How to Decorate a Console Table

What Do You Put on a Console Table in a Living Room?

Practical and chic console tables are the perfect furnishings to tie a living room or den layout together. While it can make a gorgeous decorative piece on its own, topping your console table with functional, eye-catching accents can take your design to the next level. Wondering how to decorate a console table? Check out these suggestions and tips.

Overview

This article offers decorating ideas for a console table, including information about:

Learn how to enhance your chic, practical design using console table decor.
Learn how to enhance your chic, practical design using console table decor.

How Do You Stage a Console Table?

Sofa table type and dimensions often play an important role in what you put on top of your console table. Of course, a small or narrow console table only gives you a limited amount of room for decorative accents, while longer, wider models offer more tabletop space to work with. However, where you intend to place your console table can determine what you set on its surface as well.

If you’re planning to put your console table against a blank wall, you might prefer decorating it with tall, eye-catching accents that fill in the empty space. On the other hand, if you set it behind your sofa or sectional or in front of your window sill, you’ll want to add fewer items to the tabletop to avoid knocking things over when you turn around or go to open your windows.

Consider your console table dimensions and placement to determine what type of decor you should place on it.
Consider your console table dimensions and placement to determine what type of decor you should place on it.

Choosing Console Table Decor

Once you have your console table set up in your chosen space, think about what purpose you want it to serve. Is it going to be a stand-alone furnishing that enhances the stylish look of the layout, or will it be a spot for functional decor and other living room essentials? After answering those questions, you can start decorating your console table with some of the following items.

Practical Console Table Decor

Topping your console table with functional accents helps maximize its practical potential. Place coordinating table lamps on either side of the console table to provide task lighting while you read or do crossword puzzles on your couch. If your living room set lacks a coffee table or end tables, use your console as a landing spot for TV remotes, video game controllers, glasses and other odds and ends.

Planning to use one of these pieces as a room divider in your studio apartment? Line up some of your favorite books along the surface to turn your console table into a unique single bookshelf. You could also establish a potted-plant garden on the tabletop or set a flat-screen TV atop your console table and use it as a space-saving entertainment center.

Top your console table with living room essentials to add a functional flair to the space.
Top your console table with living room essentials to add a functional flair to the space.

Decorative Console Table Accents

If your console table is strictly a decorative piece, spruce it up by adding a few stylish accents like colorful vases, silk floral arrangements and gorgeous tabletop sculptures. You can also place framed photos, scented candles, and hand-painted bowls full of shimmering stones on your console table for a touch of subtle yet stunning charm.

When adding decor to your console table, keep your overall aesthetic in mind. For example, if you have a contemporary, rustic, modern, traditional or farmhouse-style console table, top it with items that suit that design style. On the other hand, decorating an industrial, mid-century modern or transitional table using accents with an opposing theme creates bold contrast in your chic setup.

Depending on what stylish look you're going for, you should choose console table decor that either contrasts or coordinates with the table and the rest of your furniture.
Depending on what stylish look you're going for, you should choose console table decor that either contrasts or coordinates with the table and the rest of your furniture.

What Should I Display Under a Console Table?

Some console tables have additional storage features like drawers and lower shelves. Most people put pens, notepads, flashlights and other small supplies in the drawers. If you’re wondering how to decorate the spaces under your console table, consider some of the following options:

  • Arrange large or heavy sculptures and planters on the floor beneath your console table.
  • If your console table is in your mudroom or entryway, consider using the bottom shelf as a shoe rack.
  • Line your console table’s lower shelves with reams of paper, writing and artwork utensils, or whatever else you need to create a supply station for your homeschool room, crafting area or home office.
  • Place baskets and storage bins beneath your living room console table to hold extra toss pillows, throw blankets, and a few kid or pet toys until you need them.
If your console table has the right storage features, you can display anything from books and wine bottles to cool figurines and collectibles.
If your console table has the right storage features, you can display anything from books and wine bottles to cool figurines and collectibles.

Things to Keep in Mind When Choosing Console Table Decor

Having too many items on your console table can make your layout look cluttered and unkempt. In some cases, the weight of those accents might even crack, chip, dent or scuff tables with slim metal frames, solid wood surfaces and glass or mirrored tops. Avoid these issues by taking a minimalist approach and only adding a few decor pieces to your console table.

Your decor should also draw your attention and make a statement, so select accents that stand out against your console table finish while still complementing the overall palette. Set vibrant blue, yellow, red, green and pink items atop simple black, brown, white, gray or light or dark wood console tables to introduce refreshing pops of color into the space.

Looking to tone down a riotous color scheme full of bright hues and vivid patterns? Decorate your blue, red, silver or gold console table with neutral-colored decor featuring beige, gray, brown, white or black finishes. You could also stick to accents in muted shades of burnt orange, forest green, navy or deep merlot.

Create contrast by adding colorful decor to a neutral console table or vice versa.
Create contrast by adding colorful decor to a neutral console table or vice versa.

As a general rule, your living room console table decor ideas should include a combination of practical and decorative accents. Consider details like where you want to place your table and how you intend to use it, then top it with items that suit that particular space and purpose.