SHOP PRODUCTS
Houzz Logo Print
anniedeighnaugh

Under the TV, on the credenza...

Annie Deighnaugh
23 days ago

I seem to be losing my decorating mojo. I have no idea how to fix this up.


This xmas my hiking buddy made me this beautiful walnut and maple tray. I love it and it has a lot of meaning for me. I think it looks great against the wood of the credenza, and I like the location as I see it every day and it gets little sun so the wood won't be damaged.




The other things on the credenza are two alabaster lamps from my MIL, a clock as the stupid cable box no longer has one, a glass thermometer we use daily, and the network wifi box which has to stay.





I'd like to put something on the tray but it can't be too high to block the tv. I tried some books, but we're looking at the edges rather than the top as we'd be if it were a coffee table, so that wasn't good.


Any suggestions?

Comments (44)

  • teeda
    22 days ago

    What a beautiful tray! Would you consider displaying it in the kitchen instead? I think would like great as the base for an island centerpiece, or leaned against a backsplash with a couple of decorative items. I can see it displayed with candles, a plant, nice salt/pepper grinders, a pretty crock with kitchen tools, etc. You could add seasonal decor as well.




    Annie Deighnaugh thanked teeda
  • Kswl
    22 days ago
    last modified: 22 days ago

    It’s a cute face! I agree with Pal about needing an organic shape. A low ceramic bowl of flowers or seed pods or pinecones, changed seasonally?

    Annie, what you said struck a chord with me …..”I seem to be losing my decorating mojo”….. me too. I see things I know need changing but am kind of stumped at what to do about it. It may be decor fatigue after Christmas, or just plain ennui. The winter doldrums? IDK, but I’m feeling it too.

    Annie Deighnaugh thanked Kswl
  • Jilly
    22 days ago
    last modified: 22 days ago

    The tray is so beautiful, I wouldn’t put anything on it.

    I’d just use one of the lamps, bringing it forward a bit (leave the clock as is), and have a grouping on the other side.

    For example, I have this grouping with my lamp:



    Not exactly that, but the point is to not have everything lined up in the back and to vary heights with books or such.

    (On the other side, I have succulents in a pot on top of the dumb cable box.)

    Annie Deighnaugh thanked Jilly
  • Sueb20
    22 days ago

    A low ceramic bowl with seasonal stuff, like ks said, is what I first thought of. Even a low plant. I could see a black ceramic piece, maybe a little rustic. I am not looking at sizes, just general looks:


    Rustic Ceramic Bowl Matte Black Pottery Small Fruit Bowl 9 Modern Farmhouse Pottery Unique Handmade Table Décor Natural Organic - Etsy


    1990s Studio Pottery Low Lidded Dish, Bowl, Signed, Brown, Black - Etsy


    Black Ceramic Bowl, Porcelain Bowl - Etsy


    However, I think you may be losing some of the "specialness" of this piece by surrounding it with several disparate items. As Teeda suggested, maybe there's a place for it in the kitchen or dining room?


    PS could the clock be moved down to one of the lower shelves? It looks like it belongs with the other black boxes if that makes sense. Like maybe it could sit on top of the cable box or on top of the face basket.

    Annie Deighnaugh thanked Sueb20
  • barncatz
    22 days ago
    last modified: 22 days ago

    Agree with all. Using Jilly's photo as an example, I'd probably pull the thermometer closer and incorporate it into a grouping which includes one organic item, something that references the outside world, or a plant or floral. I'd tuck the wifi thingy behind that grouping (or, hey! cover it with a small basket 😉 ).

    On the other side I'd look for a non-plastic digital clock and maybe raise it up on some books or something so it's not quite so utilitarian?

    So, the tray stays in the middle between the two, non identical groupings, arranged as Jilly suggested.

    Annie Deighnaugh thanked barncatz
  • fully2
    22 days ago


    A air plant Real or the faux ones look great too

    Annie Deighnaugh thanked fully2
  • Annie Deighnaugh
    Original Author
    22 days ago
    last modified: 22 days ago

    I could rethink where to put it...I'd thought some before, but this seemed the best. But I can rethink.

    Oh brother! Now I can't look at the basket without seeing the smile! It's been there for years...keeps the remote boxes that aren't used every day.

    Speaking of baskets to hide the wifi box!!

    I'd love to move the clock to below if I could, but it's a total headache to do so as the credenza has backing on it which would have to be removed, new holes drilled etc. And it's incredibly heavy so difficult for DH and I to even budge. I wish they'd just put the clock back in the cable box like before! And that one never needed setting!

    I like the idea of something organic, but I can't have anything that might damage the finish. I do have a wooden bowl that DH made as a kid in shop class...maybe I could do something with that. I do have faux pears that are gold and white that I use at xmas time, but they could work year round given the color scheme...

    I was also thinking about a grouping of pillar candles of disparate heights?

    I like the idea of somewhere on the kitchen backsplash...I'll have to try it out and see if it's too tall for there... but if I do that, I'm still stuck for something on the credenza...

    Especially since I look at it for many hours each day, I'd really like to like it!

  • Annie Deighnaugh
    Original Author
    22 days ago

    Should I think about mounting the tray to the wall somewhere? Or would that look funny? It has feet on it...

  • DLM2000-GW
    22 days ago

    Beautiful tray - can you stand it up and maybe angle it in a plate/book holder type thing? It looks to be sized so that wouldn't interfere with the TV. Then create a little triangle with a small plant and the Galileo thermometer - you could even hide the wifi box behind it (it will still work).

    Annie Deighnaugh thanked DLM2000-GW
  • Annie Deighnaugh
    Original Author
    22 days ago

    I think the horses are too small.



    The bowl DH made with the fruit isn't bad maybe.



    I'm still pondering a basket though for the box as the other things that are always on there are the cat collars as it's right by the deck door, and it's easy to check to see if the cats have their collars on or not before they go out.

  • LynnNM
    22 days ago
    last modified: 22 days ago

    I like the idea of a low green plant. Smallish and, if faux, naturally a very good quality one. If real, small leaves or an air plant, low growing, and inside a double container to avoid water spots. I think a spot of green there would be lovely and draw the eye to the tray below it.

    Annie Deighnaugh thanked LynnNM
  • Lars
    22 days ago
    last modified: 22 days ago

    I don't think the horses are too small - I like that better than the bowl.

    I would definitely move the clock to a lower shelf - it could go on top of whatever is on the shelf below it - that where I put my living room clock.


  • Annie Deighnaugh
    Original Author
    22 days ago

    I would Lars, but moving the clock isn't easy as I said above.


    Here's a green plant from downstairs...not the right plant or container, but I do like the green and a more organic shape...maybe a fern?



    Part of the problem is I don't want everything at the same height. A lot of the pics on line have the credenza wider than the TV so there's room to do something tall on the sides and visually connect the two. But I don't have that option, and I can't get a wider credenza given the width of the room and the chairs on either side. And really, changing furniture is out of scope. I just want to like to look at the top of this thing as I sit in the sofa and see it all the time.

  • eld6161
    22 days ago

    I like Teeda’s kitchen idea. I also like DLM’ idea about propping it up.

    Annie Deighnaugh thanked eld6161
  • blfenton
    22 days ago

    I gather then that the clock is an electric one. Unless you're really married to that clock for some emotional reason get a battery operated one and put it on a lower shelf.

    Annie Deighnaugh thanked blfenton
  • Sueb20
    22 days ago

    Do the lamps have to stay?

    Annie Deighnaugh thanked Sueb20
  • Arapaho-Rd
    22 days ago
    last modified: 22 days ago

    I know it can be frustrating, Annie, but I'd removed everything and start from scratch to get a different perspective and see if you might like a new arrangement better. I tend to do that and will comb other rooms to see what I can find that might work.

    Annie Deighnaugh thanked Arapaho-Rd
  • Annie Deighnaugh
    Original Author
    22 days ago
    last modified: 22 days ago

    Well, I like the lamps, but I suppose I could find another place for them. We rarely use them....only when we need to see behind the credenza. They date back to the 1920s. They still have the original mazda bulbs in them! The original lamp shades were velvet and really in bad shape, so I stripped the frame and made these shades by wrapping them in satin ribbon and then sewing on the gimp.

  • Annie Deighnaugh
    Original Author
    22 days ago
    last modified: 22 days ago

    Here's a blank slate in case anyone wants to play...



    There is 13" in height between the top of the credenza and the bottom of the TV, so not a lot.

  • Bunny
    22 days ago

    Annie, that last image looks a lot like my setup (except for the squares on the wall. There's 8" between the top of my credenza (actually media cabinet) and the bottom of the TV. My Apple TV is inside one of the lower cabinets, so out of sight. I had thought I would have some low profile items on the cabinet, but so far nothing. When I'm not watching TV it is flat up against the wall. My watching zones are 1) LR seating off to the left the left, and 2) Kitchen and eating area, off to the right. I pull the TV forward and turn it for best viewing. In my situation I don't think any items on the cabinet would enhance the look.

  • Sueb20
    22 days ago

    This is outrageously expensive but something like this could hold the cable box plus some seasonal decor, etc etc…

    https://www.oka.com/us/product/rodin-long-tray-a17840-1-10-1555-10?gad_source=1&gclid=EAIaIQobChMItcnJ0ZWahAMVzHBHAR0RDAYbEAQYHiABEgL6d_D_BwE


    Or maybe you need a sheep planter.





    If you need a lamp, something like this would hold up better to the visual weight of the TV. Your cute lamps seem a bit too small and delicate, IMO. I would have just one lamp.



    Annie Deighnaugh thanked Sueb20
  • Annie Deighnaugh
    Original Author
    22 days ago
    last modified: 22 days ago

    Sheep planter!!

    Yeah, I'm doing my best not to buy anything but make do with what I have seeing as my attic is full like a goodwill store! I have more baskets and vases and plates and other tchotchkes than you can shake a stick at. Problem is, the majority were from other people and definitely other vintages so certainly not modern and often not my color. EG, I have a gorgeous cut glass oval serving bowl that's beautiful...except it's pink! It was MILs.


    If I'm having lamps, I'm sticking with the ones I have as I really like them.

  • Annie Deighnaugh
    Original Author
    22 days ago

    Bunny, the squares on the wall are built-in speakers for the surround sound.

  • ajuju
    22 days ago

    That sheep planter is adorable! Would you consider a more decorative clock? These run on battery and come in various sizes. i love mine! PB Anton Desk Clock


    Annie Deighnaugh thanked ajuju
  • mtnrdredux_gw
    22 days ago

    I would investigate clock choices if you feel you need one. Pretty tray. I would choose a spot where you can prop it up if you want to enjoy it.

    Annie Deighnaugh thanked mtnrdredux_gw
  • palimpsest
    22 days ago
    last modified: 22 days ago

    I think the problem is too much symmetry. I would put something like a vase or bowl at one end, big enough to possibly overlap the TV on the bottom edge a bit, and a nicer clock next to it and then maybe nothing else but the empty tray.

    Annie Deighnaugh thanked palimpsest
  • njmomma
    22 days ago

    Now I am in love with that sheep planter! 🤦‍♀️ thinking out loud, where would that fit in my home!

    Annie Deighnaugh thanked njmomma
  • deegw
    21 days ago
    last modified: 21 days ago

    I love the tray but it seems more kitcheny than family room decor. Do you have a spot in your kitchen for it? Propped against the backsplash or used as a landing place for salt/pepper/napkin holder, etc.?

    I agree with the advice above that the credenza decor is too symmetrical and doesn't have enough oomph. Shop your house, grab some things that are much bigger and louder than what you think will work, and try them out.

    Annie Deighnaugh thanked deegw
  • Jilly
    21 days ago

    These are not your decor styles, just showing ideas of using varying heights under the TV. You could still use one of your lamps with these ideas, and shop your house for other things.







    Annie Deighnaugh thanked Jilly
  • Arapaho-Rd
    21 days ago
    last modified: 21 days ago

    Hard time finding photos (the floral vase interferes with the TV which might be a negative for you.) Less is more or can be enough.



    Annie Deighnaugh thanked Arapaho-Rd
  • Sherry8aNorthAL
    21 days ago
    last modified: 21 days ago

    It looks fine to me. I would move the thermometer over to the left (by the way we have one just like it from my FIL) and pull the clock slightly forward. Add something to the right to balance, it needs to take the same space, but not the same number of items. Leave the wood tray as is in the middle, nothing on it.

    Annie Deighnaugh thanked Sherry8aNorthAL
  • jojoco
    20 days ago

    It’s such a pretty tray. I would definitely put it in a place where it stands alone. Do you have a table by the front door where you could put it and it would receive mail? Or a corner of the kitchen? You know, the place where you plop down the mail?

    Annie Deighnaugh thanked jojoco
  • njmomma
    20 days ago

    Just a thought, do you have a stand for it. I think propped up on a stand and being able to see the beauty of the tray much more easily, may also help in your arrangement on the console.

    Annie Deighnaugh thanked njmomma
  • HU-163897337
    20 days ago

    The lamps are really too small in that spot. A larger lamp on one side woukd look better. place the items to where they are not so lined up.

    Annie Deighnaugh thanked HU-163897337
  • Annie Deighnaugh
    Original Author
    20 days ago

    Hu...7337, the lamps just come to the bottom of the TV and do not block it. Any larger lamps won't work as they'd block the TV.


    Jojo, would be nice, but we don't have such a thing. We have a desk area in the kitchen where all the mail ends up....


    I like the idea of putting it on a stand so you can see the surface. I'll have to talk to DH about engineering such a thing as the tray is quite heavy, so it'd have to be tall enough and strong enough to provide sufficient support.

  • Ally De
    20 days ago

    That tray is so beautiful to me that I don't like anything on it. Putting anything on it on the credenza seems to diminish its beauty, in my eyes.


    I too vote for finding a different arrangement on the credenza where it doesn't feel like it "needs" something on it. (I get why you're trying to find something for it in its current middle placement, but I think if you move it to an end and do something asymmetrical it would be fine.)


    Alternatively, I love Jojo's idea about putting it someplace else. It does feel a bit "kitchen-y" but not overly so.....so it really could work anywhere. Use it in your bedroom as a place to set your jewelry at night? On a coffee or end table somewhere?


    It's really pretty so I understand why you're trying to find the right place for it.

    Annie Deighnaugh thanked Ally De
  • Oakley
    20 days ago

    If you drink coffee you could set it by the pot and use it to hold creamers, sweetners, small coffee spoon with small spoon rest.

    I kind of swiped this picture from a friend because it reminded me of yours. During off season

    she puts books in the center and you could always set the tray on top of them. The tall glass table vase is positioned perfectly.





    Annie Deighnaugh thanked Oakley
  • arcy_gw
    20 days ago

    Plenty looks fine but it needs to make sense. I think it's screaming for a loaf of artisan bread and a hunk of cheese. One wouldn't use a flat tray to carry the sort of objects you are putting on it....

    Annie Deighnaugh thanked arcy_gw
  • Annie Deighnaugh
    Original Author
    20 days ago
    last modified: 20 days ago

    Good news! Thanks to your encouragement, we looked again and managed to move the clock below to where the cable box is! Yay! And I've thought about the lamps...if I want to move them, they'd look nice on the big dresser in my bedroom, so that could work too...

    So not done, but progress is being made!

    DH and I talked about angling the tray up to see it, but it's too tall then for the space. He says he likes it flat and wants something on top. So I'll have to do more nosing around...


    If I could get a pretty bowl on there, I'd have a place to put the cat collars which I hate seeing out all the time....

  • Annie Deighnaugh
    Original Author
    19 days ago

    I've moved the lamp to my dresser and I like it a lot. Now the credenza looks very bare, so I can build it back better....where have I heard that before??? :)

  • Ally De
    19 days ago

    You're singing my tune. 😆 I too have to fuss with moving everybody around until I can be happy with the final product.

  • Annie Deighnaugh
    Original Author
    18 days ago

    Not done yet, but better....I found the copper plate upstairs...




  • teeda
    18 days ago

    Nice!


    Annie Deighnaugh thanked teeda
Sponsored
Home Rescue Contracting
Average rating: 5 out of 5 stars14 Reviews
Loudoun County's in Custom Craftsmanship & Construction Solutions
Best of Houzz 2024: The results are in!