3 secrets to styling a console table

We've all seen them...those beautiful shots in the magazines with the artfully styled console table. Well recently, I purchased a new table for our hallway but I haven't shown it to you yet because I'm still trying to get the perfect juxtaposition of objects. It's not easy and takes some playing around. My mission over the last few days has been to look at image upon image of console tables in an effort to unlock the secrets of the stylists! What I've discovered (and I'm not the first) is three basic ways to make your console table look right out of a magazine.

Number 1 - Collections of Similar Objects

Collecting or grouping objects with the same theme, colour palette or shape makes a big statement. In this case, the tabletop is covered with vintage objects that have either been found or bought. The colour scheme is limited to black and white with a few neutrals in between.

Here again the tabletop is absolutely filled with primarily white objects of various sizes and textures. Positioning books with their spines facing inwards produces a lovely range of ivory and cream tones and textures. Varying heights keeps your eye moving around the tabletop and creates small moments within the larger composition.

Finally, this is probably one my favorite tabletop arrangements ever.  Again, we see a collection of objects that are grouped by colour and their vintage quality. The mixture of textures and heights makes the console table interesting and dynamic.


Number 2 - Asymmetrical Arrangements

Asymmetrical arrangements are a favorite among stylists and decorators. They are usually anchored on one end with a large lamp or object and then balanced on the other side with a leaning work of art or photograph often against another object mounted to the wall. Add a few decorative objects and a plant....done!

Here again, you can see almost the exact same setup. The other thing worth noting is that what goes under the console table is as important as what goes on top. The striped ottoman is this photo adds a bit of graphic punch to this composition and picks up on the striping in the rug and the colours in the artwork.

In this arrangement by Emily Henderson, once again we see a large lamp paired with an off center mirror and a smaller piece of leaning artwork.  These asymmetrical arrangements create a nice rhythm where your eye moves up and down the composition taking everything in.

Number 3 - Symmetrical Compositions

If it isn't asymmetrical than it's symmetrical! In this case the lamp is balanced by an equally tall stack of books topped with a touch of greenery. The mirror is centered on the wall rather than being placed to one side.

Here again we have a centered mirror flanked equally on either side with two wall sconces. The objects on the tabletop are spaced evenly along its surface creating a sense of harmony.

Finally, here we have perfect symmetry again with an equal number of artworks and a chair flanking each side of the console table. The artwork is centered over the tabletop completing the sense of order and harmony. There is something solid and comforting about these symmetrical compositions.

So, do you have a favorite? Personally, I think I'm leaning towards number one or number two. What style speaks to you the most?

Image Credits:
#1 - Tracy Shumate via Covet Garden
#2 - Petra Bindel via Emma's Design Blogg
#3 - Paul Massey
#4 - Patrick Cline for Lonny Magazine
#5 -  Tim Street-Porter for Elle Decor
#6 - Emily Henderson
#7 - Patrick Cline for Lonny Magazine
#8 - Trouvais
#9 - Roland Bello