Decorating Dos and Don'ts for Console Tables

Decorating Dos and Don'ts for Console Tables

A narrow console table can be the perfect piece of furniture for adding your unique style to any space. It can be a place for displaying some collected treasures from your favorite trip. Or maybe you like to have a few family photos on display that encourage a warm smile every time you walk by. A vase of fresh flowers on an entryway table can add a little pop of brightness and joy when you come through the door.

BUT decorating such a prominent table like an entryway table or a sofa console can feel a little overwhelming… and with so many different looks in the magazines and interior design photos, how to you get it just right?

I have some tips for beautifully decorating your console table, AND a helpful “do-not” that is sure to help you get the perfect look for your console table décor.


My number one tip for decorating a beautiful console table is to keep it simple. There is nothing more elegant that a simple display on one end.

Here are few photos for inspiration!

a custom classic console table in walnut with a tall orchid display.

A Custom Classic Console Table from Mokuzai Furniture with a tall, elegant orchid on one end.

An interesting crescent shaped console table with a minimalist vase of flower stems on one end.

An interesting crescent shaped console table with a minimalist vase of flower stems on one end. The collection of books on the lower shelf doesn’t take away from the simplicity of the display on the tabletop.

The walnut Classic Console Table by Mokuzai Furniture in an entryway and in a bedroom.

Two other homes with the walnut Classic Console Table from Mokuzai Furniture and a simple, 2-piece display on one end.

When you have a beautiful console table as the showpiece of your entryway, living room or bedroom, let the beauty of the table itself shine through by keeping the display simple.

#2: Keep it balanced.

Shape and form are important considerations when decorating your console table. Try displaying a little bit of something on both ends. The cluster of display items on each end should take up a similar amount of visual space.

Here are few photos for inspiration!

A modern white sofa console table.

A modern white sofa console table with a collection of display items on each end. The lamp is about the same height as the vase on the other end because the vase is placed on top of a few books.

A small console table in tiger maple that was hand-crafted by Mokuzai Furniture.

A custom tiger maple Classic Table from Mokuzai Furniture features displays items over each table leg. The width of the zebra display is well balanced with the width of the candle. The basket on the shelf below offers a decorative storage space.

A low console table with a lamp and a potted plant on display.

A low console table features a lamp and a potted plant on opposite sides of the table. The thickness of the lamp and the thickness of the planter are similar and the heights of the displays are similar too!

A low sofa console table made from walnut wood.  A custom furniture design by Mokuzai Furniture.

A low custom sofa console table from Mokuzai Furniture features matching displays on each end.

#3: Add Interest

Another great way to decorate a console table is with items of various heights. This keeps the eye moving along and adds visual interest to the space. To keep things from looking too “busy” anchor the look with something tall on one end.

these are console table decor inspiration photos.


Now that you have a good idea of some simple easy tips for decorating a console table, let’s take a look at the #1 help tip for what NOT to do!

clutter it up!

A picture of a cluttered console table.

Often times in the magazines and interior design photos we see console tables piled up with all kinds of décor. Books, flowers, statuary, lamps, photos and all other sorts of random do-dads. It all seems like the perfect collection of things. But that’s just what they are...things.

By over-decorating a console table, your eyes can’t really enjoy any of it. It lacks personality and just generally feels messy.

And think about it in real life…

It may look nice in the photographs but in every-day life, what else will get dropped off there? Keys, the mail, a cell phone, an empty glass? A console table is a piece of furniture that sees a lot of action. It is often placed in an entryway or a hallway and sees all the comings and goings of your daily activities. If your console table is piled high with random display things, you lose out on the helpful function that table was intended for!

Pictures of cluttered console tables.

A console table in the entryway or hallway or a console table behind the sofa should serve 2 purposes. It should be a highlighted place for displaying your style and what you love, AND it should be a place that functions as a helpful surface for setting things down. If your entryway table is full of “things” there will no longer be a useful tabletop to enjoy… and if you have chosen a particularly lovely console table like the artistic console tables from Mokuzai Furniture, you would also miss out on enjoying the beauty of the premium, hand-finished wood!

The key to perfectly decorating a console table is to be selective in your choices for display.

Choose a few important and unique pieces that will show off your style and what you love. Be sure to consider a decorative dish or tray for the perfect place to drop of your keys, the mail or your phone at the end of the day.

Your console table itself should be the highlight of your décor, not all the stuff that goes on it. Above it all, choose a console table that is uniquely beautiful, like a carefully detailed, finely hand-crafted work of art from Mokuzai Furniture.

A classic console table design by Mokuzai Furniture

Shop our one-of-a-kind narrow console table designs here!

A walnut console table by Mokuzai Furniture

Back to blog

Leave a comment