Console Tables: The Perfect Fit

In the world of interior design, console tables are on fire right now, finding their way into our homes’ spaces in new and surprising ways. It seems like every day someone comes into Nell Hill’s looking for one of these decorating gotta-have pieces, and as soon as we get a shipment in, they are out the door, making magic in someone’s home. (Starting July 15, they and all our wood furniture will be 20% off through August 15!)

I totally get this passion for consoles. Wood pieces add much-needed weight and structure to a roomscape. And consoles are perfect if you want a table that delivers maximum visual impact using a minimal amount of space.  Here are a few of my favorite ways to use console tables.


Under a TV

Flat screen TVs are so wonderful to work with when designing a room. Unlike days of old, when we had big, bulky units to work around, today’s streamlined TVs can fit in small spaces with no fuss. At Nell Hill’s, most of the console tables we sell are used under a TV, with the TV either mounted on the wall above it like artwork or perched on its top. That’s how I use my console in my lake cottage. While the top of the table needs to be pretty clear to not obstruct the view of the TV, take advantage of the space below for a display or storage.


Under Artwork

I’m over the moon about the big, bold, modern artwork that’s so popular right now. Striking art wakes up a wall and makes a huge statement in the room. A perfect spot for a large painting – or any artwork, from a mirror to a grid of photos to a pair of botanicals—is over a lovely console. The table won’t compete with the art, but will visually ground it.

Everything goes when it comes to console tables, and the range of styles and looks available right now is exciting. This elegant, traditional console at Nell Hill’s has the most wonderful detailing, like these circular handles.


Behind a Sofa

A great way to visually divide a larger living room into more intimate conversation areas is to slide a console table behind a sofa. One of our favorite tricks is to scoot a bench or two small ottomans under the table, to use in a snap when you need extra seating. When not in use, the furniture fills in the empty space below the table, making the space seem cozier.


Filling an Empty Space

If your home boasts big, open rooms with tall walls and lofty ceilings, you’re probably looking for ways to make the space feel a bit more intimate. Console tables are your ace in the hole. Slide one in front of a large bank of windows. They are small enough they won’t obstruct the view, yet can offer space for storage or decorating.

Entry ways can be hard to decorate. What do you put in the space that makes it seem welcoming, yet won’t gobble up too much room? You guessed it: a console table. Slide a console against the wall near the door, top it with fabulous art or a mirror, a lamp, and maybe even a tray to hold your keys and purse when you walk in the door.

Console tables are also great in hallways, where you want a bit of visual appeal to break up those long, boring walls, but don’t have room for a big piece of furniture. When you pick a table like this one, the wonderful detailing makes it almost like artwork in itself.


In the Kitchen

My cousin Anne just renovated the kitchen in her fixer-upper. Instead of putting in banks of built-in cabinets, she opted to use a console table to store her china. I love how she filled the shelf below with dishes and storage baskets. The space above can be used to serve meals, like a buffet, or as a spot to decorate.


In the Dining Room

If a hutch or buffet just doesn’t work in your dining space, try a console table instead. It uses a lot less space, but still adds lots of pizzazz to the room. The photo above shows the console filled with books. But you could use it to hold china, serving pieces or table linens.


In a Home Office

All of us need extra storage in our offices. Consoles to the rescue! The lower shelves are a great home for your printer, baskets filled with files, books – you name it. The top? Decorate at will.


Next Week … My recent vacation in France taught me the value of making everyday moments a beautiful celebration.