Circular Dining Tables in Small Spaces

Conversational dining spaces are a must during the holidays. Not only will these tables house your guests while they dine and drink, but they can double as game and entertainment areas during the day. If you’re working with a small space, consider using a circular table.


Pair your circular table with upholstered chairs to give your dining table a more formal look.  MartyMason13953-Edit copy

Circular tables allow for more seating options in smaller spaces.  MartyMason0013-Edit copyAlternatively, your circular table can offer a more intimate area for guests to have morning coffee, play a game, or share a cocktail after dinner.


Circular dining tables are great solutions for small spaces and the holidays. Use a circular table for a small breakfast nook, a game table in a great room, or even as a second dining area for guests.

Interested in incorporating a circular dining table into your space? Let the Marty Mason Collected Home in-store design team help you find the perfect one for you. And with their custom upholstery line, they have your seating covered, too!



Accessorizing Your Guest Room


In preparation for Summer travel, now is a great time to spruce up your guest room offerings. You always want to be prepared for both planned and unplanned guests, so here are some tips to create a comfortable and inviting guest room:

  1. Have two sets of sheets for the bed. You always want to have your guest room bed made with clean sheets in the event of an unexpected guest. So, when one guest leaves strip the bed linens and put on the second, clean set. Then, you can leisurely wash the used linens at your convenience.
  2. Offer a variety of pillows. There’s nothing worse than an uncomfortable pillow while traveling. Offer your guests a variety of pillows (feather, firm, soft) so they can choose one that’s just right. Also, a good rule of thumb is to have 2 pillows per person.
  3. Find good books for the room. Offer a solution to travel insomnia or jet leg with a stack of good books. Choose books that they can easily be picked up and enjoyed (no John Grisham novels), like a graphic almanac, travel book, or novel of essays. One of our favorite guest rooms had a random year book from 1964. We loved it!
  4. Make sure outlets are accessible. In our digital age your guests will have a lot of devices in need of charging. Make sure there is an outlet handy, or if it is hidden that you point it out. As an added bonus, have an outlet (or adapter) with an open USB port already set up in the room.
  5. Stock the shelves with an extra blanket or two. Store your grandma’s afghans or other cool blankets in your guest room. That way, if your guest is cold they can easily remedy the situation instead of blindly fumbling around your house in the middle of the night.

How To Pick Wall Art

The age-old design question remains unanswered. What comes first: the furniture or the painting? For some, one show-stopping painting can become the inspiration for the room, while for others art is an afterthought. Whichever the case, wall art does not need to be limited to just the traditional painting. Mix up your wall art to include mirrors, found objects, or unexpected accents. Adding variety to your walls will create a “collected look” that is visually appealing and specific to your personal style.

Mirrors are an awesome interior design element. They go with every room, can make a space appear bigger, or, in this case, pass as art. Here are some of our favorite mirrors as art placements.

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Unexpected Accents
Art is everywhere, so keep your eyes peeled for the unexpected. The Design Mixologists of the Marty Mason Design Group have fun hunting for fab finds. Like these living plants that add a pop of color to a neutral design.
Or these bold, iron flowers.

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How To Accessorize A Bookshelf Display

libraryWhen it comes to bookshelf displays we are often asked how we pull off our signature “collected look.” A look that is refined, yet cool and casual. While it might exude the vibe that it was simply just thrown together, a successful “collected look” takes some thoughtful planning. Without it you could be left with a design that simply looks messy.

Here are our tips to organize bookshelves to achieve the collected look:

Incorporate color. Take the lead from your room’s color palate and choose items in its accent colors. Or, if your room has a serious case of the neutrals, allow your bookshelf accouterment to introduce a pop of color. As a general rule of thumb we stick to representing only 3-4 complimentary colors throughout the display to give it a cohesive, rather than busy or messy look.

Mix It Up. Despite their name bookshelves can be used for more than just books. Strategically place vases, artwork, or knickknacks alongside your books to give it visual interest.  Plus, the true essence of the “collected look” is to create a décor that looks like you have been collecting from years – a mashup of items will help you achieve it.

Display a collection. A collection of something – like vintage cameras, or vases from your travels – is a perfect addition to any shelving display. Place the items on different shelves throughout the display to give your collection a more organic feel, while still creating a sense of continuity throughout.

Create Balance. To create a bookshelf display that looks as good far away as it does up close, you will want to balance your design. Instead of filling one shelf with only books and another with a few candlesticks, stagger the weight of items throughout the shelves. For instance, you might put three books standing vertically on the left side of a shelf and another 4 books stacked horizontally on the shelf below. As a general rule of thumb, we first place the “heavy” or bigger items throughout the shelves, then follow up with the lighter weight items, staggering their placement as well.

Be Your Own Editor. While you want to create balance among the shelves in the bookshelf, you also want to create balance between your bookshelf and the overall room. Homeowners have a tendency to pack bookshelves full of stuff, often times making them a busy, disruptive focal point. Take a step back and analyze your bookshelf. If your shelves are too “busy,” remove items one-by-one (and regularly step back to review your work) until your bookshelf becomes a harmonious part of your room’s overall design.

And if it’s too daunting to be your own editor, we have plenty of them for you. Our Design Mixologists are on hand to answer any questions or give you advice. They will even be happy to set up a free in-home design consultation with you to help you achieve the collected home of your dreams.

Heat Up The Look Of Your Fireplace

fireplace3As the Polar Vortex sweeps across the nation yet again, we can’t help but think warm thoughts. But since we can’t drop everything and head to a tropical island, we’re left with cashmere sweaters, comfy blankets, and, of course, cozy fireplaces to keep us warm.

Even though we live in Atlanta and only use our fireplace a few times a year, we love seeing them in homes. Though, for some homeowners a fireplace can conjure up mixed emotions. On one hand they limit your space-planning options, as a room is typically designed around them. But on the other hand, when accessorized correctly they can have a dramatic impact to make your room stand out and be remembered.

Our Design Mixologists give some tips to incorporate your fireplace into your decor: 

Forgo the mantle. Contrary to popular belief, a fireplace does not need a mantle. Removing the mantle and letting the fireplace stand alone on a wall allows the wall to become the focal point. Cover the wall with stones, brick, or even an awesome patterned wallpaper.


Choose unexpected art. Instead of a traditional piece of art over the fireplace, think textured pieces, mirrors, or even both like we did in this residential design. It gives a simple, traditional fireplace and instant wow factor.


Add great seating. Just as important as its focal point status is the seating placed in front of it. You can use seating to add a pop of color, bring texture into a room, or incorporate your personal style like we did with our animal print GoGo Chairs.


Don’t overlook the interior. A fireplace is only in use for a short period of time each year, so make sure it looks good when it’s not in use. We gave this fireplace a cool tile treatment so it has unique look year round.

fireplace2As you start planning your fireplace decor, remember that our Design Mixologists are on stand by to help you find a look right for your home. And as always, our in-home design consultations are free. Just pop into any Marty Mason Collected Home store to inquire!

How To Choose Chairs For Your Dining Room Table

mmch-dining-roomUntil you’re actually shopping for dining room seating, you may not realize how many options you have. Sure you can purchase a dining table set that comes with a set of chairs, but sometimes the perfect table will require that you hunt for chairs on your own.

First, it’s important to understand the different styles of dining chairs available to you. Here is a quick overview of some of the more popular styles of dining chairs:

Traditional. These chairs typically have a wooden frame, featuring a curved leg, ornate slats on the back, and upholstered seat. Queen Anne and Chippendale chairs are two specific types of traditional chair.

Modern. Made from a variety of materials, like wood, molded plastic, or metal, modern chairs have a seamless look and a clean-lined silhouette.

Parsons. This straight back, clean-lined upholstered chair (available with or without a skirt) fits well with most design styles, making it one of the more popular options.

Shaker. Simplistic in design, this wooden chair usually features straight legs, with straight, horizontal slats on the back.

Windsor. Evoking a more country feel, this wooden chair option features spindle legs and a curved back with spindle style slats.

Here are some tips to how to choose the best dining room chairs for your dining room:

  • Stay in style. Unless you’ve got a super eclectic or transitional looking happening, a safe choice is to choose the same style chair as the rest of the room. If your dining room is more traditional, then choose traditional seating like the Marty Mason Design Group did below.

mmch traditional dining

  • Mix It Up. If space is an issue in your dining room, mix up the seating options by adding chairs with arms, like our Mistye Dining Chair, to the head of the table and armless chairs to the sides. You can also mix and match chairs of the same size to add visual interest to the space like we did here in this beach house design.


  • Consider scale. Scale is an important element for any space, but even more so for the dining room. If you have a smaller dining room, consider adding a bench that can be moved under the table when not in use, like we did in one of our designs below. With larger rooms, you can get away with using larger chairs to help fill the space.


  • Don’t Crowd Your Table. Typically, the table manufacturer will provide a recommended number of chairs to use. However, if you’re going to use a larger chair option make sure you allow for suitable elbowroom for your guests. A general rule is to provide 25 – 30 inches of tabletop space per chair.


  • Mind the Gap. You want your chair to comfortably slide under the table when not in use. A general rule of thumb is to provide 12 inches between the seat of the chair and the tabletop. If you’re choosing a chair with arms, make sure there is 7 inches between arm and table.

Need an professional eye to help you make a decision? Our in-store Design Mixologists are available to help you pick the right style chair for your table. Just pop in to any of Atlanta’s Marty Mason Collected Home locations and visit the Design Bar advantage of this free design service.