Consoles, often referred to as sofa tables, are THE most versatile piece of furniture you can own. They provide style and function in almost every room of the house.
Where to Use a Console Table
Console tables vary in size, shape and style – you can find them for under $100 or spend several thousand dollars on one. It can be as sleek as a 14″ narrow metal frame supporting a glass top or as bulky as a carved wooden table 18″ wide with a stone top. Drawers, no drawers, shelves or open, tall, narrow, modern or rustic – this type of table is a hard working addition to your home.
Traditionally used behind a sofa, a sofa table can serve several purposes. Here the console is wide enough to serve as a mini breakfast or snack area, perfect for an apartment or small home. Placing a table behind a sofa often gives a finishing touch to the room when the sofa is floated away from the wall or hides an ugly or damaged sofa back. It also provides a place for a lamp for extra lighting as well as family photos or other accessories.
Who says a console table has to be rectangular? It just needs to look attractive, provide the function you need and fit within the space. Notice the use of more traditionally shaped Parson consoles flanking the fireplace. That’s an excellent use of that shape and provides balance and symmetry to the fireplace.
This lower table doesn’t interrupt the view to the TV from what I presume to be a dining area. And it really makes the all white back of the sofa more interesting.
Even small rooms can use a console table. Sandwiched between the sofa and wall, this table does triple duty: anchors art and is a place for accessories and lamps since there’s no room for the traditional end table.
In this case the sofa is pulled away from the wall (always a good idea) and idea of a sofa table is employed but adapted a bit by the use of two matching chests. The symmetrical placement of chests, lamps, and artwork lends an air of formality.
In this view there is no console behind the settee – the lines of the sofa back are beautiful and maybe there wasn’t enough clearance in the walkway behind this sofa. However, looking into the room, there’s a console behind the larger sofa - it holds a pair of lamps and a vase of flowers. As a practical addition, it holds the lamps for additional light; as an aesthetic addition it allows the display of beautiful accessories which visually draw you into the room.
A great option for portable seating is to flank a console table if there’s room. You could also tuck an ottoman or two under an open console. Need storage but your console has no drawers/shelves? Place a pair of pretty baskets or a stack of vintage suitcases under the table.
A console in the bedroom can provide extra table top storage or display space. I just like it because then my two bedsides don’t match!
Not a Table?
Sometimes you want to give a finishing touch behind a sofa that’s floating in the room but don’t have/want a console. There are other options. This room effectively places a bench behind the sofa which provides a totally different function. What function do you need fulfilled?
THE Most Versatile Table
The versatility of the console table can’t be denied; you should have one in every room of your house! Behind a sofa or between two armchairs it helps complete a room and gives a place for lamps and accessories on top. If it has shelves or doors, it provides attractive storage. Next to a fireplace it can give symmetry, storage, or anchor art. Use a console table in the entry way to set the style tone for the rest of the home as well as provide a practical function of a place for the mail or keys. In the bedroom the console table makes a great nightstand – its larger size is a great complement to a king size bed and gives more substance to the bed wall (plus all that great storage). In a hallway it can anchor a wall of family photos, in a breakfast room it can serve as an extra buffet serving center or even outside it can be used to hold plants, food or just pretty accessories.
Where do you find a console table most helpful? Is yours strictly decorative or does it fulfill multiple needs? Do you think there’s a more versatile piece of furniture? Drop a quick note in the Comment section!