We’ve come to adore console tables, they’re wonderful adaptable pieces of table furniture that come in many forms and styles. These slimline tables have seen a resurgence in popularity with many newer models and versions helping break the mold with what they now offer. With such a variety now available there may be those that aren’t sure what exactly sets a console table apart from a side table or coffee table. Here’s what we think defines them:

What is a Console Table?

There are a few characteristics that solidly define a console table apart from other household tables:

  • Slimline design is essential. The most instantly recognisable feature is the slimmer table surface and often frame, too. That isn’t to say that frames and bases now don’t come in larger sturdier designs, but in keeping with the overall aesthetic – the shape as a whole is sleek. The work top will generally be a slender long rectangular shape.
  • Placed against a wall 99% of the time. You’ll notice the styling of console tables in photography will always have one placed against a wall. This is key to how these are used – designed as an accent piece for hallways, corridors and to supplement larger pieces of furniture in larger rooms.
  • Being a decorative surface is often the primary use.  Owing to their sleek surface design they’re not tables to eat dinner off or do arts and crafts on. Instead use as a platform to showcase your style and collections of ornaments, plant life or even tech. They frame select art and prized décor perfectly, elevating it at a level that’s in clear eye line of those sat down, but also visually available for those standing. We’ll get to how to style a console table in just a moment!
  • Storage can feature.  There are many a living room console table or hallway table that now offer storage with drawer compartments. This can be a lifesaver for those pesky household items that won’t readily go anywhere else – house keys, stationary, post that’s yet to be sorted or general house bits.

The Atlantic 1 Drawer Console Table Neutral



Which style will suit me and what decorative suggestions are there?

Now we’ve covered the basics of what a console table is, it’s time to get creative and explore the options with how best to style one. This will often firstly hinge on your personal style and the type of console table you either have or intend to use. There’s a wide range of options when it comes to this humble home table. Below, we’ve covered our favourite styles for consideration with accompanying pictures & suggestions. 

Industrial Console Table

The Urban Table is everything a warehouse-chic table should be, strong muted metallics and excellent use of repurposed timber. This example goes to show just how much storage can be crammed into one console table.

How to style?

We’ve learned that with industrial furniture less is more. So, keep the ornaments placed atop small and few in number. As the bases of this type of console table often feature metallics, any metallic ornaments, or similarly glass pieces, work especially well.

white and grey console table against wall under large circular gold mirror.The Farmhouse Table

The White & Grey Table is the quintessential representation of a rustic rural styled table. Note the chunky wood surface and pre distressed reclaimed pine frame. Shabby chic perfected.

How to style?

Plant life is a lovely addition to this console table style, the country home feel to the piece lends itself excellently to framing natural world elements. Of course, always stay in bounds of your own decor but think seasonally if using plants. We think dried stems placed in a vessel would make the perfect option for autumn. Otherwise ornaments and decor to think about using include; wicker items like a small basket or place mat, or spruce with ceramics like an authentic rustic vase

The Living Room Table

The Serenity Console Table
The living room console table is defined by its display space and functionality, often providing some storage. For this reason, both industrial and rustic styles could work, depending on your own decor preference. We think The Serenity Console Table would make a lovely living room addition, clean and neutral and with a small drawer to tidy away household clutter.

How to style?

This is your chance to display prized possessions. To most, the living room is one of the most used rooms in the home, so it makes sense that the most precious or sentimental objects get pride of place here. As long as moderation is exercised, so as to limit the clutter, anything of personal value tends to work. Such as meaningful photos in a beautiful frame(s) , a significant vase or piece of nostalgic art.

The Designer Console Table in BlackThe Hallway Table

In some ways similar to the living room hallway console table, functionality plays a large role with the hallway table. This acts as a wonderful place to display knick-knacks that won’t fit the style of the living room, or a lamp or candle to illuminate darker spaces. It’s also an ideal surface to keep things needed when heading out of the door – keys for example. We love the multi-tier look and utility value with the striking Designer Console Table, sure to be an easy template when considering how to style a console table.

How to style?

Picture frames will suit those looking to display sentimental moments, the ones that aren’t already occupying the living room or elsewhere. A decorative bowl or plate may work for placing those day-to-day items needed as you come and go. We’re of the opinion, however, that less is more with a hallway table as it may all too easily become a dumping ground, so think simple and sparse!

The All Metal TableThe Metal Frame Console Table Antique Gold

A metallic console table tends to be the modern and chic option for homes. This will suit contemporary spaces and those happy to embrace the minimalist stripped back approach to furniture. See the Metal Frame Console Table as a wonderful on-trend example.

How to style?

It’s as simple as  – stay in theme. Whether that be with the colour scheme and general decor style of the space that the table is placed, or literally placing only metallic decor atop is one approach which works.  In particular you may find candle sticks, votives and lanterns may fit nicely.

With many console tables, various ornaments and general decor tricks and methods to choose from we hope that our run through has shone some illuminating insights on how to style a console table like a pro! If it’s specifically a rustic option you’re looking for you may also like our article: Our 5 Favourite Rustic Console Tables on IO Living.



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