By Natalia Hook
Console tables have become a popular trend in home furnishings, and it's easy to see why. Versatile and attractive, they utilize space effectively and help maximize open space. If you're asking, "What is a console table, anyway?" keep reading! This decorative dynamo has lots of potential.
Width and placement define console tables. They're narrow and intended to stand against a wall.Console tables are most often used in a decorative capacity, but throwing in a utilitarian element or two is easy.You can take advantage of the slim profile in a number of places, while combining attractive elements and functionality to make the best use of your space. Here are seven easy ideas to get you started.
The entrance to your home is an excellent place for a console table. Don’t worry if you don’t have a foyer or hall—this works even if you step right into the living room or kitchen.Space by the door of any entry is at a premium, and open space is needed to facilitate the flow of foot traffic.
No matter what the size of the room, open shouldn’t mean entirely empty. A console table, paired with the right piece of art or photograph, can create a beautiful focal point with a conservative footprint. With larger spaces, you can go longer for a truly elegant look, and in smaller entries, the narrow profile still provides a roomy effect.
As far as what to put on your console table, try not to clutter the surface.You don’t have to go minimalist (unless you want to!) but choose and place your décor thoughtfully, so each item can shine. Some simple ideas include potted plants, vases and bowls, framed photos, lamps, and candles, just to name a few. The possibilities are endless, and all up to you.
Making your entry console table a working piece of furniture is a no brainer. People are coming and going with all their trappings, so maximize your console table by making it your home drop zone. Add a pretty tray for keys and sunglasses, and bowls or baskets for wallets, phones, etc. A letter organizer can be handy for permission slips, school correspondence, and outgoing mail. Consider a console table with drawers to store other items you might need to grab on the way out, such as the dog’s leash, your checkbook, or even an extra garage door opener.
The space underneath your console table is valuable real estate, too. Depending on the style and width, you may be able to tuck a stool or ottoman underneath, perfect for a quick sit down to put shoes on. Alternatively, get a slim line mat and keep the shoes themselves there, or use floor baskets for house slippers and warm accessories in the winter, flip flops and baseball caps in the summer.
A console table for the TV is a natural pairing. Whether mounted or standing, your flat screen is at home coupled with a slim piece of furniture. With media in mind, consider a console table with storage, such as shelves or cabinets. Keep DVDs, remotes, etc. right at hand while providing immediate space for equipment such as your router, modem, even a stereo system. The bigger the console table, the more tech it can house, but even the smallest can support the basics.
Next to a Window
The slim profile of a console table also makes it a great piece to place next to a window. Big, boxy pieces of furniture block windows and look out of place, while console tables have a subtle enough profile to share the space beautifully. Maybe the view is a worthy backdrop for the table and décor. If not, a curtain can add some flair, or try creating a sun drenched table top tableau. This look can also be combined with one or more of the other ideas here, utilizing space and lighting to the best possible effect.
Consider using a console table in place of a traditional bedroom vanity to maximize space, or support an open floor plan. Selecting one with drawers provides easy storage-- just make sure there’s enough room underneath for a low chair or stool. Use table top space for a jewelry box, makeup brushes, and whatever else you want right at hand. Add a special piece of pottery, photograph, or other décor to personalize the space, or a blanket scarf or runner to lend some textile appeal. A large mirror can be hung on the wall, or a smaller one can stand on the table and be moved around to get the best light. Looking good!
Behind a Sofa
Sofas take up a lot of space, no matter how you slice it. A console table behind a sofa, on the other hand, takes up just a pittance, and adds a surface for creative decoration. Console tables in this location are best kept simple in design, as anything below the top is lost to view, as well as inaccessible.
Want to add some functionality to your sofa table? Try using this space for low profile electronics, like a router, docking station, or stereo speakers. And of course, anything goes for beautifying the area—maybe a dried botanical arrangement, an attractive piece of pottery, or framed photos to start.
You don’t need a big desk to create a work station in your home. Going with a console table instead allows you to utilize less space in a multi-purpose room, like the guest bedroom, or living room, or to make the most of a small designated office. Streamlined is the way to go, leaving plenty of room available for your tablet or laptop, notebook, or sketch pad. Wall space can keep a calendar, dry erase board, or shelved files right where you need them without any loss of square footage. Make sure to add a comfortable chair you don’t mind parking yourself in, too!
Every home has an odd little corner or two in which space is tight, or an area with large furniture that leaves little room for much else (think dining room set.) A console table can fill such spaces without making them appear cramped, as well as provide a place to put a few lovelies, or create a photo gallery using the table and the wall above. Alternatively, hanging a mirror over the table can create the illusion of more space and depth.
Console tables can be found in all sizes, colors, and designs. If you like vintage or antique furniture, be assured that there are console tables older than your mother, and your mother’s mother. If you’re looking for something modern, there are countless options in practically every price range, available everywhere from Target to ABC Carpet and Home. Interested in matching sets? Mirrors, end tables, coffee tables — the works — they’re all out there. Maybe it’s time for you to get out there, too, and bring your dream console table home.
Images used with permission, courtesy of Natalia Hook, www.shutterstock.com, and www.dreamstime.com