How to style a console table, side table or coffee table ?

I got a great question from a homeowner. I think we can all agree that how to style a side table, coffee, or console or buffet table is a good question for style chat. I have definite ideas about what to incorporate into the landscape of these specific surfaces.

The console/side table or sofa table~ these tables are classically found in the living area or foyer. the console, buffet or side table usually make their home in the dining room. The homeowners question is the following:

"Annette, I wanted to submit a  photo for Style Chat. My husband is a faux painter and painted this buffet for my birthday. It sits in between the foyer and dining room. I love the buffet, but am at a loss as to how to style the top of it? I have shot pictures from several angles so you can see that our floor plan is pretty open. I would love some ideas.  Can't wait to hear back from you."

Love this buffet table/console table , very well done, what a great birthday present! As you can all see the room itself is very prettygreat color choices nice artwork, in fact much like my last style chat this homeowner is almost there with styling the buffet table in this vignette. My advice is to change the lampshade to a darker tone, a nice brown shade,(Homegoods is always an afforable resource for lamp shades)

Think about scale and balance with the rest of the room when styling all surfaces. I like the cloche on the cake stand you have on the left, I would add another tier down, I always think that a tray, perhaps with some bar or entertaining pieces is a nice nod to the actual function of the area on the buffet table. Like this tray from Crate and Barrel, the Bradsford tray

the simple addition of a large square , no matter what it is filled with would give a fuller and more complete styled appearance,

Here's an example of a simple but well styled console table, a pop of color and large scale


Quick Coffee table style tips~

As far as coffee tables, again I like to look at the composition of the items on the table. I think a balance of high low, small+ large are very nice. I always love a stack of coffee table books, stack 3 to 5 books on a corner of the table and use a large round bowl, and a few odd number objects, like candle sticks maybe gathered in a tray or basket. This composition should make a nice collection for any coffee table. Maybe an interesting vase for height in the middle of the table or to one side for height. These are my basic coffee table tips and if applied make for a pleasing collection on any coffee table.


This is a great example of using a basket tray to gather interesting items on your coffee table, this is an easy way to style your coffee table and keep everything neat and contained and stylish.

I hope that this has answered the homeowner's style chat question, as I said I think that the painted piece is wonderful, I think that adding one more large scale piece like a functional tray and a darker lamp shade should anchor the landscape on the top of this buffet/console table and become a very dramatic, functional, and pleasing vignette.

Stay tuned for more style gurus and surprises!