How to Style a Console like the Pros

A console table is one versatile piece of furniture.  Because of its narrow profile, it’s the perfect choice for hall or foyer, where pass space is often at a premium. But anywhere in your home, a console table has potential for good looks.


A console table is useful (and beautiful) behind a sofa positioned away from the wall. Its slim proportions don’t take up much space, but do offer a spot for lighting and decorative pieces near the center of your room. In a dining room or home office, a console table, especially of the cabinet variety, can provide display AND storage space.


Let’s look at some examples of console arrangements from The Mint Julep boutique for lessons on how to style a console table.

Console styles vary widely.  Pick yours! Whether open or closed, one shelf or two, sleek modern or farmhouse rustic, consoles have in common slender proportions: in general 14-18” wide and about 30” tall. They are often  positioned against a wall, which invites you to make a beautiful grouping with the console table as the centerpiece.


First, choose a large piece of art or a mirror to anchor your arrangement and hang it (not too high) above the console. Another option is to hang 2-3 related pieces over the console, such as matching mirrors.


Now you can begin placing your display on the table top. You’re going for a balanced look. Sometimes that means actual symmetry, but otherwise simply balancing out the visual weight of the items. In the first photo, the “weight” of the candlestick grouping on the right is balanced by the large pitcher and floral arrangement on the left. Between the two are accent pieces of varying heights, shapes and textures, that keep the eye moving over the arrangement. 


For interest, you want something tall to connect the artwork to the table. Both the candlesticks and vase of flowers perform this function--and look stunning as well. 


Remember to avoid too much of the same shape: the rounded items above (tray, daisies, pitcher) break up all the right angles of the table and art. 

While this grouping is more symmetrical, it follows the same principles: large wall art, balance, and interesting items of varying shapes and heights between. 


Layering is an important part of visual interest. Notice how the figurines sit in front of the lantern and the lampshades overlap the mirrors, creating depth.

With its glass doors, this console offers display possibilities above and below. See the display principles at work? Large art is connected to the console top by tall candlesticks on the left and a tall tiered tray on the right.  The crescent shaped dough bowl spans the space between and connects the two elements. Succulents and mini pumpkins show pale greens and frosty whites that are echoed in the candlesticks and tray left and right for a cohesive look.  On the shelves below, white pumpkins in a zigzag pattern balance the visual weight. 


In a hall or foyer, console tables really shine, because they offer an opportunity to create a lovely welcome for your guests that’s also a preview of your home’s style.