A console table is one of the more delicate furniture concepts. And unlike a bed, a dresser, or a dining room table, its origins are purely ornamental. First produced in 17th century Italy and brought to fame by the French a century later, early consoles were highly elaborate half-rounds, attached to a wall with an s-shaped bracket, called a console, by the way. A fancy shelf, supported by two decorative legs.
The grandiose Rococo style gave way to neo-classicism and eventually, more of a focus on function. Showy supports were replaced by a legs joined by a stretcher. And then eventually, the tables were crafted with four legs and they became free-standing pieces of furniture. Evolution.
What was once an indulgent piece of decor is now an artistic, multi-functional workhorse. We use them in hallways and entryways, freestanding behind sofas and loveseats, or even as a light-duty sideboard, easily relocated when extra space is needed.
Adding a console is like bringing a little Lauren Bacall or Kate Hepburn to your design scheme; elegant, classy, and sophisticated. It also conveys the winsome charm of practicality, earning an A++ in form and function.
Our furniture makers begin with the highest quality materials, often inspired by your custom design. But many have tables in their current catalogs that we’ve collected for inspiration here. Ranging from simple and straightforward to totally original head-turners, there are hall tables to suit a variety of interior styles and themes. Which will be your favorite?
From Hawk Ridge Furniture, the Flaming Birch top, dovetailed drawer, and tapered legs brighten a hallway, adding a simple and traditional elegance. Available in Maple, Cherry, Walnut and Red Birch, with our without a drawer, at 42” wide x 15” deep x 30” high.
The Fountain Brook Console from John Lomas Custom Furniture. Flowing curves and mixed woods make a lovely accent for your living room or entryway. Shown in Cherry with a curved stretcher in Walnut. 60” wide x 17” deep x 34” high.
A Period Look
Josh Metcalf’s ‘potential’ console, originally designed as a base for an antique Spanish vargueno (portable desk) but beautiful as a sofa table to display your favorite books and art pieces.
An Art Deco Bar
Blackened walnut art-deco inspired bar from Dorset Custom Furniture works as a console or a sideboard. We love it for its studio design and for its job function. Cocktails at five, thank you!
Two tables from David Hurwitz bookend this post. The first, his Yellow-Blue hall table, of Vermont sugar maple and poplar, for a light look with a bit of levity. Measures 42“ wide x 14” deep x 32″ high. And the one pictured above, his award-winning State of Craft Console in carved Vermont ash with a painted poplar base arch, and a Tamo (Japanese quilted ash) top with hand-rubbed poly-varnish. 60” wide x 16” deep x 32” high.
The Demi Lune or Half Round
A classic console form, this particular piece from Bob Gasperetti is a beautiful combination of woods… maple and cherry burl inlay, with a cherry burl pull. A dovetailed drawer in the center adds to the classical design, with two centered legs. 32” wide x 16” deep by 31.5” high. You’ll find other gorgeous half-rounds on the site from Lomas, Johns Congdon (his Seaside Hall Table) and Jason Breen, who crafts a gorgeous modern interpretation of a Federal piece in Cherry, Birch and Walnut, with a poplar inlay.
Sideboard as Console
From time to time, you’ll see a narrow sideboard double as a console. We have definite furniture envy for this cherry piece from ShackletonThomas, with its subtly bowed front phyllite slate top. Measures 72” wide x 22” deep x 36” high. Available in custom sizes, with or without drawers.
So if it’s a half-round or a rectangle, if its original design or of a particular vernacular, the console table is a hot at-home commodity that our makers have truly mastered. Do your entryway a favor; add a useful artistic piece that you’ll interact with every day, and that will improve, like a fine wine, with age.
a catalog of sideboards, unsung hero of the holiday season