What To Consider Before Buying A Console Table

Equal parts stylish and practical, a console table is a valuable addition to almost any home. Whether you want one to showcase your favourite decorative objects, fill an empty space or offer a compact storage solution in a restricted area, there are a few things to think through before you invest. To help narrow the search, we asked several interiors experts how they would use and style one, before selecting some of our favourites…

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Consider The Aesthetic

“Console tables are available in a wide variety of styles and can include traditional 'skinny' tables, wooden benches and marble-topped tables to more sculptural pieces and antique dressers – you will find a wealth of styles available to work with any aesthetic,” predicts Rosie Ward, creative director at Ward & Co. “You don’t need to blow the budget either. These days high-street brands such as Cox & Cox, West Elm and Atkin & Thyme have some really eye-catching pieces to suit any space.”

Determine Its Purpose

“This will drive the material, height, depth and style of your console table,” advises Monique Tollgard of Tollgard Design Group. “Sculptural pieces may feature interesting material choices like marble and metal, but functional consoles may prioritise more practical design features like ceramic tabletops and shelves – particularly in a room that gets a lot of traffic.”

Use It To Make A Statement

“A console table can easily become a feature in its own right by pairing it with a carefully curated selection of decorative objects such as a statement mirror, bright floral display or unusual, textured ornament,” says Rosie. “It’s also a great opportunity to inject some personality and interest into a space. Consider using family photographs – either hung above or displayed on the console itself – to show off your individual style and family history.”

Keep Proportions Balanced

“It’s important to consider the location of the console, the wall behind it, and the placing of any artwork or mirrors above it – and don’t forget the lighting either,” advises Ivana Allain, studio director of Helen Green Design. “Balancing the height of the objects positioned on top of the console is also something to keep in mind. Try not to cover your artwork in doing so, although it often works well to cover up part of a mirror with the arrangement, as it can add additional visual depth to a room.”

Don’t Be Afraid To Go Bold

Georgie Wykeham, founder of Georgie Wykeham Designs, says: “Console tables are a great way to dress up or fill an otherwise empty space, as well as injecting a touch of colour. Decide on whether you want the piece to be a bold part of the scheme or a more subtle feature, then colour it appropriately. If art is an important part of your home, it's also worth taking into account the colours within the various pieces that the furniture will sit underneath or nearby.” 

Create Storage Space

“If you have space underneath your console table, make the most of it by adding hidden storage,” says Sylvia James, interior designer at HomeHow. “For example, you could place some woven baskets underneath a console table in the hallway to store shoes or umbrellas close to the doorway. Small trinket bowls are also perfect for holding keys, sunglasses or other small items you might need to grab before leaving home.”

Don’t Forget About Lighting

“When you’re planning the location of a console, remember to check to see if there’s a plug or electrical circuit nearby which could host additional lighting or support the use of a table lamp –  a 5amp will ensure the lights switch on from the wall,” explains Monique.


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