...because home doesn't happen overnight.

I bought a new coffee table. Technically, it’s a bench but the proportions were right. Our previous coffee table was almost five years old. It was West Elm and I found it at a Pottery Barn outlet for $40. It was originally red but, for the price, I primed and painted it white. It worked really well in our previous living room but it was too high, too round and too chunky for our current living room. I envisioned something longer, lower and narrower. I bought the bench/coffee table from Overstock although it looks like it’s currently out of stock and they’ve raised the price. I used a coupon and paid $171.58 total for it two weeks ago. The dimensions are working out perfectly and I’ve been having fun styling it.


With the help of Target and their new Threshold collection, I’ve put together three different coffee table looks for you. I took Mabrey shopping while the boys were in school one morning in search of tabletop accessories and, boy, did I find them. Candles, vases, figurines, bowls, hurricanes…you name it. You guys, Target is killing it right now. And that’s why I agreed to work with them. Everything I’m about to show you are things that would be on my personal wish list even if I wasn’t partnering with them.

Without further ado, look #1. POPPY & GRAPHIC


This is probably the “springiest” look. It’s a combination of graphic patterns, red-orange pops of color, gold and wood.


At one end of the table is a stack of colorful books, a pair of single stem vases, a gold dipped bowl and a small matte white bowl painted chartreuse on the inside.


At the other end of the table I put down the marble pastry board I introduced to you here. I topped it with a third single stem vase, a brass hurricane, a black and white canister and a chevron wood box.


I tossed a white pillow with gold embossed edges on the chair and added a punchy patterned pillow with sequins and now they are planning their wedding.


I stole a graphic black and white pillow from the boys’ room for the leather couch.






A bright red-orange candle brings color to the marble slab vignette. And it smells uh-maaaaaazing. Melon-y.


I can’t get enough of the brass hurricane/lantern and wood box.


Shop the look: dipped bowl / lattice canister / chevron box / brass hurricane / embossed pillow / dot stripe pillow

For look #2 I kept a few of my favorites {the lantern and wood box} on the table and brought in other items. WORLDLY & ECLECTIC {a.k.a. PUT ME IN THE ZOO}


This look is more masculine with ethnic-inspired patterns, animal figurines, brass, wood tones and a little quirk.


I grouped a yarn wrapped gazelle figurine, the same brass lantern {this time with a neutral, less aromatic candle} and a pierced tin hurricane.


Near the middle of the table is a hand painted wood bowl and a thrifted wood sculpture. To achieve a “lived in” look I threw in an open magazine, fresh greenery, a small bowl of cashews and cloth napkins.


The other end of the table holds books, gold animal figurines and another snack bowl filled with cashews.


There is a diamond patterned pillow and sheepskin on the chair.


I threw down a chevron runner under the table. The same embroidered pillow from look #1 is on the sofa along with a Nate Berkus gold mesh & tweed pillow. Of all the pillows shown today, the gold + tweed is my favorite. I love you Nate.


Can you see how the seat of the leather sofa is starting to patina and wrinkle? I love it. Good leather only gets better with age.




The painted detailing on the wood bowl is an art form. Of all the non-pillow pieces I selected, this bowl is my absolute favorite.


The gold rhino and elephant are pure fun. Everett asked me if rhinos and elephants eat cashews. It does look like I’m feeding them cashews out of a fancy trough, no?


Shop the look: yarn wrapped gazelle / brass hurricane / silver lattice hurricane / wood bowl / snack bowls / brass animals / diamond pillow / gold & tweed pillow

Finally, for look #3, I decided to go au naturel. NEUTRAL & LOVELY


This look is casual and effortless. It’s all about matte whites, warm wood tones, piles of books & magazines and glowing candles.


On one end of the table I brought in a white serving platter and topped it with a natural wood vase, two curvy white vases and a silver tea light holder. I cut a few crape myrtle branches {from the store…still no sign of spring!} and stuck them in the vases.


In the middle of the table is a stack of my favorite home design books. The gold & wood box makes another appearance in this look alongside a ceramic tea light holder.


I brought back the marble board and used it as a casual serving tray. I filled a chip and dip server with salsa and tortilla chips. A squatty candle and stemless wine glasses round out the tray. Chips and salsa go with wine, right? I consume them together all the time. YUM.


Our new coffee table has a large open space under it. Here, I slid in a woven basket and a stack of glossies for my reading pleasure. I could get used to having stuff under the table.


On the couch is a simple striped pillow and sheepskin.


When I was trimming the crape myrtle, I thought the fallen leaves looked pretty on the white tray. So I left them.


The tea light holder has a super functional design. The silver top and suspended candle holder are all one piece that lifts up and out of the glass surround. It’s easy to set a tea light in, light it and then drop it into the glass surround. So cool. I think it looks like the tea light is sitting on a swing.



The cutouts on the ceramic vase make for a spectacular light show.


I have to fuss over the squatty candle for a minute. I’ve been around the candle block a few times over the years, ifyaknowwhatImean. I’m a bit of a candle whore. If it smells good, I’ll give it a go. But this candle? It has three wood wicks. Say what? Wood wicks. And, get this, they CRACKLE when they burn. It’s like a mini wood burning fireplace right on top of the coffee table. A mini-crackling-wood-burning-fireplace-that-smells-like-vanilla-dolce heaven. You guys. I could live off of this salsa/chips/server/wine/crackling candle vignette for the rest of my life and be very happy.


Shop the look: wood vasesilver tea light holder / chevron box / chip and dip server / wood wick candle

I tried sourcing the tabletop accessories as best I could with links. Most of them hail from Target but not all of them are listed online.

It’s worth mentioning…these three coffee table looks in their entirety don’t scream “kid-friendly!” With young children in my house, I couldn’t get away with glass vases, burning candles and red wine in the living room so I won’t be keeping all of the items shown. {Did you really think I get to keep all this amazing loot?!} But styling the table full on for adult entertaining {not to be confused with adult entertainment, ahem} or even an in-house date night with HH after the kids are in bed is totally feasible. And fun. Give it a try! Maybe invest in a few new tabletop accessories to work with pieces you already own. You could easily give your coffee table a fresh facelift for less than $50. To make it easy, I rounded up a few kid-friendly options that will be staying at our rowdy house. Pssst. Many of these items are on clearance in my neck of the woods. Check your local Target store for pricing.

kid-friendly decor

So, tell me, which look is your favorite? I think we all know I’m a sucka for #3.

This post brought to you by Threshold, a Target collection. The Threshold collection focuses on specialized design techniques including hand-painted accents and artisanal touches to make each piece unique yet affordable. What differentiates Target’s new Threshold collection is its unprecedented style coupled with its high quality and affordability. Thank you Tar-jay!

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking & Target, linked within



I just bought the same bench a little over a month ago and love it-especially for the price! Overstock’s prices seem to fluctuate daily though…I love all the different looks you created, especially the brass animals.

This was a great post!!! I know a lot of time and effort went into it. I have always loved Target but this is very helpful. I’m currently trying to style my living room and it can be hard at times. I found many things I liked from this shoot. Thanx again.


Now I want to go and shop at Target. Please let them open a few shops here in Germany!!! ;)


Mmm okay we are internationaly placed twins. Candle whore – check. Chips,dip,wine – check. Target Australia needs to enter into serious talks with Target USA and come a peaceful agreement, because I need the tweed and gold cushion!!


I love them all! I’d kill for a coffee table – we need the floor space for play and I’m terrified my 2 year old will crash into one and split her eyebrow. She only has 2 speeds – light speed or asleep.
What fun to play around with stuff! Your Target looks amazing – ours here in Australia is very average. Lovely post x

I cannot bring myself to go to Target because of the new Threshold line. It looks amazing and we just bought a car. Until I graduate and get a job (next month) I cannot buy ANYTHING! So ya, this post is killing me with loveliness! Oh and the Nelson bench… I had to give a review of that bench for a furniture history class. I failed it. As a bench it is terrible design. If you sit on one end and someone gets up off the other end, you end up on the ground. Personal experience Ha! As a coffee table it looks so beautiful! Glad you are enjoying it. Don’t let your kids sit on it lol!

Target is killing me too! I can’t walk out of that place without buying something for our home! xo Kristin


I can’t pick a favorite! You have really perfected how to make your home look lived in, functional, and stylish all at the same time!

I like #1 because it is how I decorated my mantle. Black and white with hints of brass and of course my deer antlers.

I love the three looks that you came up with! So beautiful, fun, and “homey.” I was in Target the other day and could not believe how they’ve stepped up their home decor. It is seriously amazing. Question, where did you get your couch? I’m currently looking for a gray couch (or maybe it was a chair and just thought it was a couch?) for our new living room. I’m sure you’ve posted about it, but I just recently found your blog (and LOVE IT) and haven’t found the source yet through the posts I’m going back through. Love your living room!!!


I love #1. (And I love the black/white pillow on your brown sofa. It is HOT!).

We used a bench for our “coffee table” in our family room and it just makes so much sense! We’ll most likely get one for our living room, too. It’s true, styling the table with children, or one rambunctious child in my case, doesn’t really make sense. But we are slowly building up our kid-friendly accessories and there are some GREAT ones here.


We have the Nelson bench as our coffee table in our living room and I’m always on the lookout for new ways to style it. Thanks for all the great ideas – conveniently I have a Target trip in the plans for today!

I have to disagree with a previous comment, however, on the stability of the bench when used as an actual bench. Maybe it depends on the length (the Nelson comes in at least 2 sizes), but ours is nice and sturdy – no tipping of falling in our house. :)

I love all these three looks. I can’t pick a favorite – well the little wooden box with the golden chevron is a BIG favorite because I LOVE a good box :) but as far as looks, I love all of them! I agree on the Nate pillow. It’s awesome!!!


I am SO glad you mentioned the part about the looks not being kid friendly because as I read and looked it was all I could think of with my two rambunctious kiddos. I thought “man, she has some great kids to be able to do these beautiful setups.” Anyhoo, the looks are very inspirational!!


Wow, I love all those looks! I’m with you on #3 being the favorite. I better get myself over to Target today…

I bought similar end tables from Overstock and love the open metal leg design!


Beautiful! I enjoy both your design esthetic and blogging voice. Always a pleasure to read your posts!


i love the idea of using a bench for a coffee table–especially since i put my feet up on mine all the time anyway! can you tell me where you got your couch? it’s exactly what i’m looking for! THANKS!

I have this same bench and absolutely love it. I use it in our entryway, as well…a bench! But, such a fabulous idea for a coffee table. I NEVER would have thought of that…genius! Adds just the right modern touch to the room.


I love the look of your sheepskin throw and it reminded me of an idea I nabbed from a post in Apartment Therapy. This throw from Restoration Hardware baby&child is a nice and affordable alternative, too: http://www.rhbabyandchild.com/catalog/product/product.jsp?productId=rhbc_prod364376&categoryId=search
I have it tossed over an Eames chair in my office and it’s so soft and comfy!


I’m all over the look of #3. Although I’d have to say that they all seem a little “full” for a coffee table. There’d be little room for setting something down if needed. But they’d be great for a side table top or credenza. Thanks for sharing all the Target goodies!


Love #3, but I guess that’s why your blog is one of my favorites if you love it, too! Especially love the magazines stacked underneath that gorgeous bench/coffee table. Brings your eyes down to the legs. Not practical in my house either, but I love it just the same.


I agree – Target is right on point right now. I made a late night run last night and turned the corner into a wonderland of pops of turquoise, ikat patterns and gold lanterns. And I love seeing what Nate is contributing to his endcap. Brilliant! Great post!!


Hi,Dana. First, Congrats on the partnering with Target. How fun that must be! Second, Congrats on the expansion of your blog and design business. I loved seeing the design boards you put together so far and am looking forward to seeing more. Last, I looooove that 3rd display. The natural wood vase next to the smaller white ones were super delish! Not to mention the yummy chips and salsa you set out for me.
:-) I’ll be there in be in bit. Haha! Ps. I’m dying to see what you do with the kids bath. Any progress since leveling the floor?


I looooove #3! I like the orange accents from #1 too. My husband hates gold and brass though, boo. This has given me some ideas for how to jazz up my completely empty, impersonal space – thank you! I am a lover of natural wood, glass, metal, marble…and wine, chips and salsa too :)


Sadly, there has been no further progress on the kid/guest bath. HH has been working like cray cray at his real job {12 hour days for weeks straight with no time off – not even weekends} and I’ve just been trying to hold down the fort with the kids and blog. Before we tackle anything else in the room, we’ve decided to have a camera scope the plumbing for possible problems because of “the incident” which left us bathroom-less for 24 hours. We’d hate to finish the room only to rip it all out for a plumbing issue. I’ll keep you posted!


1 and 3 are my favorite. I really like the elements from table arrangement 3 for my home. Now, I will probably need to head to my local target stat to pick up some of those items. Darn you Dana! LOL


You guys, DANA is killing it right now! All love!


That splash of red is delicious!


So did you lose the rug you’d painted blues stripes on for the living room?


I’ve had my hand on that brass hurricane a few times, but can’t pull the trigger. Thank you so much for saying these designs are not kid friendly It drives me nuts to see rooms designed for a family with kids that could not work no matter how good the kids are. I saw a couple brothers on tv last night who had a metal cog (100lbs?) leaning against a wall of the new playroom they designed. Seriously? It looked cool, but c’mon.

I have a question for you. How do you make yourself haul these things out for a party, or date night? I love seeing your styled rooms (and other’s, as well) but in my life, if I get all the kids detrius put away and remember to light a candle it is a special occasion.


Well, I love all three. I really can’t decide. But my favorite part of the whole post: “and now they are planning their wedding.” The two pillows.

Cracked me up. Beautiful work (as always).


I love the looks. I just purchased a new coffee table and went from a rectangle to a square and am having a hard time styling it. Also, my Target doesn’t have most of the items you highlighted! I’ve got to go to another one and pick up those gold lanterns! I’m not sure where they will go, but I WANT!


Hands down #3 is my favorite. I’d feel at home if I saw that display. I’d certainly be happy if it were in my home.

I have a large leather ottoman with a white tray topped on it. I bought it from a friend when she was moving. She bought both from Pottery Barn.

I had it prettied up with this and that but with three kids and two dogs I have cut back on my display. I have two glass hurricanes (that were from Target years ago) on it. I change up what I have in them (You know the space between where the candle sits in the little tray and the bottom). It’s Easter so I have plastic eggs right now. For the winter I had Pine Cones, for the fall acorns and so on. I try to have a container of fresh flowers on it too but I go in spells with it. Normally stacks of books are on it. I find if I put books on it my kids cannot walk by without reading them. I how I not put books on them if that is the case? :)


This is great! I bought the same exact bench hoping to use it in my master bedroom, but it isn’t going to fit and I was trying to think of what to use it for. A coffee table would be a great idea! I think look #3 is the best. It keeps the space brighter and lighter with less clutter. Looks great with your gray chair too!


I keep hearing about this new target collection… Shopping trip across the border clearly will have to happen soon! I like the first one best. I’ve always loved white with pops of colour, and I’m living the gold trend these days.


Is the gold chevron runner from Target, too? I’d love to know where to get one like it!


Dana, you knocked it out of the park with #3. The other two styles were beautiful as well, but the last option seems to livable! You might possibly be the luckiest girl to partner with Target. The two of you work wonderfully together ;)

One of the best kept secretes in Minneapolis is what I call the Target Clearance Store. All of the prototypes from the Target designers and all of the scratch and dent items from around the city get sent to this marvelous place for all of us Target worshipers to buy at low low clearance prices! And a big bonus, I believe all of the money raised here goes to support the Salvation Army. Win Win!


The runner is Nate Berkus available on Home Shopping Network.


No, the rug is still here just not in the living room. I pulled it up because Everett {the middle lil’} kept sliding his feet under it and curling it up – driving me BONKERS. I was constantly adjusting it. We’ve also learned that while the stripes were great for bringing some pattern to the room, the rug wasn’t doing much to soften the sisal under it. Currently on the lookout for something softer??

I really like look #1 and #3! I think it’s because I’m OBSESSED with that black & cream canister! I’ve looked at it so many times but just haven’t pulled the trigger. I’m probably out of look now since I think it was on clearance last weekend.

Quick styling question…when using books as decor, do you feel like they all have to “match” the room or each other? I feel like I struggle with that. Or struggle with finding books that look good but the titles don’t seem like something we’d actually want to have in our house. Know what I mean?


I love # 3, but then I usually go for classic looks. I went to Target yesterday just to pick up a few things but I had to look at all the decorator items! The vases in turquoise and the vase/bottles in a rusty red color that look like milk bottles really caught my eye. I just looked on this trip. Love your blog!


Is the black and white throw pillow from Ikea? I love it!


I love Threshold! I’ve gotten several items already. My ideal look would include a piece from each of your collections, ending in a useful table with a peaceful look. The bench/table looks fab in your home!


I love Threshold! Such beautiful stuff!!
I love look #2 or #3! Even though honestly, all of them are winners!


Love #1! The coral color is beautiful and so fresh for spring!


Yes! Very affordable and killer quality.

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Where did you get the rug in photos 1 and 3?