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A favourite of many interior designers, the console table is a prominent feature of many design projects.
You may have heard the name, and you may even have perused them on our website, but do you know what a console table is?
The console table is the side table’s more refined, older sibling. Long and narrow, they’re usually placed against a wall, the back of a sofa or the end of a bed.
These versatile pieces of furniture come in various designs and are either minimal and open in design, or come with drawers and shelves.
The console table is usually a stand-alone piece of furniture whereas side tables tend to stand alongside, and complement a sofa or armchair.
Additionally, the console table usually serves as a more decorative item than functional side tables. Think of side tables as a flat surface on which to place your cup of coffee. Console tables on the other hand exist to spruce up a space.
The word ‘console’ is thought to be derived from the French ‘consolide’ and the Latin ‘consolidare’, meaning ‘to strengthen.’
The original console tables of 17th-century France consisted of a tabletop slab strengthened by two wall brackets and scroll-shaped legs. Over time, console tables evolved to be freestanding.
Here’s how to make the most of your stylish occasion table:
In larger living rooms, where sofas aren’t against a wall, a console table placed behind one helps soften and blend the seating area. In this position, they also provide a surface for a table lamp.
Ensure the console table is roughly the same height as the sofa and slightly narrower.
When styling a console table, always consider balance. Accessories displayed on its top don’t have to be completely symmetrical, and you don’t have to use matching objects. However, matching the height of objects on either side creates harmony.
Alternatively, be bold and deliberately asymmetrical by going for taller objects in one corner, graduating down to shorter ones.
Console tables and mirrors complement one another perfectly. Whether you mount the mirror on the wall above, or place it directly on the table is ultimately up to you. But make sure the width of the mirror is narrower than the table.
Placing home accessories either side of the mirror works well. However, be careful not to obscure too much of the mirror and once again, think about balance. We recommend matching candlesticks or lamps on either side.
In much the same way as the mirror, the console table provides the perfect frame for a piece of wall-mounted artwork. As with mirrors, ensure the painting is slimmer than the table beneath it.
Use accessories sparingly on the table, particularly if the artwork is a bold, feature piece. Let the art do the talking!
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For lovers of the Hamptons interior aesthetic, check out our guide to recreating it with our shabby chic Hamptons coffee and console tables.
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