Why will Southerners always love the herringbone table?

Why will Southerners always love the herringbone table?

Like china on the walls or chintz on the couch, enter any Southern home with a certain traditional aesthetic and you’ll likely find at least one table. From side tables to dressing tables, console tables to rimmed sinks, there’s nothing a Southern decorator (whether newbie or professional) is afraid to wear with a skirt. Although it may seem like a simple feminine touch, there is more than meets the eye when it comes to a decorated table. From its penchant for keeping secrets to simply appearing like there’s nothing to it – and yet everything to it – there’s a lot to love about this table decoration. Here are five reasons why we’ll never stop loving the beloved Southern classic.



It hides a mess of sins

There’s a reason we love adding voluminous skirts to our tables, our beds, and even our bodies — they’ll hide just about anything. We’re always looking for ways to hide bunches of cords, wires, and unsightly WiFi equipment. Nothing does the job as expertly as an edged table. Aside from electronic devices, books overflowing the shelves, children’s toys, and dirty laundry when the company door comes knocking (entirely virtually) are all fair game. Consider it a feminine touch on the bed end box. It’s a normal game.


Laurie W. Glenn


It lightens the space

In the old-fashioned, old-money, collaged millennial aesthetic that has been dominating our feeds, screens, pages, and creative minds in years past, there’s a certain element of sleekness at play. Even when it comes to vintage, masculine-leaning aesthetics, bringing in softer textiles prevents the decor from skewing inaccessible and unattractive rather than adding an attractive textural element. Skirted sofas in an office or library, a small skirted side table next to an armchair, or tucked under a collection of framed wall art can have a soft effect that provides a warm charm in a way that’s hard to beat.


Consider how the size and shape of your table can enhance the goal, whether that means a long, slender console table with a layer of fringe at the bottom of the skirt or a round nightstand that flows into a huge pool. No matter what style you prefer, the transformative power of an edged table cannot be underestimated.


Laurie W. Glenn; Design: Liz Strong


It can bring color and pattern

Starting with the right shaped table is key, but after that, it’s all about color and pattern. A skirted table is a quick way to liven up a space that suddenly seems stark, dark, or lifeless thanks to its ability to add a touch of texture and color. This is a time when many Southern interior designers (again, beginners or professionals) choose to think outside the box. Playful pinstripes, animal print, a vibrant color palette, a stripe border, and a pop of fringe are applied here.



It’s stunning in the entryway

A wide entryway can be an intimidating space when it comes to decorating and welcoming guests. To fill the space and ensure it’s overflowing with generosity, a large edged table works wonders. Stacked coffee table books and large floral arrangements (even well-appointed faux arrangements) can work wonders, creating impact and elegance when you welcome friends and family. For a more formal look, consider a corner table like a hexagon with square folds, or go more formal with a large round table that can also be offset to moonlight as additional dining space if a Thanksgiving dinner crowd is invited.


Laurie W. Glenn; Design: Buffy Hargett-Miller


It will instantly give you expert status

Above all, a table with edges can make you look like you know what you’re doing — especially to out-of-towners. Its undeniable Southern charm sets this decorating trick apart from others, allowing classic, whimsical, or even minimalist style to take center stage. Executed to perfection, the unique skirted table is one Southern design trick that will never go out of style, mark our words.

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