10 expert-approved ways to decorate a console table

Decorate your console table like a pro to make a statement in your entryway.

Entryway console table with decor
(Image credit: Wayfair)

The entryway console table is usually the first thing you or your guests see when you come in the front door; it serves both a functional and fashionable purpose and as such, it can be hard to decorate a console table right.

'Decorating your console table can seem daunting,' admits Liz Walton, Founder of Liz Walton Home. 'Often located in foyers, console tables are often one of the first glimpses into your home, and your console table is an opportunity to impress your guests with a taste of your fabulous personal style.'

Stuck on how to turn your console table into an equally aesthetically pleasing and functional spot to enhance your existing entryway decor? We spoke to a handful of experts in our network to get their top tips on how to style an entryway table right –and how to keep it organized.

How to decorate a console table – 10 ways

Wayfair’s resident style advisor, Nadia McCowan Hill, says 'Console tables are often one of the hardest-working style statements in a home, acting as the perfect plinth for a striking vignette as well as a quiet catch-all for paraphernalia. Available in a huge array of styles from sleek and minimalistic, to ornate and decorative, these elegant tables make a real impact in narrow hallways and large living rooms alike.'

'If you’re looking for a console for your entryway, choosing a streamlined option with in-built drawers is the smart choice. While the surface can act as a platform for a showcase of statement lighting, Objet D’Art and beautiful blooms, the inbuilt drawers will act as a brilliant place to corral incoming paperwork, keys and other bits and bobs.'

1. Don’t overlook height

a wooden console table with decor items on top and a painting on the white wall behind it

(Image credit: Overstock)

To achieve a cohesive table design, Walton suggests following her three-layer approach: low, medium, and high. 'Think about using a long, slim tray (low) paired with stacked books or photo frames (medium), and anchored with a tall vase or lamp (high),' she says. 'This space should highlight a collection of beautiful items.'

2. Go minimal

Gatsby Marble Top Console from Atkin and Thyme in a dark paneled room with gray carpet

(Image credit: Atkin and Thyme)

When decorating a console table – especially in an entryway – less is more. Joe Cangelosi, Founder of Joe Cangelosi Design LLC, suggests opting for minimal artwork that won’t look too cluttered when paired with your keys and other items that tend to find their way onto the console table in your hallway or foyer.

3. Balance it out

a stylish wooden entryway console table with decor and a mirror behind it, with a chair and a dark black staircase, and a rug

(Image credit: Wayfair)

'It’s nice to have a good balance of items on the table itself,' explains Cangelosi. 'Try adding one tall vase on one side (perhaps with an orchid or other fresh flowers) and then two smaller items (such as a small sculpture and a small bowl) on the other side to balance it out.'

The Cornette console from Wayfair helps pull this display together here.

4. Create a designated drop zone

a Pottery Barn console table with drawers, with minimal accessories and artwork behind it on a white wall

(Image credit: Pottery Barn)

You can try to use your console table as a decorative statement alone – but it’ll almost always end up being a drop zone for keys, wallets, and mail. It’s better to embrace life and anticipate your console table becoming used for practical reasons as well.

'Try throwing your keys in a bowl when you enter your home,' suggests Cangelosi. This way they’re always in the same place for you to pick them up on the way out the door but they will still make your console table decor look intentional.

5. Add a mirror

a stylish ntryway console table with decor including lamps, a mirror, and books on the floor

(Image credit: Wayfair)

Hallway mirror ideas can add much-needed personality to even the tiniest of spaces and they make simple but effective decorative additions to consoles also. 'My philosophy for entryway console tables? Grab a mirror – and go big or go home,' says Anastasia Casey, Founder of The Identitè Collective. 'I particularly love a large round mirror when the space calls for it. Plus, it’s the perfect spot to double check your look before heading out the door.'

The Andresen entryway console from Wayfair looks the part.

6. Ground the space with a rug

a wooden console table with a rug, plant and a lamp, and a print at the back

(Image credit: Overstock)

Nothing warms up an entryway like a well-placed rug, says Casey. They also help to visually divide what can otherwise feel like a vastly open space. Just make sure to opt for a rug that’s super durable and can stand up to foot traffic day in and day out.

7. Don't forget light

a modern console table in a gray and white entryway, with a lamp, plant and books on top, and a gray rug underneath

(Image credit: Atkin & Tyme)

'Perhaps the most overlooked element of styling an entryway is lighting,' explains Casey. 'You can’t go wrong with a large table lamp, and you can even style a set of two depending on the length of your console table.' Ideal when teamed with wall sconces and other types of hallway lighting ideas too.

The Arlo console from Overstock gives the perfect sleek finish.

8. Incorporate fresh greenery

a wooden entryway console table two oversized plants on and near it,and a wooden staircase to the right

(Image credit: Wayfair)

'I love using fresh seasonal greenery throughout my home,' shares Alessandra Wood, VP of Style at online interior design service Modsy. 'My go to is always olive branches because they add such a fresh look to any space.'

Wood suggests making a simple tablescape or laying a few clusters of branches along the console table to create a garland. 'Go on a foraging adventure in your backyard, or pop by your local flower market to find the best fresh greenery,' she suggests.

We love the look of the Bamburgh console from Wayfair to bring this look to life.

9. Highlight thoughtful finishing touches

a slick modern gold and glass console table with a hanging rack next to it and a pot below it, and coffee table books and flowers on top

(Image credit: Wayfair)

'One thing I love to do to easily create polished surfaces is use stacked coffee table books with small decor or plants on top,' says Wood. 'This is a great way to add pops of color and artistic moments. It’s also a great way to add depth to decorations.'

The Sydney console from Wayfair makes for the perfect display here.

10. Share a little sparkle

a deep dark big wooden console table decorated with crystals, pots and coffee table books, a multi-colored rug underneath it, and a painting of a rose balanced on top

(Image credit: West of Main)

'Crystals are one of my favorite finishing touches for a table,' says Wood. 'While I realize crystals have ventured into #basic territory, I still love them. They’re really beautiful, natural objects that play with light and reflections in special ways. A little glittery pop that also brings good energy can go a long way in a space.'

Where should I put my console?

Console tables can be found anywhere around the house where there’s space or need for a little extra in terms of decor – but they’re most often located at the front entrance or nearby another large piece of furniture, like behind a living room sofa or in front of your bed.

'If you’re living in a large open plan space, you can use a console to help divide the room. Instead of placing your table up against the wall, why not run it flush behind a sofa floating in the middle of the room for a fabulous look with serious finesse?' Adds McCowan Hill.

What are console tables used for?

The great thing about console tables is that you can decorate it to suit your specific needs. If you tend to leave your mail all over the dining room table or you never know where your car keys are as you’re rushing out of the house, you might benefit from a front entrance console table with a designated drop zone for keys, mail, your handbag or wallet, etc.

You can also use a console table for purely decorative purposes – which can help to tie together any negative space or nooks throughout the house. Many people choose to curate a collection of books, small decor items, or even a couple of lamps to create visual interest in an otherwise dead space.

What should I put on my entryway console table?

'As a rule of thumb, if you’re going for a bold table design, keep your toppings chic and streamlined. If the table is more understated you can afford to go wild with look-at-me lamps, decor and more! Lovers of ‘shelfie style’, might also like to choose a tiered design which will afford you even more space to break out your inner stylista!' Adds McCowan Hill.

Apart from that, you should likely leave space for any practical bits such as keys and books - in particular if your console is in your entry hall.

Kaitlyn McInnis

Kaitlyn is an experienced travel and lifestyle writer with a keen interest in interior decorating and home optimization. An avid traveler, she's currently splitting her time between her apartment in a century-old châteauesque building in Montreal and her cozy chalet in the woods (that she built with her own two hands... and many YouTube tutorials!). Her work has been published in Travel + Leisure, Tatler Asia, Forbes, Robb Report Singapore, and various other international publications.