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N Style & Design


Styling Console Tables: The Floating Leaf Method

We all love a styled console table, don’t we? Or maybe it’s just me. It’s a real obsession. Luckily for my wallet, my apartment can’t hold any more furniture or else I’d have multiple tables in here. But to be honest, the one tiny console table I have needs WORK, so I think I’ll put some time into getting that right first.

Now, even though design is always preference, there are some general tips to help you style your console and keep it looking beautiful no matter what decor you arrange on it:

1. Focal - Your focal can be a mirror, a gallery wall, a large decor piece. Whatever you want. You want it to be proportional to the area to fill it out visually.

2. Tall decor - A lamp, a flower arrangement. Something that helps bridge the gap between your focal and your console because the eye is going to travel down. Ever tried skipping a step on the way down? It’s unpleasant. We don’t want that gap here.

3. Mid-size decor - Framed art, a set of candle holders, a little sculpture statue, books displayed vertically.

4. Real or decorative plant - Plants make everything better. Having some greenery or florals brings in that element of nature which is always a plus.

5. Decorative accessories - These are probably some of the smallest/lowest items on your table. Decorative spheres, garlands, or little travel souvenirs. Once again, it’s up to you!

Bonus: If you have room under your table, add larger things to fill that space as well, such as baskets or ottomans. That way it stays visually grounded without looking top heavy.


Now, even though I am a symmetry loving queen, one of my favorite ways to see a console table styled is actually asymmetrically. but still balanced. So, how do you achieve this?

The Floating Leaf Method

(Ok, I’m not getting any awards for naming things, but let me explain my thought behind that.)

Leaves don’t normally fall straight down. They lightly float left and right until they reach the ground. Or at least they do in animations, lol. If we use some of the general styling tips mixed with this “floating leaf” method, we can master a well designed table!

So if you imagine you’re dropping a leaf from the top of your focal point (in this illustration, the mirror), the leaf floats down slowly, left and right, which is what we want the eye to do. It hits the tallest element and makes its way down through the varying heights of decor.

In the example below it’s similar but a different too. This imaginary leaf doesn’t go left, right, left, right. It floats left, to the right twice, then left twice. With wider consoles most likely you’ll “float” the same direction more than once to avoid everything being bunched in the middle.

Obviously it’s not an exact science but it’s a helpful tip to think of and use if you’re trying to achieve a balanced asymmetrical look for your console, or even a dresser or a shelf!


1 comment

1 Comment

Unknown member
Jan 11, 2023

you are a genius!!

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