What is a Console Table?
Although available in many styles, shapes and sizes, the console table is generally rectangular and needs the support of a wall or sofa because of its lack of width.
The purpose of a console table is to hold a small amount of items, usually valuables, like picture frames, sentimental ornaments or other valuables, while being placed against something like a wall.
Another notable feature is that they’re normally placed outside of floor traffic but are easy to access and are often accent pieces, adding to the overall look and feel of a room.
Ideally, it needs to be positioned in an area that doesn’t have much practical use for anything else, so in the entrance hall, at the end of a passage or against the wall between two rooms.
However you have to make sure the width and length doesn’t extend too much to interfere with floor traffic.
Typical Characteristics Of A Console Table
The word “narrow” is the most descriptive term for a console table, but in terms of the shape it can be rectangular, square or round.
There are even designs that have mirrors installed in the table as well. What they do all have in common is the need for wall support, particularly those with only one or two legs and screws that are used to anchor the back of the table to the wall itself.
Usually made of wood, console tables can be modern, ornate or a combination of the two. A white console is a popular choice but you can also get ones made from glass, metal or synthetic varieties. The bottom line is you will definitely find one that fits your needs and your existing décor.
Form Meets Function
As gorgeous as your accent console table looks it also needs to provide storage, after all that’s what they were designed for.
Before you rush out and buy one you need to decide what you’re planning to store on the table. Often people purchase a console without thinking about its function and rather just for the looks, which isn’t the end of the world, but if it looks good and serves a purpose then it’s good value for money.
Console tables also come with drawers, so you can keep important items in there as well. For example if you have a home phone on the table it makes sense to have a telephone book in the drawer.
Tips On Buying A Console Table
Any piece of furniture, in my opinion, should be an investment piece but remember this; the word ‘investment’ does not have to mean expensive, and shouldn’t have you running for the hills.
For me an investment piece must add to the look and feel of your home, be something you love and that you can pass down the family line, not necessarily because of what it cost, but because of the sentimental value.
Know what you want to store in or on your console table. Give it a purpose. An empty table set against the wall will look out of place even if its style matches the living room.
Display items that match the rest of your living room's decor in order to create a consistent look. Be careful to avoid clutter; a few photo frames or one vase can go a long way.
Alternatively, you may want to put one or two lamps on the console table to provide extra lighting in the living room.
If you’re not sure you’ve found the right one, try imagining what items you’ll be putting on the table. This should hopefully narrow down your search.
Know your home's style before purchasing your console table. Look around your room, take a walk through your house and see if you get an overall look and feel.
A thick and sturdy console table, as gorgeous as it is, will look out of place in a modern styled living room.
Instead, try a contemporary glass or metal console table. Its sleek and minimalistic style will suit your modern living room much better.
Match your living room to your console table. It's important that you match your console table to the rest of your living room furniture.
Your console table can either make a brilliant fashion statement or stand out like a sore thumb. A light colored console will look out of place when paired with dark wood furniture.
However, there is another option. You don't have to just choose natural wood. Some console tables come in bright colors. For a splash of color, pick a console table that is a complementary color to your living room.
You can add a mirror on the wall behind it, place a chair alongside it or have it as a centrepiece. This should narrow down your options even more.
Where you place it also depends on what you plan on using it for. If it’s for mail and keys, then the entrance should be a good place, but if you’re thinking of putting a lamp with a few family pics then at the back of a sofa, facing a living area will make more sense.
I hadn’t given this much thought, but a half circle console table actually takes up less space than a square or rectangular shaped one, so if space is limited then this would be a great choice.
At the end of the day, whatever console table you choose should reflect you and add personality to your home. It should also be an accent piece and not dominate an entire area.
A white console table or white lacquer console table is probably the most versatile, and will fit into the majority of homes.
I prefer the white as opposed to the white lacquer console table, but that’s only because the style of our home suits the first one.
Our home is light and airy, with a touch of contemporary chic, or at least that’s what I call it. My husband, not so much.
He uses other words to describe it and ‘chic’ and ‘contemporary’ are not them. But I’ve managed to convince him that we need a white console table to invigorate our passageway and add a little pizzazz.
The 5 Best White Console Tables
Here are my top picks, which include a white lacquer console table option.
#1: Convenience Concepts Northfield Hall Console Table
There’s a very popular saying that goes something along the lines of ‘keep it simple sister’, and the Northfield Hall white console table does exactly that.
In my expert opinion a console table should add to the overall look and feel; it shouldn’t detract from all the other elements in the room, but it shouldn’t go unnoticed.
This white console table is incredibly well priced, which is important. No one wants to feel as though they’ve been ‘had’ so while you’ll appreciate the simple clean lines and design, you'll love the price tag even more.
We rate it 8/10 given the price point versus the quality. It’s definitely worth having a look at.
#2: Monarch Specialties Glossy White Hollow-Core/Tempered Glass Sofa Table
For the record I don’t usually like glass combined with anything when it comes to furniture pieces but that changed when I spotted the Monarch Specialties glossy white hollow-core glass console table.
It’s beautiful, contemporary and is easy to assemble. The white lacquer console table looks a lot more expensive than the purchase price and it works well as a sofa or console table.
The high gloss finish and glass detail grabs a person’s attention quickly and because it stands higher than the average console / sofa table it can be used as a bar top, should you need to. Special mention goes to its value for money in terms of what white lacquer console tables normally cost.
#3: Monarch Hall Console Accent Table, 32-Inch
Grab your guests’ attention with this white finished hall white console table. This sturdy 32" long solid-wood table has symmetrical lines and a unique flair.
Perfect for displaying pictures, decorative pieces and books, this is a white console table that stands 71" high, is sturdy, and will add visual depth to any décor with its striking finish.
We rate it a stellar 9.5 out of 10, and we've only heard of one person who has complained about it - he said the top shelf didn’t fit; screws were missing and didn’t line up. He later realised he had assembled it upside down. Once they assembled it the correct way they were very happy with their purchase, just as almost everyone else is.
#4: Home Accent White Wood Carved Top Sofa Console Table
The old romantic in me loves this shabby chic white console table with the carved detail, but it’s not going to be everyone’s taste.
Turned legs and an intricately carved top add a visual appeal to this gorgeous white wood table, and if you don’t want to hide the carved top from view there is additional space on the shelf below.
People who have purchased the Home Accent White Wood Carved Top Table all agree that it’s a unique piece, it works well as a console or sofa table and it’s good value for money. We rate it 9/10, because we were French in a previous life.
#5: Convenience Concepts Oxford Console Table
The white lacquer console table by Convenience Concepts is a great addition to any home. The simple design will enhance the space in your house perfectly, and the extra shelf below offers additional storage space for books, ornaments or picture frames.
Extra pieces are included to bolt it securely onto the wall to keep it from being knocked over. Looking at various reviews, assembly is fairly simple and the majority of people were happy with their purchase.
Some Console Table Shopping Ideas
Console Tables: A Brief History
Large console tables were an obligatory feature of the parade rooms of aristocratic palaces of the late seventeenth and throughout the eighteenth century.
During the late Baroque period exuberantly carved furniture took on a sculptural appearance, reflecting the style's tendency to meld different arts into one complicated whole.
Often ordered in units of two or four, with matching mirrors and stools, such pieces helped to achieve the perfect symmetry of the intended stage like interior.
In 17th-century Italy the console table was a major manifestation of the fashion of furniture made for display.
Many examples of this period were carved and were, in fact, pieces of sculpture as much as furniture. Originally it was designed as a half-moon shaped top on two legs.
It was attached to the wall with an S-shaped bracket called a console, making the table appear as though it was freestanding.
At first the tables were mainly decorative until they were changed to four legs, which meant they could rest against the wall, without brackets.
Over time the console table has evolved to become as useful as is it decorative. It can rest against a wall or be placed against the back of a sofa and is one of the most common tables around today.