Console tables come in many forms – from sleek designs that seamlessly slip into a scheme, to bold statement pieces that make a striking impact. Whatever style you choose for your home, you will need to put some thought into dressing it for maximum effect. Every interior reflects its own unique character and console tables present a wonderful opportunity to show off a bit of personality with objects collected over the years, favourite art pieces, and showstopping floral arrangements. To spark inspiration, as well as outline a few helpful tips, we’ve pulled together some of our favourite ideas…
To create a sense of balance and build a beautiful vignette around your console table, hanging decoration above is often the clear course of action. Framed art tends to look great, though there are a few considerations to keep in mind when hanging it. If you’d like to showcase one great work of art, it generally works best to keep it narrower than the width of the tabletop. As far as framing, opting for similar colours and materials to the table creates a clean and cohesive effect.
If you’d prefer to go with a gallery of multiple art pieces, it’s alright to let it extend beyond the width of your console table. In this case, it’s often best to keep the tabletop relatively neat so as not to create too much visual clutter. For an especially unique approach, you can also introduce surprising elements to your hanging gallery, like hats or tapestries, for example. This helps to break up the scheme and create a sense of movement.
Mirrors are a popular choice to pair with console tables. More design-forward options like our Lily mirror can be just as impactful as a great piece of art, with the added bonus of functionality. Mirrors reflect light, creating a brighter ambiance in the space as well as making it feel larger. As a rule of thumb, it’s best to keep to a mirror that’s narrower than your console table. To add visual interest, consider hanging a mirror that creates juxtaposition with your table. You can opt for a distinctive shape, as with our Flint Console Table and Lily Mirror duo. The fluid, organic shape of the mirror set against the stark, geometric lines of the table creates an intriguing sense of contrast. If you do go this route, it often works well to echo elements throughout the design scheme so as to unify the different parts, opting for similar materials and finishes, for example.
When arranging a display on your console table, it’s important to introduce different levels and shapes. Go for taller elements like floral arrangements or lamps, set against shorter objects like bowls, boxes, and books. Using elements from the same collection, like candle sticks or lamps that echo the shape of the table, can help to unify the scheme. Our AVA design, for example, takes many forms from console table, to candle sticks, to floor and table lamps. It is, however, best to always include some level of variation to keep the eye moving. Plants or even dried grasses work well to soften the look and create a more relaxed quality. Keep in mind that less is generally more when it comes to decorating a console table. Too much clutter will detract from the beauty of the furniture itself as well as affect the utility of the table if you use up too much surface area.
Creating balance in a design scheme doesn’t always come down to symmetry. It can be a very effective tool, however, if you’re looking to create an especially clean and orderly look. If you prefer a less structured approach, be sure to even the visual weight across the tabletop. In the case of our Capricorn Console Table, we’ve combined it with a large painting at one end and a more compact artwork paired with a small ceramic at the other end to ensure a sense of equilibrium. Both approaches look neat and even, evoking a feeling of harmony.
When dressing a console table, it’s important not to work in a vacuum. The display has got to tie into the larger interior scheme, emphasising your favourite elements. Echo qualities of the parts of the room that you like best around your console table to build up these motifs throughout your space. For example, you can integrate some of the same materials or colours into your console table decoration. DND Design has tied the glass vessels on our Siena Console Table together with the floor features through the repetition of brown handles. These, in turn, share a similarly neutral colour palate with the side tables in the seating arrangement, as well as the chairs. The result is a scheme that feels naturally united.
For a console display that makes a real impact, it works well to go for a strong, sculptural table sparingly decorated. If you’ve got a piece of furniture that you really love, you should avoid pulling attention with too many adornments. For a more formal, structured scene, creating a symmetrical display can be very striking. In the case of our Capricorn Console Table, interior designers, Etons of Bath have paired it with a mirror that mimics the shape, visually fusing it with the table. They’ve decorated minimally with two tall lamps to frame the scheme, and a strong, sculptural object cast in the same bronze colour as the table and mirror.
To craft a curated, artful display that treats the table itself in more purely decorative terms, scale back on functional décor, instead opting for art objects that emulate qualities of the console. Keep the spread simple with very few pieces so as not to draw focus from the furniture but, rather, heighten its best qualities. Done with consideration, it can make for a truly striking feature table, anchoring the space through creating a clear focal point.
Text by Annabel Colterjohn