Using items that you have collected over the years can add a lot of personality to a space in your home. The trick is to arrange the items creatively so that there is a variety of texture, height, color, and scale. Coffee tables are perfect places to experiment with your personal collections. For example, on a coffee table, begin by placing a tall vase made of glass or ceramic and fill it with fresh flowers or tall natural branches from a tree. This will give you a combination of a natural material mixed with glass. The next step would be to add a tray (rattan, lacquer, metal or acrylic) or boxes made of inlaid bone, perhaps from your travels. Continue to layer with low stacks of interesting picture books such as art history, photography or biographies. Finish the look with a "pretty little something" on top of the books such as a bird statuette or a large seashell. Now you have a beautiful display of interesting objects that are not only wonderful to look at, but reflect who you are as well.