Beat of the Drum Table

In our Chicago living room, a Mridangam drum from Tamil Nadu sits between two chairs.

Hear and see a Mridangam being played:


My husband can play it quite well but I lack that talent. So on Sunday mornings when I’m reading the newspaper, too lazy to lean over to the coffee table, I carefully balance a coffee mug on the drum. Yes that’s all it will hold. One coffee mug. Or one well-balanced cat. Never both at the same time. Speaking of cat, see my boy who wanted to be part of the photo shoot, showing off his balancing skills:

Everyone who comes over must bang on the drum. Everyone! It never fails. They’re compelled to do it. They spot it and make a beeline for it. Even people who haven’t seen these before know it’s a drum and they’re driven to pick it up and start a beat. And that’s perfectly OK! It’s fun.

It plays a role in cat play too.

I wondered if anyone else is using drums as tables like this. Surely someone else must be. Because about 15 years ago  we were in a little shop in Saugutuck, Michigan where we saw an enormous  wide and squat African drum (I don’t know which country it was from) used as a coffee table.  I wanted it. We departed and forgot about it and never went back for it. Fifteen years later, I still think about it. Is that obsession or what.

In only 15 years the world has shrunk and now we shop globally online for drums — musical and purely decorative. Here’s a few beauties …

Bestill my  heart, this drum shown at The Way of Design in Australia:

From Wisteria:

This was at Restoration Hardware, but seemingly no longer available. Sorry to tease you:

Also no longer available (was at Design Toscano) but worth sharing to seek something similar:

I’m not sure this image is originally from, but this type of drum table is so common, you can find similar tables at Pottery Barn. Two together is even better:

Here’s another set of these drums, two together, in an Elle Decor showhouse:

Well what do you know, here’s another duo of these drums at

This drum is at Ten Thousand Villages but I have to say as a vegetarian, this just pains me:

And another one:

However, if you like this look, you could create these DIY with faux furs available in sewing and craft stores and online shops. Carol’s Zoo is a nice source for faux fur.

From Drum Bum, this is kind of cool looking:

From Musician’s Friend, I love this one:

Also from Musician’s Friend, gorgeous Thai drum but it’s very short and would need to be set or mounted on something to serve as a side table:

Yet another from Musician’s Friend, this drum could go well with a lot of IKEA stuff:

Do you have any drums around your house? Have you thought about putting them on display in a different way?

Next, I will post about an Asian rain drum, also in our living room …

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