Why con­sole ta­bles are the per­fect fit

The Hamilton Spectator - - STYLE - MARY CAROL GAR­RITY Tri­bune News Ser­vice

In the world of in­te­rior de­sign, con­sole ta­bles are on fire right now, find­ing their way into our homes’ spa­ces in new and sur­pris­ing ways.

It seems like ev­ery day some­one comes in look­ing for one of these dec­o­rat­ing gotta-have pieces, and as soon as we get a ship­ment in, they are out the door, mak­ing magic in some­one’s home.

I to­tally get this pas­sion for con­soles. Wood pieces add much-needed weight and struc­ture to a room­scape. And con­soles are per­fect if you want a ta­ble that de­liv­ers max­i­mum vis­ual im­pact us­ing a min­i­mal amount of space. Here are a few of my favourite ways to use con­sole ta­bles.

Un­der a TV

Flat-screen TVs are so won­der­ful to work with when de­sign­ing a room. Un­like days of old, when we had big, bulky units to work around, to­day’s stream­lined TVs can fit in small spa­ces with no fuss. Most of the con­sole ta­bles we sell are used un­der a TV, with the TV ei­ther mounted on the wall above it like art­work or perched on its top. That’s how I use my con­sole in my lake cot­tage. While the top of the ta­ble needs to be pretty clear to not ob­struct the view of the TV, take ad­van­tage of the space be­low for a dis­play or stor­age.

Un­der art work

I’m over the moon about the big, bold, modern art work that’s so pop­u­lar right now. Strik­ing art wakes up a wall and makes a huge state­ment in the room. A per­fect spot for a large paint­ing — or any art­work, from a mir­ror to a grid of pho­tos to a pair of botan­i­cals — is over a lovely con­sole. The ta­ble won’t com­pete with the art, but will visu­ally ground it.

Be­hind a sofa

A great way to visu­ally di­vide a larger liv­ing room into more in­ti­mate con­ver­sa­tion ar­eas is to slide a con­sole ta­ble be­hind a sofa. One of our favourite tricks is to scoot a bench or two small ot­tomans un­der the ta­ble, to use in a snap when you need ex­tra seat­ing. When not in use, the fur­ni­ture fills in the empty space be­low the ta­ble, mak­ing the space seem cosier.

Fill­ing an empty space

If your home boosts big, open rooms with tall walls and lofty ceil­ings, you’re prob­a­bly look­ing for ways to make the space feel a bit more in­ti­mate. Con­sole ta­bles are your ace in the hole. Slide one in front of a large bank of win­dows. They are small enough they won’t ob­struct the view, yet of­fer space for stor­age or dec­o­rat­ing.

En­try ways can be hard to dec­o­rate. What do you put in the space that makes it seem wel­com­ing, yet won’t gob­ble up too much room? You guessed it: a con­sole ta­ble. Slide a con­sole against the wall near the door, top it with fab­u­lous art or a mir­ror, a lamp and maybe even a tray to hold your keys and purse when you walk in the door.

Con­sole ta­bles are also great in hall­ways, where you want a bit of vis­ual ap­peal to break up those long, bor­ing walls, but don’t have room for a big piece of fur­ni­ture.

In the kitchen

A cousin just ren­o­vated the kitchen in her fixer-up­per. In­stead of putting in banks of built-in cab­i­nets, Anne opted to use a con­sole ta­ble to store her china. She filled the shelf be­low with dishes and stor­age bas­kets. The space above can be used to serve meals, like a buf­fet, or as a spot to dec­o­rate.

In the din­ing room

If a hutch or buf­fet just doesn’t work in your din­ing space, try a con­sole ta­ble in­stead. It uses a lot less space, but still adds lots of piz­zazz to the room.

In a home of­fice

All of us need ex­tra stor­age in our of­fices. Con­soles to the res­cue! The lower shelves are a great home for your printer, bas­kets filled with files, books — you name it.

The top? Dec­o­rate at will.

MARY CAROL GAR­RITY, TNS

Visu­ally di­vide a larger liv­ing room into more in­ti­mate con­ver­sa­tion ar­eas by slid­ing a con­sole ta­ble be­hind a sofa.

Con­sole ta­bles are small enough that they won’t ob­struct the view, yet of­fer space for stor­age or dec­o­rat­ing.

While the top of the ta­ble needs to be pretty clear so it does not ob­struct the view of the TV, take ad­van­tage of the space be­low for a dis­play or stor­age.

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