Shake It Up Baby - It It's Pretty & Works For You, That's What 'Goes'

If you don't want a coffee table in your room, don't have one. Or, top an ottoman with a tray for holding drinks when you temporarily need a table. Or, use a stack of art books as a table.

Or if you are a mix and match kinna' couple, you're 'Park Avenue' and he's more 'Green Acres,' give him his bale of hay as an ottoman. New York fashion designer Cynthia Rowley literally did this. One of the most recognized personalities in fashion, Rowley designed her first dress at age seven, she's even designed a concert tour shirt for Bruce Springsteen and she had a friend make a bale of hay ottoman.

If it's pretty and if it works for you, that's what goes! Don't be afraid to mix things up. Opt for the unconventional, such as this great lucite stool cloaked in mink rosettes by designers Heather Hoyt and Alison Diamond. Toss out all those old rules, its the juxtaposition of low- and highbrow that makes this stool work. Similarly, top two sawhorses with a slab of glass and you've got your dining room table.

Sometimes old rules are broken because of space limitations. In smaller homes, not only does every piece of furniture or item have to be pretty, but we want it to be multifunctional (as in the case of the secretary desk shown here). When space is precious, don't let a room's name tell you what to use it for. Forget the name. Use rooms for the way you really live, call it luxuriously casual, if you like. Screens are terrific for creating smaller areas within larger space and their portability makes them perfect for temporary changes.

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