Originally from France

An epergne is a handy countertop storage piece.

An epergne (from viva terra.com) is useful in a bathroom or kitchen.

and made from silver to hold sweets or flowers on tables in more formal dining rooms, epergnes (pronounced, a-pern) were called “surtouts.” Today, they are made from various other metals as well as porcelain.

The most common, three-tiered epergne baskets, are used for practical and pretty displays, filled with fruits and vegetables on kitchen counters, or for parties, filled with sweets such as cupcakes. In bathrooms they are equally practical when used for soaps, toiletries, candles and other small objects.

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It’s such a blessing to have Use What You Have Decorating work. It is fun, stimulating and always surprising. With constantly changing clients, spaces and furnishings, I never know what I’m walking into and, therefore, look forward to every consultation.

Sometimes the physical changes are quite dramatic; other times all that is required are a few tweaks to give the space cohesion and a more elegant look. Here is a home I worked on not long ago which called for the latter yet it still looks remarkably better. Both rooms were rearranged in under an hour.

Living room "before."

Before: An awkward L shaped conversation area in the living room was one of the issues.


Living room "after."

After: A comfortable U shape provides a place for intimate, face-to-face chats. Later on, lighting and other issues would be addressed.

coffee table accents

Using some of the accents the client already had gave the coffee table a more polished look.


Dining room "before."

Before: The dining room had good basic pieces.

Dining room "after."

After: By simply removing the photos, toys and redoing the tabletop accessories, the room looks more elegant.

Does your living room and dining room need a makeover, without buying a lot of new things? Call 800 We-Use-It (800 938-7348) for an in-person or by-phone consultation. You might be surprised at how fast, easy and inexpensive it is to accomplish.

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An Autumn Jog Around New York City


It has been very mild in New York for the last few days – today it is in the 60s and clear. To take advantage of the beautiful weather, Joe and I decided to jog around the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis reservoir in Central Park this morning, rather than go to an indoor yoga class. In […]

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8 Easy, Inexpensive and Cool Headboard Alternatives


If you need an easy, inexpensive and cool headboard for a guest room or a child’s room, here are some options: 1. Hang a large framed mirror behind the bed. 2. Use wood molding to create a headboard shape; paint the inside section in any hue from your color scheme or fill the interior with […]

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