tim Beddow for Willow Crossley

The table reminded me so much of MY table and I loved the way it is styled. And now, I can use it as my inspiration to style my own table!


Mr. Menace got our new large tv hung pretty quickly. And then I was able to hook up the Directv to the new tv and move the small tv out of the way. (It’s still sitting in the study floor, but let’s not talk about that.)

Hydrangea, antique crock

The first thing I wanted to start with was the hydrangeas. I had several already that I could use. The color isn’t as muted as the ones in the inspiration picture but I think they will work for now. Next I added the silver candlestick.

hydrangeas, antique crock, styling a long table

Then I went through our family photos and chose one with a neutral frame and picture. I couldn’t put my hydrangeas in the center like the inspiration picture because it would block the tv and it’s signal.

So far, so good! But I am going to have to clean up those wires and tools and things soon…



antique iron, antique binoculars, antique books, styling a long table

For the other end of the table I decided to use our antique brass binoculars and some old books. I chose gardening books and eclectic bookends.

Antique Binoculars, Vintage Books

I used my bird identification book that belonged to my mama as a lift for the binoculars which also came from the River House.



styling a long table

Now that both ends were taken care of I need something in the middle. It had to be something that wasn’t very tall. The bracket holding the tv is movable and pulls out to be angled toward either end of the room and I didn’t want anything that would be in the way and have to be moved every night while eating supperΒ time the tv was moved. I decided to use this antique wood tool carrier. The length worked out perfectly. We had purchased a surround sound system with the new tv and the long sound bar fit right into the back side of the wood carrier and was totally hidden! (Now to get those wires hidden!)

antique wood tool carrier, styling a long table



I love the baskets that are underneath the table in the inspiration picture and I will be on the lookout for something similar at yard sales and thrift store. But in the mean time, I have a good collection of wood buckets and other pieces that should work.

Wood Boxes, Wood Buckets, Styling a long table,

Wood Boxes, Wood Buckets, Styling a long table,

Wood Boxes, Wood Buckets, Styling a long table,



I am not totally satisfied. I think I need lighter color items underneath, but in the mean time I like how it looks.

Styling a long table, hydrangeas in crock, brass binoculars, antique books, wood boxes, wood buckets

Styling a long table, hydrangeas in crock, brass binoculars, antique books, wood boxes, wood buckets

What do you think? Do you have any suggestions? Any ideas to make it look more like the inspiration?





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  1. Lisa Hollowell says:

    That looks so nice! My favorite part is the book part. πŸ™‚ I like the wooden crates and all underneath. Yet I agree that because of the color, it draws your eye down. Some lighter colored things probably are best.

  2. Victoria says:

    I love your new look. Good luck on hiding those cords though. We put our tv above our fireplace and have cords everywhere. I actually haven’t decorated the mantel because everything I put on it blocks the signals.

    • gwingal says:

      Thank you Victoria. I do plan to camouflage the cords but I am waiting until Mr. Menace decides what he wants to do with adding a surround sound system. And yes, it takes “low” decor to not block that remote signal! Can’t be blocking the remote. haha

    • gwingal says:

      That’s the other thing… they don’t makie the cords long enough to run them anywhere else. I will eventually get them hidden. Or… you know how it is with a DIYer… I may just put a fabric cover on them like they do with hanging light chains. haha Thanks Leanna!

    • gwingal says:

      HAHA The cords are on my list Marci! But I am waiting until Mr. Menace decides about a surround system (more cords). We bought one, but it didn’t work with this tv like it should. My mama ran an antique store and I gathered up a few vintage books for reading and decor. πŸ™‚

  3. Leslie@Peaches&Willow says:

    My living room looks pretty empty since we took our tree down, too. My husband & I just moved into our house in June, so we are still slowly buying furniture. I’m so lost what to do in the corner where the tree was now.

    I do have a table similar to that one that my t.v. is on now, too. love it! It belonged to my Grandpa so it has a special meaning to me, too!

    • gwingal says:

      I love antiques Leslie. I have very few new pieces. And I certainly understand what you mean about the spot where the Christmas tree was. Usually so dark and boring after the glow of sparkly lights. I know I would love your Grandpa’s table. πŸ™‚

    • gwingal says:

      We are loving it Jamie. We eat supper every night just to the right of this tv at the dining room table and we can pull the tv out and angle it towards the table. Works great! Hope you figure out the perfect solution. πŸ™‚

  4. Cristina says:

    It looks gorgeous! I’m a big fan of retro/old fashion interior design; it will never go out of fashion.
    What a great idea to use books as decorative elements!

    • gwingal says:

      Thank you Christina. I have an eclectic mix of styles in my house, but it does all involve retro/vintage/antique in a cottage way. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. πŸ™‚

    • gwingal says:

      Oh I am so happy to have given someone else inspiration Jennifer! I feel like I am always just borrowing ideas from others and not inspiring, so good to know! πŸ™‚

    • gwingal says:

      Thanks so much for stopping by and adding your ideas Dr. Banks. I am still looking for the perfect thing to put inside the long low wood carrier. Maybe small flowerpots is the solution! πŸ™‚

  5. Teresa says:

    I love the changes you made to the river house table! It looks very nice. I do like the baskets used in the picture of your inspiration. They seem to lighten and brighten things up. Good luck in your search to find something comparable!

    • gwingal says:

      Thanks Jean! Yes, I think when Mr. Menace is through I will either buy or make a cover for them and paint it the same color as the wall. Thanks so much for visiting with me. πŸ™‚

  6. Rebecca says:

    LOVE IT! I have a table like this in my family room, set up very similar. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to put under it and your buckets have really inspired me! Thanks for sharing!

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