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What are some of your favourite coffee-table toppers?

The Question

My coffee table is bare. What are some of your favourite coffee-table toppers?

The Answer

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My favourite type of coffee table is one with multiple surfaces so you can rest a tray on the top and store books or throw blankets on the lower shelf. In the tray, I keep extra placemats, coasters and a few linen napkins for having a meal in front of the television.

On the top surface, I display my new favourite design book (I'm looking forward to Michael Boodro's Elle Decor: The Height of Style: Inspiring Ideas from the World's Chicest Rooms, which comes out this fall – I'm always interested in the competition). One coffee-table must is fresh flowers in a short bowl vase – my ideal arrangement is one that's stuffed to the brim with peonies. Another essential: fresh-smelling candles with packaging that's pleasing to the eye. I like to place the candles on a long white plate with wooden matches in boxes from my favourite restaurants. Be strategic, don't overcrowd the space and try to place items in odd numbers – let your eye be the critic.

Dee Dee Taylor Eustace is an architect and interior designer. Follow her on Twitter: @ddtaylordd. Have a design dilemma? E-mail

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