Speaking of Greek Key...
This tiny table is one of the first antiques I ever bought for myself. One Saturday, years ago, Carson and I spotted it on Bennett Street and I went back to look at it quite a few times. Then it seemed like a perfect first purchase -- character and elegance in a pint-size package that would fit nearly anywhere. (The top is about the size of placemat.)
I still love the looks of it, and its small scale has made it an ideal pretend "restaurant" table for my little niece. But now I know it is not as versatile as a piece like Mallory's chest. Since I do live in a small space, the table needs to perform a function; it always either has a lamp on top or a stack of books, and this hides the striking inlay that drew me to it originally. (And it feels a bit too delicate to serve as a stool.)
So if you are pondering a first investment, I recommend a small chest, with decorative interest on the front, that can be used as storage and in myriad other ways -- end table, bedside table, bar etc.
But back to Greek key. If you want to wow your mom this Mother's Day, wrap her gift with flat trim. Last Christmas I received a gift purchased from Coleen & Company. The wrapping, shown above, was exquisite. Atlanta's Lewis Sheron offers Greek key trim in many colors, priced about $10 per yard. (I know. This is for a luxurious touch.)