Moving into your new pad is tons of fun. Except, when it comes to interior decorating, you’re a lost cause. Like, what is a console table, and do you need one?
What Is a Console Table?
A console table sounds like a fancy space-age controller. After all, a console is where you find the dials and switches in a rocket ship.
But that’s not the answer to, “What is a console table?” in this case.
A console table is a shallow but wide table that’s placed against a wall. However, when a console table is placed behind a sofa, it’s called a sofa table.
Isn’t that just “decorator” for side table?
Another answer to “what is a console table” could be “side table.” However, two details make a console table “not a side table.”
First, you won’t find a console table on the side of anything. It’s always against a wall, or behind the sofa.
The other characteristic that distinguishes a console table from a side table is its measurements.
Most console tables are between 28 inches and 32 inches tall. It’s the perfect height for behind the couch: tall enough that you can easily grab things off of it, but short enough that it’s not sticking up from behind the couch.
End tables, on the other hand, are between 22 inches and 30 inches tall. Their shorter stature makes them the right size for the side of the couch.
The other major difference is that console tables are generally shallow. They range from 15 inches to about 19 inches deep. That’s the perfect depth for decorative items like table lamps, or other accents.
Side tables are a bit deeper, ranging from 20 inches to 26 inches deep. This is also known as the right size for junk mail and that novel you’ve been meaning to finish.
Console Tables Aren’t a New Fad
Console tables have been part of home decor for a few centuries and were found throughout wealthy homes in the late 17th and early 18th centuries.
However, console tables didn’t start as tables. Originally, the tabletop attached to the wall using S brackets called “consoles.” There were two legs shaped like half-moons, but they served no functional purpose.
The moon legs were often detailed with intricate carvings, and the tabletop was usually marble, making the console table a statement piece.
Eventually, tastes changed, and the console table evolved into the design we know today. While not unheard of, console tables generally do not attach to the walls. And, while the legs might be carved, they are functional and support the tabletop.
Adding a Console Table to Your Decor
A console table can be confusing for novice decorators. It’s shallow but wide, making its placement difficult.
But, if you’re certain you want a console table as part of your interior design, start by determining the purpose of your console table. Is it going to be functional (like extra storage), or will you use it strictly as a statement piece?
Once you’ve settled on a purpose, consider where you will place the console table. They are perfect in long and narrow spaces, like hallways. But, they can also make a dramatic statement at your front entry hallway.
However, don’t limit yourself to the hallway or foyer. If you want a unique answer to, what is a console table, consider using it in new and unexpected ways.
What is a console table: An alternative buffet
You’ve probably seen console tables in dining rooms, but maybe never realized it. A wine rack is one example.
Console tables make fantastic alternatives to traditional buffets when you’ve got a narrow dining room. Their shallow depth gives you more room, without sacrificing tabletop space for serving dishes. And, if you choose one with drawers, you’ve got a place to store tablecloths and other dining room essentials.
What is a console table: an office
Not everyone has a separate home office. And, sometimes, using the dining or kitchen table as your home office just isn’t practical.
Fortunately, many console tables are the same height as a traditional desk. While console tables are narrower than a desk, if you choose a wide enough one, you can make up for some of the lost depth. As long as it can hold the office basics: a laptop, a lamp, and maybe a place for your phone, you’re good to go.
What is a console table: a home entertainment center
Console tables can double as a TV stand. Since nearly every TV is a flat-screen these days, they don’t need a deep stand. The narrow depth of a console table is perfect for holding a flat-screen and will give you back some much-needed floor space. Pick a table with shelves, and you’ve got a place for your gaming system and all the remotes.
What Is a Console Table? Pretty Darn Versatile
That should answer, “what is a console table,” for you. As you can see, it’s a surprisingly versatile table that you can fit into almost any decorating plan.
What about you? What are some unexpected ways you’ve used a console table? Let us know in the comments.