This post was published in December 2013 and updated June 2020.
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.
1. 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 hidden shelves to hold chargers, leashes, memo pads and other odds and ends.
2. 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 sconces on either side like we did above.
3. Cocktail Table
Yes, we know the bar cart is all the rage these days, but nothing says you can’t re-purpose 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?
4. 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.
5. Storage Shelf
Why limit a bookshelf to only books? You can never have too much storage in a home so utilize those shelves in the same place as a console. We love the idea of using our Morgan Long Bookcase at the backdoor to catch shoes and other items your family uses at they come and go. Keep it organized and pretty with baskets for each family member.
Shop all console tables and find more inspiration for styling your console in these posts below:
- Our Complete Styling Guide to Consoles, Bookshelves, and Coffee Tables
- How to Style a Console or Buffet
- 4 Ways to Hang Art Above a Console