When it comes to styling surfaces around the house, coffee tables tend to get the most attention, and thus, steal the spotlight. But console tables are just as important—in fact, even more so, since they’re often located in the entryway, where a good first impression is crucial (though we’re also spotlighting console table decorating ideas all throughout the house, too). So keep reading to learn how the pros style their’s with the nineteen console table decorating ideas ahead. Trust us—these simple styling tricks will tie the whole place together.
Sculptural, understated, and decidedly avant garde accents are the name of the game in Athena Calderone’s living room. A rustic wood console is the perfect surface for sculptural vases and a catch-all (in this case, for palo santo) as well as a good place to tuck some extra seating under—always a good idea in a host’s entertaining space.
Take a page from Tamsin Johnson’s console table decorating book and feature florals that reflect the artwork—it’s the ultimate way to bring a work of art to life. Even better if you place your arrangement in cheeky vases like these. The contrast between the playful elements and the classic furniture is refreshingly style-forward.
Dinging rooms are another great place for console tables, as you can always use an extra spot for additional plating and florals. Whether you opt for a classic console or a buffet like Corey Damen Jenkins did here (the latter is a popular option for its bonus storage capacity), consider adding a lamp for extra task lighting that’s still stylish.
The space between a console table and floor can look a little awkward when empty, especially in a super collected and thoughtful space, like this hallway in the home of designer Mally Skok. So she decided to fill the gap with two decorative baskets that complement the tabletop antiques while also adding a more casual twist.
As stylish as decorative objects can look in that gap zone, you can also opt for a more functional piece, like a bench. Here, Catherine Kwong chose a bench that fits perfectly under the console table so it can be tucked away when not in use to keep that walkway clear. The angular mirror above draws our attention to the well-styled console. It’s the perfect use of empty space under a stairway.
The unexpected, eye-catching hot pink walls deserve an equally dramatic console to accompany them. In this 19th-century Brooklyn townhouse by Jonathan Berger, this is accomplished by going ultra classic with an elaborate gilt mirror and console, a traditional chinoiserie vase filled with super tall cherry blossom branches, and a chandelier. The mod armchair mimics the undulations of the decorative shell. All together, they work wonders for a pleasant surprise.
Simply no room for a console table? Try a pedestal instead. In this contemporary Santa Barbara adobe home designed by Corrine Mathern Studio, it fits perfectly behind the stairs and adds that extra oomph without looking out of scale. It’s the perfect “entryway” apartment solution when your front door opens up to your living room, kitchen, or even your bedroom.
Tamsin Johnson chose a low-to-the-ground, rustic console that could double as a bench. Thanks to its more slim profile, it’s the perfect fit for a tighter quarters yet it still provides an extra surface for decor. The mirrored wall behind it amplifies the space, making it feel more open and airy. The oversized photograph leaning against the wall along with the modern lamp and minimalist orchard all add a flare of effortless elegance.
Not in love with how your console looks? Or maybe you just want to switch things up? Take note from this one in an entry by Reath Design. They covered the existing console with gingham fabric, asserting the eclectic tone and style of the rest of the home. The pendant above and metallic vase make the vignette pop even more.
A double-tier console table has the added perk of more surface space for extra coffee table books while the top shelf can be designated to the essentials, like a light to leave on for anyone coming home late and a catch-all for keys. Pro tip: Hang a long mirror horizontally to mimic the proportions of the console table, as designer Heidi Caillier did here.
When you don’t have a double-tiered console table, you can still create a space for extra books and decorative objects. Get creative and use an accent stool when it’s not being used as a seat.
Or, here’s a third idea that requires no additional pieces of furniture at all: Simply stack the books from the floor until they reach the bottom of the table, like Nick Olsen did here. It’s surprisingly stylish and keeps you things looking organized. Then use the top of the console for a tray with bar essentials, especially in a study, home office, or living room.
Decorate your skirted console table the same way you would your mantel—with flowers, decorative objects, and candlesticks for mood lighting. The linen fabric draped over this one in a living room by Heather Hilliard Design adds a nice traditional and subtle touch to offset the modern, playful green lucite coffee table.
A demilune (French for “half moon”) is the perfect console table choice for pint-sized apartments or nooks and crannies. Plus, the rounded half-moon shape is softer than some angular designs of console tables. Here, Danielle Colding Design kept it simple with a catch-all on top of two design books and a clear vase that takes up minimal visual real estate.
If you do a lot of work from home, consider repurposing your console table into a desk or vanity table. In this bedroom by Tom Scheerer, the side table provides room for extra office supplies as well as bedroom essentials and adjustable lamp is perfect for both studying at the table and reading in bed.
A basket on the bottom tier of this console in a Reath-designed space is perfect for random items like scarves and sweaters but also looks stylish.
If you want something in the entry that gives you the look of a console table but with the added benefit of more storage space, opt for a slim dresser, like interior designer Raji Radhakrishnan did here. The drawers will allow you to hide unsightly essentials.
If you only have room for a slim console table in a smaller entryway, styling details are even more important, as it’s the one shot at a good impression. Here, the antique console strikes a great balance between upscale and refined, lived in and approachable. That’s made even more clear by the juxtaposition between the polished frames and classic portraits (a great pairing with the houndstooth print runner) leaning lazily on floor as well as the effortless bunch of wildflowers in a farmhouse pitcher. With just a few items, we already know what the vibe of the rest of the home will be, and we’re here for it.
If you opted for a floating sofa or sectional layout in a large living room, stacking a console table behind it will be a great visual cue of a transition in use case while also providing extra reading light. Use this space designed by Heather Hilliard as a blueprint.