I recently had a sort of credenza custom built to hold all my TV-related accessories (dvd player, media computer, receiver, etc). It sits just below my TV which is mounted on the wall. There is nothing on the surface. It's a beautiful cherry wood finish and it needs no embellishment. I like it the way it looks, bare.
For some reason, it seems to attract purses & other paraphernalia when guests visit. It just happens to be at a spot where you have to pass it to come into the center of the family room so I guess it just looks like a nice logical place to lay your stuff down. The trouble is that I don't want people putting stuff there not only for the reason that it ruins the look, but also because I'd like to avoid inadvertent damage by buckles or buttons or other rough parts of purses, coats, etc.
What is a nice way to tell people to either not put their stuff down there in the first place (If I'm fast enough to be able to intercede) or to please remove it? I don't want to be rude and SS and act like my furniture is off limits or anything like that, and honestly, they can put their stuff pretty much anywhere else. It's just that I'd like to protect that one piece. I've asked people to move their stuff and with good friends, it's easy as I know they're fine with it. But recently I had a group of new friends over and I just didn't know how to say something to them without sounding creepy so I just let it go and their stuff stayed there making me uncomfortable but I just didn't want to sound rude.
Any suggestions? Thanks!