I love a beautifully styled console. .It can be a statement piece that sets the tone in an entry. It might even reveal a little bit about the personality of the owner. It is a great place to display collections of things. In this post Consoles with Character, I am featuring some of my own designs and some of my favorites. I originally wrote this post back in 2012. It is still making its rounds around social media, missing photos and all. I decided to rewrite it with some of today’s favorites.
When styling a console be sure to keep in mind the balance, structure, texture, and scale of the items you want to display. Then decide if you prefer a symmetrical (like my friend Dylan from Instagram) look or a more challenging asymmetrical design.
Symmetrical arrangements tend to look more classic and orderly. They are usually created with pairs of things, ie candlesticks, lamps, ottomans, etc. The artwork is usually hung in a balanced fashion as well. James Farmer often prefers a symmetrical look in his designs.
This beautiful design by the talented Caroline Gidiere is a symmetrical design but all of the texture, color and natural elements take the edge off of the symmetry.
Asymmetrical arrangements can be a little trickier for the amateur, or anyone else for that matter. They usually begin with something tall on one side next to some randomly placed objects. Repetition of one or more of the objects can help unify the look. Jill Sharp Weeks is the master of the asymmetrical and unexpected in her designs.
Cedar and Limestone’s beautiful console is laden with books, and collections. And oh those giant branches seal the look, don’t they?
This entry from my Carmel Valley project displays the artwork of the owner’s children.
On a long narrow wall, it can give a room character without crowding the space, like this bedroom by James Michael Howard. Imagine this room without the console.
My son and daughter in law have a long narrow wall that leads out to their backyard. It was calling out for some love. I styled it here multiple ways in the post, How to Style a Console.
This beauty by one of my all-time favorites, Jeffrey Dungan serves as a display piece in the architect’s getaway. I imagine this gets changed out on a regular basis. Nothing is it could easily be redone or repurposed on a whim.
We had this console custom-made a few years back for a young family. The tv console provides a home for the children’s games, projects, etc.
A console table in a dining room is a natural fit. It can perform double duty by providing extra serving space for large gatherings. I imagine this wonderful console in Mark Sikes Portola Valley project could play host to a bar or be laden with buffet items for a dinner party.
I love how designer A Wooten carved out this space at the base of the stairs for extra dining. The console (grounded with two ottomans) can be cleared and used as extra buffet service, or a pop up bar.
Designer Sarah Bartholomew’s beautifully styled console in this dining room welcomes guests.
If a console piece has a bare bottom, I love something tucked underneath to fill up space. The same console (my son’s from above) we styled with an old traveling trunk tucked underneath for unexpected interest.
A pair of cute stools…
Or the beachcomber baskets from Pottery Barn. They can be filled with extra pillows, throws, or magazines. The lanterns are from Target. The painting of their dog is by Pat Huber. The mirror is no longer available but similar here. You can find a similar wine bottle on Anthropologie here.
Love the giant ottoman and the mix of textures and styles in this one by the talented Amy Meier.
Love these Serena and Lily stools that my pal Annie used to anchor her console in her former home. Annie is more of a minimalist by nature, but she still added her rock collection, a watercolor, and a Serena and Lily lamp to make it personal.
I hope you enjoyed Consoles with Character. You might also enjoy: Ten Rough Luxe Consoles You can Copy, or How to Style a Console Don’t overthink your styling if you have a console piece. Make it personal and inviting, and you won’t be disappointed. Just for fun let’s play a game. If a console table is an opening statement that tells us something about the owner of the house, which one of the above would you like to meet and why?