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Console Table Buying Guide

In this informative Console Table Buying Guide by Furniture Outlet Stores, we will break down your console table purchasing choices by setting, size and style to help you more easily select the perfect console table for your living space.

What are console tables?

Designed to rest against a wall or sofa, console tables come in many shapes, sizes and styles. The main characteristic that sets them apart from other tables is their narrow depth.

Both functional and decorative, console tables are often used to keep everyday items like keys, cash, letters and other bits and bobs conveniently together in one place. But they can also provide a wonderful place to display family photographs, a table lamp or vase of flowers.

Console tables first gained popularity in England during the latter part of the 17th century. Nowadays they are primarily located in the entrance ways of our homes and businesses. As such, a console table is also commonly referred to as a hall table or hallway table. However, a console table can alternatively be employed as the focal point of a living room, dining room or conservatory.

Mirrored Console Table

Where should I put my console table?

As you can see in our brief introduction above, console tables can serve several purposes, so you are sure to find one that will exactly suit your needs – no matter where you actually decide to place it in your home.


Console tables are ideal for small, narrow spaces such as hallways. First impressions count, and a console table in your hallway will immediately convey your sense of style to anyone visiting your home. Depending on the size and shape of your console table, a narrow hallway can appear more open and inviting.

That’s not to neglect the effortless practicality that a console table can bring to your everyday life. When located near a front door, the console table will instantly become the principal place to store your personal belongings when you arrive and leave home. No more forgetting your keys, cash or sunglasses when dashing out in a hurry!

Many of today’s console tables also form part of a larger collection of similarly designed furniture, so you can seamlessly accessorise your hallway with a matching wall mirror, coat rack or chair. By hanging a mirror on the wall above the console table in a hallway, you will make this space feel much bigger too.

Lounge, Dining Room, Kitchen or Conservatory

Console tables can also perform a wide variety of tasks elsewhere in your home. Thanks to the slimness of its design, a console table won’t protrude too far into any room you choose to put it in. From providing desk space for an unobtrusive home office or study area in a living room’s alcove, to being an indispensable surface for knick knacks when positioned behind a sofa, the uses of a console table are virtually limitless.

The versatility of a console table even allows it to be used as a buffet table, a mini bar or just a great place to set the drinks down when entertaining guests. A few carafes of wine, some glasses and a selection of tasty appetisers will make your console table the hub of the party and a natural conversation starter.

Bedroom or Guest Bedroom

By adding a mirror and chair, you can transform your console table into a vanity table or dresser in the bedroom. While in guest bedrooms and smaller rooms, a console table can be a compact yet tremendously useful sideboard. Why not choose a console table with a lower shelf, or place baskets underneath the table, for additional storage space?

Silver 1 Drawer Console Table

What size of console table should I choose?

Once you have decided on where your console table will go in your home, take measurements of that space. Then you will know exactly what size of console table you’ll be able to buy. Typically, console tables are taller and narrower than most tables, ranging from 76 cm (30 inches) to 91 cm (36 inches) in height, with a width from 33 cm (13 inches) to 46 cm (18 inches).

If you are still not sure that you have enough room available for the console table that you like the look of, a neat trick is to place tape down on the floor or make a crude copy of the table from cardboard to help you visualise the space.

This simple visualisation trick is especially useful when you are choosing a console table for a hallway or entrance, where the available space can be limited. If a console table is too big for the hallway, for example, you’ll quickly discover that people are brushing past the table and accidentally knocking over any ornaments or other objects placed on it.

The right choice of colour for your console table and the table’s surroundings can also help make a difference when you place them in smaller rooms. A bright, lighter colour will provide a welcoming ambience and also tends to make smaller spaces appear to be larger than they really are. Good lighting will make a room or hallway look bigger too.

Triangle Shaped Console Table

What different makes and styles of console table are available?

With such an extensive range of different console tables and hallway tables available, it’s now much easier to ensure that the console table utterly embodies your own personal style.


Thanks to their robustness and versatility, wooden console tables have traditionally been the most popular choice for this design of table. A console table made of wood will fit perfectly with most interior design styles, from shabby chic or rustic to a more modern look.

There’s no shortage of choice when it comes to the selecting the type of wood for your console table either. Mango, oak, pine, teak or walnut are just a few of the many options available.

A wooden console table with a classic design usually features elaborate decorative touches like a painted cream or grey finish, cabriole shaped legs and intricate brass pulls on the drawers.

Glass Top

Glass console tables are perfect for homes with a modern or minimalistic interior style. The frames on a glass top console table are usually made from metal or wood. As a bonus, a glass console table with a sleek frame will also help make a space feel larger.


Mirrored console tables are equally adept at providing the illusion of extra space in smaller spaces. They are also a great choice for bedrooms if you are looking for a glamorous, boudoir feel with your bedroom furniture and surroundings.

Marble or Metal

Marble console tables and metal console tables typically have a glass top, along with a simpler design than more traditional styles of console table. Not only are they durable, their design and materials also make them easy to clean and care for.

Wooden Console Table

Where can I buy a console table or get further information?

Furniture Outlet Stores have a wide selection of console tables available from our Essex and East London furniture showrooms in Dagenham, Leigh-on-Sea and Wickford. In the meantime, if you have any questions you would like to ask us about buying a console table, please use the Comments section below.

Prices displayed in this blog article, including photos, were correct at the time of sale, and may be subject to change without notice.


About the Author:

Inspired by the work of the world's best designers, Rik Haynes is passionate about the latest developments in architecture, design, video games and other geeky stuff.

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