Our Favorite Go-To Tabletop Accessories

We actually get this question pretty often so we thought it was about time that we broke down what home decor objects we find ourselves grabbing all the time when it comes to adding style to a dining or console table and even a fireplace mantel or the kitchen counter. So without further ado, a roundup of foolproof tabletop classics:

1. A cake stand. This handy accessory can be used to create charming dining centerpieces (topped with everything from fruit to holiday decor) or even a sweet display on your kitchen counter (with fresh cupcakes or even a collection of ceramic faux fruit).

Find it on the cheap at: Marshall’s, TJ Maxx, Target, World Market and HomeGoods.

2. Vase filler. We like to think outside the potpurri or polished stones box for this category. Some of our favorite vase fillers around here are collected matchbooks from restaurants we’ve enjoyed, wine corks that provide some nice neutral texture, woven orbs that we snagged at Target for less than $4, some simple brown rice with a nice pillar candle in the middle, and even ornaments for some seasonal bling.

Find it on the cheap at: well, matchbooks can hail from restaurants (for free) while wine corks can be collected at home (or by friends and family members- my mom and a good friend are our best “suppliers”- again for free). You can also try places like Marshall’s, TJ Maxx, Target, and HomeGoods for woven orbs and other decorative vase filling options.

3. Glass cylinder vases. We love loading them up with all of our favorite vase fillers above. We discovered they were amazingly diverse after we grabbed a bunch at Michael’s for our backyard wedding (and kept dragging them out of storage to display other collections over the years).

Find them on the cheap at: Michael’s, Marshall’s, TJ Maxx, Target, HomeGoods, garage sales and thrift stores.

4. Glass hurricanes. These are another staple when it comes to adding some height, texture, and gleaming airy style to any surface (from the console table near the front door to our dining table and beyond).

Find it on the cheap at: Marshall’s, TJ Maxx, Target, HomeGoods and Walmart.

5. A decorative storage box. Be it lacquered or even white cardboard from Ikea, these babies are super versatile and functional (they can keep anything from receipts to TV remotes out of sight).

Find it on the cheap at: Ikea, Marshall’s, TJ Maxx, Target, HomeGoods, West Elm and Crate & Barrel.

6. Sleek white planters. We have a bunch of them from Ikea all over our house, and at just a dollar a pop they’re definitely a huge bang for your buck. Nothing makes a room feel fresher than a nice green plant in a sleek white goes-with-anything planter. And the subtle striped and petaled detailing that Ikea adds is the icing on the cake.

Find it on the cheap at: Ikea, Target, Marshall’s, TJ Maxx, and HomeGoods.

7. A small colorful vase. We have a pink one from Crate & Barrel that looks amazing with backyard blooms (especially anything in the white or pink category) and we also grabbed a similar light green one and a light pink one at Ikea, which even work when it comes to setting the table with style.

Find it on the cheap at: Crate & Barrel, Ikea, Marshall’s, TJ Maxx, Target, HomeGoods, Walmart, Pier1, World Market, garage sales and thrift stores.

8. Ceramic animals. Ok, so this is definitely in the quirky category, but I adore some tabletop interest in the form of sleek white creatures like birds, horses, and even rhinos.

Find it on the cheap at: Z Gallerie, Marshall’s, TJ Maxx, Target, HomeGoods, garage sales, eBay, Craigslist, and thrift stores (you can even spray paint them white if they don’t originally come that way).

9. Decorative cups, mugs, or planters. We use these to store everything from pens on our desk to cotton balls in the bathroom.

Find it on the cheap at: Target, Ikea, Marshall’s, TJ Maxx, Target, HomeGoods, West Elm, Crate & Barrel, World Market and Pier 1.

10. Lidded glass jars. Whether they’re full of clothespins in our laundry nook or vacation momentos in our sunroom, glass jars of all sizes are super affordable and perfect for displaying everyday items in a fresh and polished way.

Find it on the cheap at: Target, Michael’s, Walmart, eBay, garage sales and thrift stores.

11. Green wine bottles & colorful vases. We love recycling wine and Pellegrino bottles to create free green vases which we mix with a few blue glass vases and votives on a tray to create a grouping that’s cheap and easy- but looks like stunning 3-D stained glass.

Find it on the cheap at: well, the wine bottles come free with the purchase of wine (and can even be hunted down at a local wine store that does tastings- they’re usually happy to dole out their empties on the house). The colorful glass vases can be found everywhere from Target, Marshall’s, and HomeGoods to TJ Maxx, Ikea, Pier 1 and Crate & Barrel.

12. Stacks of hardcover books. Just take off the plastic-y paper covers and let those pretty fabric spines steal the show.

Find it on the cheap at: Barnes & Noble’s clearance section, a used book store, garage sales, thrift stores, eBay and amazon.com.

13. Textured candle holders. We adore this lotus flower ceramic version that we grabbed for just a few bucks at HomeGoods and the mercury glass ZGallerie guys that we also picked up on the cheap.

Find it on the cheap at: ZGallerie, Pier 1, HomeGoods, Marshall’s, TJ Maxx, Target, Walmart, thrift stores and garage sales.

14. Fabric runners. We love breaking up all the wood in our rectangular dining table with this dead ringer for a pricey Potter Barn version (we snagged ours for less than $9 at Target). And two colorful runners displayed in the opposite direction are always fun too. We even use swatches of rough burlap fabric (no sewing required) when it comes to accessorizing our console table for everything from Thanksgiving to Halloween.

Find it on the cheap at: Target, fabric stores, Marshall’s, TJ Maxx, World Market, Walmart, HomeGoods and garage sales.

15. Candlesticks of all varieties. From white ceramic lovelies and clear crystal ones to mercury glass versions we’re all about having a slew of candlesticks on hand. They always look pretty en masse on a dining table- or even a coffee table- and they can also serve as seasonal decor for Christmas (just pop some ornaments on top in lieu of candles) or Halloween (melt red candle wax down white taper candles a la Martha Stewart for a goulish & bloody effect).

Find it on the cheap at: Marshall’s, TJ Maxx, Target, HomeGoods, Z Gallerie, eBay, thrift stores and garage sales.

16. Faux shells. From the jumbo fake clam shell that we use as a fruit bowl in the kitchen to the smaller faux versions where we store jewelry or bathroom accessories, we just can’t get enough of this beachy look. And of course we love light and airy capiz shell frames and even a few other shell varieties to serve as everything from book ends to side table accessories.

Find it on the cheap at: Z Gallerie, Marshall’s, TJ Maxx, Target, eBay, Kohl’s and HomeGoods.

17. Something personal. We love wood block printing letters like these, or even an initial leaning against a window ledge for interest in a space

Find it on the cheap at: flea markets (where we got our wood block letters), Marshall’s, TJ Maxx, Target, HomeGoods, Crate & Barrel, Anthropologie and Pottery Barn (where we picked up our P).

So that’s a little roundup of our favorite go-to tabletop accessories. But what about you guys? Do you have any others on your must-have list?


  1. Michele Daggar says

    Yeah for accessories!!!! Love all the pictures of Casa Petersik. I really love the posts that show all the things that make your home so unique and inviting.

    I don’t know how you guys do it! Give Clara & Burger lots of hugs!

  2. says

    I’ll admit it. I was one of the people who needs this info! I love your little decorative pieces and the stories behind them. I like how it’s not just a random piece here for no reason. That’s why I love this site. I feel like I was at the wedding, the excitement of baby Clara, and all your successes.

  3. Carol N. says

    Wow, nice long and informative post! I have found all sizes of clear glass cylinders at the local Dollar Tree. Also small ceramic pots that I’ve spray painted white and even some decorative boxes for storage. You have to go pretty often, but sometimes you can find some real gems at Dollar Tree!

  4. says

    How ironic! I was just thinking about #16 and #17! I found a white ceramic shell over the weekend at a cute boutique near my house – it was only $2.50, and they sold it as a dip bowl. I am using it on my nightstand to hold my jewelry, hair accessories, etc., just like you’ve mentioned before. Also, my mom called and said she went to an estate sale and found stamps with her initials. I told her all about your idea too! Great timing! :)

  5. says

    You set a lovely table, Sherry! Thanks for the beautiful pictures on a Monday morning! What is the name of that coral book under your coffee table? (pic with the silver candlesticks with red/white taper candles). I’ve been looking for a book with pictures like the one on the cover…is the inside filled with those type of images?

    thanks so much!

    • says

      It’s called The Cabinet of Natural Curiosities (we snagged it on clearance at Barnes & Noble). Yup, it’s filled with fun botanical-ish sea and creature images for some chic and scienc-y fun!


  6. says

    Woo hoo. That post was *loaded down* with pictures… 51 from my count.

    We just got a few belated wedding gifts over the weekend which included one very ugly ceramic pear container with four matching pear and apple plates. We had already decided to regift it til I saw your first few pics with the little white pear.

    I was wondering if you knew if it’s a good idea to just sand it down and spray paint it. Is that even possible or should I just regift it?

    • says

      Liz- No need to sand anything! Just use some spray primer like Kilz, followed by glossy white spray paint. It’ll yield a totally new look!

      TG- That green hurricane with the rice in it is from TJ Maxx and the plant is called a Burro Tail (from Home Depot).


  7. TG says

    Love the cake stand arrangements. In #6 what kind of plant is that? Also, #2 the picture with the greenish glass with the candle and rice, where did you find that vase?


  8. Amy in PA says

    My current favorite vase filler is split peas. Kind like your rice but in a pretty shade of green. I also like sand, too. And I’ve scored some great & inexpensive table runners from the great land known as Ikea.

  9. Kristine says

    Awesome post! I love all the tablescapes. This definitely deserves a bookmark to use when I look for house accessories (not quite there yet, house still needs furniture!).

    Where did you get those green runners for your dining table?

  10. Kristen says

    Thank you for your amazing tips!! If I wasn’t at work I’d be running to the store to pick ALL of those up! (Although sadly, we don’t have a HomeGoods in Lynchburg. :( )

    Is there a particular spray paint you would recommend to spray the glass/ceramic animals? Because I bought a bird for my bedroom, and its this gross brown color right now, and I don’t know where to begin with the remedy for that!

    • says

      Kristen- Scroll back a few comments for that info. Hope it helps!

      Missy & Heather- This post explains where we store almost everything when it’s not in use (and the seasonal decor like ornaments, etc is stored in our basement).

      Ashley- Yup, all of the plants in our house (except for the ones in the basement) are real. We just get low light plants from Home Depot for a few bucks and over time we’ve learned what works in our house (burro tails, corn plants, pathos, etc).


  11. Missy says

    Love all the great accessories you have! I just wonder where you store everything when you change things out? Do you suggest having a clear storage box that you can easily switch things around? What’s your secret :)

  12. Rebecca says

    Just wanted to say I appreciate all the photos (worth a thousand words, right?) and the research you put into all your posts. It makes your posts very complete and thought-out, as well as interesting to read.

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