How to Decorate a Console Table in a Foyer

March 11, 2010

Interior design by Corea Sotropa Interior Design

Console tables are such versatile pieces of furniture and look great in practically any room of your home but they are especially nice in a foyer. Having a piece of furniture with a countertop and some storage is also a practical idea. These tables can be the focal point of the foyer and look spectacular.

Interior design by Kimberley Seldon Design Group

The collections of items displayed on a console are often referred to by interior designers as tablescapes or vignettes. Many home owners are not certain on how to create these lovely arrangements. Positioning and assembling your mementos boils down to creating a pleasant composition and interior designers use the basic tools of balance, color, contrast, texture, scale to fashion these vignettes. Here is an assortment of some of my favorite tablescapes and some tips on how to create them.

Interior design by Phoebe Howard

This classic vignette features a collection of etchings that are each framed differently. Even though all the drawings are slightly different sizes there is symmetry. For more information of hanging a gallery style wall take a look at my earlier post How to Hang a Picture Wall.  Symmetrical arrangements usually look more formal and ordered and they are easier to pull off if you are doing it yourself. Take note of how the lampshade, sculpture and flowers over lap the bottom picture. This is called layering, and creates depth and shadow. The overall effect is a restrained, tailored, classic look.

Interior design by Suzanne Kasler

Ornate furniture gets casual in this asymmetrical foyer arrangement. Leaning the drawing in front of the mirror keeps it from feeling too proper. When designing foyers in our Calgary Renovations, I like to also add a chair or bench. The position of this chair balances the height of the mirror beautifully.

Interior design by Elizabeth Kimberly Design

The crispness of this arrangement is what catches my eye! The contrast between the grey wallpaper and dark wood credenza with the white wainscoting, mirror and ceramics is very fresh. Take note of the variety of heights of the objects on display. When arranging your items include an assortment of items that are different shapes and sizes. Also, I really like the flexibility for seasonal changes in this composition. Replace the white ceramics and floral arrangement depending on the time of year and you have a completely different tablescape!

Interior design by Jan Showers & Associates

Repetition is a design tool that is very simple to use and helps to create an interesting display. In this foyer, the pink color is repeated in the lamp, bowl, flowers, painting and chandelier. This is a very simple arrangement and since each object is the same color, it reinforces the importance of the vignette. The ultra rich dark chocolate walls contrast against this color making it pop out. I love this color scheme because the femininity of the pink is balanced with the masculine brown. Just lovely!

Interior design by Ashley Whittaker Design

Summertime is completely embodied in this simple and clean composition. If you have a collection of items, consider showcasing them all together for more impact. In this photo, the blue porcelain makes a much more powerful statement because there are three vases. Sprinkling these items around the room would lessen their importance. Notice how the mirror provides a bit of sparkle and makes the flower arrangement look fuller.

Interior design by Jeffers Design Group

This unusual piece of furniture is quite interesting on its own so it’s best to keep the display of accessories very simple. I like how there is a theme stringing these items together – can you see it? Every piece aside from the flowers is about the human form.

Interior design by Jeffers Design Group

Heavily patterned wallpaper is the backdrop for this retro console in a foyer. The mirrored panels on the console resemble the shape of the vases on the wallpaper. A tray has been used to corral the vases on the left side. Trays are a terrific way of adding weight to an arrangement and creating a composition within a composition. This foyer is spunky and fun. It gives visitors a glimpse into the character of the rest of the home and its home owner’s personality.

Interior design by Windsor Smith

Don’t you just feel like you know the person who lives in this house after seeing this console? The items have such personal appeal and this is one of the reasons I am so drawn to this tablescape. The simple color palette and high contrast of the dark and light items are very dramatic.

Interior design by Markham Roberts

Here is another example of how a collection is more powerful when grouped together. These shells are sculptural and interesting. Mixing textures is another design element that needs to be incorporated into your arrangement. The shells, faceted shiny mirror, ribbed lamp, glass bowl, glossy walls and cut velvet on the chairs are a variety of textures and keep this monochromatic scheme interesting.

Interior design by Jonathan Adler

In a very stark foyer, this grouping provides all the interest and gives your eye a place to rest. Everything is neutral in this room except for the accessories. The overall effect is that the space is quite colorful. Don’t be afraid of color and use interesting items that can be a conversation piece.

Interior design by Tobi Fairley

High contrast, shape and form play a major role in this impressive foyer. The black outlined dresser plays up the pretty shape of this bow front piece of furniture. Displaying the unique sculptures in the acrylic box makes these items feel important as well as protecting them. In order to layer the sculpture in front of the painting, a stack of books with graphic titles gets the acrylic box at just the right height – a little trick used by designers all the time! The books used provide additional insight into your personality.

Photo courtesy of Decorpad

Yet another collection! This grouping of turquoise items is stunning! Each vase is different in height and shape which is crucial when mixing like objects. It adds visual interest to this tablescape.

Photo courtesy of Decorpad

This ultra simple and modern white parson’s table is mixed with the rustic benches below. The stools ground this arrangement keep it from looking too light. There is a great mix of textures in this tablescape. Displaying rustic and modern, traditional and casual pieces together creates an unexpected, dynamic display.

Interior design by Kimberley Seldon Design Group

What’s not to love about this arrangement? Of course I adore the zebra print bench and glam mirrored obelisks! But the best thing about this arrangement is that in a traditional home these items freshen up the look. The symmetrical composition is loosened up with the animal print and objects on the mirrored tray.

Foyers are your first impression. Normally, we do not linger long in these spaces so have some fun and amp up your design choices. A console or dresser is the perfect spot to show off your collections, inject some personality and provide some storage. I hope that this post gives you the confidence to boldly march forward and decorate your foyer, but if not – call Corea Sotropa Interior Design for some help! We are at your service!

Cheers!

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2 Responses to “How to Decorate a Console Table in a Foyer”


  1. [...] The zebra print theme is carried through with this eye-catching chest from Grand Gallery Imports. On top, we placed a brass bamboo mirrored tray from Maria Tomas. Trays are great to use on tables like these because they ground the grouping of accessories and add another interesting layer. For more information on creating vignettes like this one check out my earlier post called “How to Decorate a Console Table” . [...]


  2. Love the design…
    Thanks for sharing this design…


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