No Fail Objects for Styling a Console Table

By Kate Riley September 4, 2014

Fall is approaching and in this season I get all vignetty – that desire to style vignettes around the house with fallish things. My entry console table looked a little ho hum so I picked up a new vase and some candles today, filled the vase with olive tree clippings from my yard, and tucked some baskets below for shoes.

The console table is one of the most useful pieces of furniture, it adds storage and style to a narrow space in a foyer or tucks up nicely behind the back of a sofa. I rounded up several favorite examples of console tables that add both beauty and practicality to a space. I noticed many commonalities in the way that they’re styled with layered objects, here’s a list of “no fail” objects to gather on yours too.

Branches or Botanicals. One of my favorite things from nature to add to any vignette are branches. In any season, they are tall and sculptural and reach up high into vertical wall space adding organic appeal. But anything botanical works on a console table and adds that “something living” element such as a small vase of flowers or a collection of succulents or a just a few yard clippings from a favorite perennial.

black console table styling

hudson interior design

Baskets. Baskets fill the negative space below a console table and add desirable texture. They also bring the benefit of extra storage: linens in a dining room, wood in a living room, shoes in an entry. etc.

west elm console table

west elm

Lamps. Singular or in pairs, lamps add the obvious: light! Or better yet, dimmer light than overhead chandeliers for greater ambiance. A great lamp will also be statuesque on your console if its base is curved, faceted, colorful, or alluring in some way. 

console with lamps

better homes and gardens

blue lamps on console honeywerehome

honey we’re home 

Books. New or old, a stack of hardcover books is always appealing on the interesting topics of travel, architecture, history, or design. In a community space, make them ones that visitors will want to thumb through during their stay.

bluestone console

crate & barrel 

console with books and mirror

better homes and gardens


Mirrors. If your console table is against a wall, prop it with a mirror or hang one above. Mirrors serve two functions, they’re decorative and they pull light into a space, win win! 

black console table

ferreira design 

black console hunted interior

hunted interior

Twin Ottomans.  A pair of stools, X benches, or storage ottomans adds symmetry to a console table vignette, especially where the objects above are styled asymmetrically. Bonus: extra seating for parties! 

styled console rue mag

rue magazine

console table holt interiors

holt interiors

Art Collection. Variety is the spice of life as they say and it applies to the gallery wall too. A collection of art puts your personality on display and allows you to get creative by varying both the frames and/or content above your console table.

mirrored console twin stools

via adore home

black and white console

no 365

Distinctive Pieces. A console is a great spot for your unique pair of carved animals or an interesting collection of objets d’art, they’ll be visible to admire for all who pass by.

burl wood console


vases and butterflies on console

source unknown

Personal Mementos. Your home is your haven, it should reflect who you are and the life you lead. Lamps and books and art are all lovely but it’s those little things like family pictures that make a house a home. Include them in your console table styling!

blue console


Did you notice the commonalities and how all of these console tables had at least two of the listed objects? What items do you include when you style a console table or sideboard? .


  1. I am looking for a console table for our entry. I love the way nature is brought into each design. I couldn’t believe all those branches and twigs in the vase — my gosh! we just had a storm and we have two garbage barrels full of downed branches and twigs. I’d better go outside and start fishing them out. I figure that by the time winter comes along I’ll just spray paint them white :-) Thank you for jogging my memory.

  2. Why do all the photos look like the tables are cluttered, why must every inch be used, often less is more.

  3. Hmmm…”Less is more?” that works for some and on the other hand, there is a famous designer whose name eludes me at the moment who says – “Less is a bore.” I myself am in the latter camp.

  4. What a great and another inspirational post, Kate, just after the inspiration of your “finished floors”. And how timely. Planned to re-home my wide/deep queen sleeper sofa (the “everybody has to have a couch” one that I moved with) when I got ready to redo the floors. Figured why not now so moved it across the room and substituted a gorgeous 6′ wide antique oak dropleaf table in it’s place (20″ across the middle). Now I have tons of room (don’t really need a sofa) and suddenly the dull vaulted ceiling behind the couch over which my 5′-wide aspen painting was being held captive has taken on new life and I’m excited about what I can do with it. I already have a stand of green bamboo poles in a glass cylinder in the corner.

  5. I love Fall! I really like the more rustic/natural elements brought to some of these consoles – especially the branches and chopped wood.

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