5 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Console

5 Ways to Use a Console Table in your home

Console tables are great multi-tasking furniture pieces

You may not know it, but one of the most functional and versatile pieces in your home is the console table. It has just the right proportions, storage and display to work in virtually any room. The trick in adapting a console table to any setting is starting with a great design and neutral finish. All that’s left is styling it to fit the needs of the space — and suddenly you’ve brought new life to a piece that perhaps you’ve long overlooked.

Below, we’ve listed our top 5 ways to use a console table around the house. For this project, we chose a perennial favorite, the Newport Demilune.

Use a console table in an entryway

Entry Table

Perhaps the most obvious purpose of a console, the entry table provides a place to drop your keys and phone while setting the tone of a welcoming entry. Prop or hang a mirror above to open up the space—and give you one last chance to check your appearance before heading out. Use the drawers and baskets on the bottom shelf to hold chargers, leashes, memo pads and other odds and ends.

Use a console table in a dining room

Dining Room Buffet

The perfect choice for smaller spaces, it’s big enough to hold table linens, such as placemats, tablecloths and runners, while showcasing your most treasured decorative objects. Creatively stack your china or fill a vase with flowers for a pop of color. Need mood lighting? Flank two demilunes on either end of a wall and add a lamp or sconce.

Console table used as a bar

Cocktail Table

Yes, we know the bar cart is all the rage these days, but nothing says you can’t repurpose a piece of furniture you already own to the same effect. Put trays up top to display your finest bottles of spirits and mixers, and stash cocktail napkins, stirrers and bar tools in the drawers below. Use the shelf for storing glassware, pitchers and ice buckets. The only question is: when’s the party?

A console table serves as a bedside table

Bedside Table

We love using a console table in place of a traditional nightstand for its scale and extra storage and display. It can easily hold its own beside today’s substantial beds and headboards. Create Zen-like balance by pairing two on either side with matching lamps.

Use a console in your home office

Home Office Storage

You can never have too much storage in a home office, and a console does it with equal style and grace—especially if your office pulls double-duty as a guest bedroom. Place a caddy up top to store your office essentials: note pads, pens, paper clips and more. The drawers offer the perfect solution for concealing printer paper and file folders while the shelf below gives easy access to magazine files and books.

Find more decorating inspiration by browsing our Pinterest Boards!

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How to Decorate Team

We enjoy spending days interacting with How to Decorate readers. From answering Design Dilemmas to writing How To articles and working with guest designers, our passion is to provide informative and accurate resources to help people solve their design problems.


  1. Avatar

    Susan Krieger

    October 19, 2016

    My demilune table has probably been in every room of my house over the years. I’ve had it in the bedroom, dining room, living room, entry way, stair landing. I’ve used it as you’ve suggested. I’ve also used it as a vanity table. Currently it’s on my art wall in the bedroom. I love the piece and have often been tempted to purchase a second. As console tables go, the demilune is the most versatile.

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    July 20, 2016

    Are there any rules or guidelines for the size of artwork to put above a console/sideboard style table in a dining room? We have 2 lamps on top of a sideboard (at each end). I am not sure if the prints (looking at Garden Whimsy from Ballard) should fit between the lamps or if it is ok to extend behind them…

    • Avatar

      Caroline @ How to Decorate

      July 25, 2016

      The general rule of thumb is for your art to be sized at about 2/3 the size of the piece of furniture it’s hanging over. In the case of art prints between lamps, we definitely think it’s ok for them to extend behind the lamps. When in doubt, we usually air on the side of larger.
      Happy Decorating!

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    July 1, 2014

    Any ideas as to how to corral all the electric cords from the desk lamp, computer, printer?

    • Avatar

      Caroline @ How to Decorate

      August 28, 2014

      Hi Lea,
      Thanks for your comment, and we agree, this is such a tricky design dilemma. Have you ever considered using cable ties to group them together? That would make it easy to run cords behind piece of furniture and down the wall. Plus it’ll keep them from getting tangled!

      Hope that helps,
      The How to Decorate Team