While most pieces of furniture serve a specific purpose, a console table is in a league of its own. Often placed behind a sofa or against a wall in an entryway, console tables offer a little storage and a lot of personality. How can your console table create a warm welcome for your home? These clever ways to decorate a console table can offer storage, create a mood or set the tone for your home’s interior design style. 

Bright Window with Antique Wood console Table, and Printed Drapery Panels
Design by Liz Cann & Co. / Photo by Eric Roth

Find Your Purpose

What do you want a console table to add to your home décor? If you only use yours to stash your keys or purse, you may miss some serious design opportunities. Consider these console table décor ideas to see if they work for your needs:

  • Collection display – Arrange unusual finds or vintage treasures from your travels or antique hunting. Put out items that can spark a conversation or capture the attention of your visitors to make the most of your object presentation. 
  • Home bar – If your room needs some help for entertaining, use a console table as a bar cart. Arrange attractive glasses and spirits on top, and don’t forget an ice bucket! Any extra shelves below the tabletop work well for storing barware, mixers or other essentials of your mixology passion. 
  • Art exhibit – Small sculptural pieces can make a big impact atop a console table; likewise, the wall space above is another area that begs for paintings, photographs or other artwork to display. Let your style sense be your guide to help you determine the scope and scale of the art you want to include.
  • Natural oasis – Bring in a bit of the outdoors by using a wood console table to reflect the natural beauty outside your door. If you have ample daylight, add a plant or two for an organic touch and a pop of verdant color.
Gold and black console table, white wainscoting in breakfast room
Design by Summer Thornton / Photo by Werner Straube

Practice Scale

Small hallways to large foyers can benefit from a well-decorated console table. The trick is finding the right balance for your space. If your entryway is on the petite side, scale down with a small console table to hold keys or mail. Even a wall-mounted shelf can serve this purpose; leave room for a small lamp to brighten a dark hallway and minimize the rest of your limited space to avoid clutter. Consider a longer or unique console table for a roomy foyer to command attention and fit the proportions of your home.  

Drop the Anchor

Decide your decorating angle with an anchor above or on your console table. Think of it as the heaviest object that defines the feel of your vignette. An anchor can be a stunning piece of art, a unique vintage wall clock, a textile wall hanging, or even a large mirror to reflect light. Speaking of light, consider a single or pair of table lamps to illuminate a dark hallway or bring light into a shadowy entryway.  

Get in the Zone

A console table may be a singular piece of furniture, but three main areas can define the space around it. Below the table is a good spot for a woven basket or other eye-catching storage containers. Don’t forget to add a rug to ground this lower space. The middle area is the top of the console table itself, which sits below eye level. What you put on the tabletop should be interesting enough to create a focal point. Finally, above the console table is the high zone, where you make good use of vertical space with paintings or a mirror to check your gorgeous self before you walk out the door.

Brooklyn Townhouse - Entry/Hallway with blue door, colorful Moroccan rug, and teal hanging wall console
Design by Amy Lau Design / Photo by Lauren Coleman

Build up Layers

Another interior design principle that applies to console table décor is layering textures. Start with the furniture material; do you want a glass, metal or wood console table to define your style? From there, you can play around with other materials and accents to add variety and creativity to your vignette. If you have a traditional or transitional home design, you may want to stick to a symmetrical layout of lamps and objects. If modern farmhouse, granny chic or boho is more your speed, play around with accents that are less expected or more personal to you.  

Bring in Color

Vibrant hues and muted tones, even black and white, can all make a statement when you style your console table. Modern, contemporary and minimalist styles may dictate your color choices, whereas an eclectic or casual feel may invite in bolder colors. Consider monochromatic color schemes or relying on nature’s palette of brown woods and green plants to determine the colors you incorporate when designing a console table. 

Eclectic and Bohemian Gold Coast Condo Renovation entry with woven bench and black acrylic waterfall console
Design by Elizabeth Stamos Design / Photo by Dustin Halleck

Curb Your Clutter

Even if you don’t have a particular theme or specific objects you want to include on your console table, you can still keep clutter to a minimum. Add a trinket dish or valet tray to hold your keys, wallet, loose change or mail and provide a different location to hold umbrellas, jackets or bags. After all, a console table isn’t a mud room, so don’t ask it to pull more than its weight. Think of it as a greeter, not a pack mule.  

Mix It Up

Design isn’t a linear process; it’s an evolution. The look you choose for your home today may feel stale in a few years. Why not invest in a quality console table you adore and a lamp or two with timeless style? From there, seasonally switch your objects, bowls, candles and even artwork. Using your console table to reflect festive occasions or a special time of year can keep your foyer looking and feeling fresh. 

Are you inspired to shop for a new console table to decorate? Find a one-of-a-kind piece at Chairish. Our collection of home décor and furniture is an innovative approach to sustainable design, so look for new treasures to complement your home when you browse our site. 

Lead photo design by Mendelson Group / Photo by Eric Piasecki


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November 18, 2022

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