Finding the perfect balance of decor when styling your console or entryway table.

Arguably one of the trickiest areas of your home to decorate is the entryway. The entrance console table and its accompanying accessories are the first things guests will see when they enter your home.

So home owners tend to place pressure on themselves to make this space perfect! And while there is really no such thing as “perfect styling” (home decorating after all is a personal and ever-evolving thing), there are certain tips and tricks designers use to achieve a harmonious balance and scale.

It should be simple, after all we’re only talking about one piece of furniture. However, I think people over get overwhelmed and either overdecorate their tables or leave too much to the imagination.

Interior Designer Tricks for Styling Your Console or Entryway Table

1. Remember Function

The entryway is an important part of the home, not only for being a visual element but also functional. When people come in from the front door, the console table is a place for resting keys, bags, mail, etc. It can also be a spot for adding ambient lighting with a table lamp.

So before you are tempted to cover the table top with loads of picture frames and pillar candles, keep function in mind. This will mean something different for every family, of course. A home with young children that come piling through the door and race towards the TV will want to avoid any breakable items on the console table.

In addition, the LAST thing you want in front of a gorgeously styled console table is a stack of dirty shoes! Eeek, the thought! So always opt for baskets or attractive bins (even storage ottomans) that are more aesthetically pleasing.

2. Less is Always More

Larger statement pieces will always prevail over lots of knick-knacks. A tall vase with minimal stems or an interesting low-lying bowl have a large presence, and also allow for breathing room on the rest of the table. And why does breathing room matter? For two reasons!

First is the functional part we chatted about above. Space allows someone to put something down without knocking everything else over!

Second is something designers call “visual rest”. This is empty space which allows the eye to rest in between decorative elements. This results in an elevated and more expensive look, which is always the goal in interior design.

3. Scale Definitely Matters

What exactly does scale mean? People often think it has to do with the size of things. This is only partially true. Scale refers to the size in proportion to the space it’s being placed in. For example, a wide table lamp that extends past the edge of your console table is sadly not to scale.

The secret to achieving the perfect scale? Measuring! This is NOT something I was comfortable with in my early days of decorating our first home. I would see something in the store, fall in love and bring it home. No consideration taken to the scale of the space, which sometimes meant the same item I loved in the store I didn’t love at home. Bummer!

Before perusing the aisles of your favorite shop, bring the measurements of your console table (length and width) with you. This will save time, frustration and dollars!

Don’t forget the walls either! Whether you select a mirror or artwork, the scale is sooo important! Wall decor should be hung no more than 3″ from the table top and should not be wider than the table itself (2/3 of the table width to be exact!)

4. The Beauty of Balance

Take the same rules of scale and minimalism and apply them to the idea of balance. Ever heard the decorating “rule of odds” where you use odd numbers to accessorize? It’s a tell-tale gem that really works!

When items are placed in pairs or evens, they can look too symmetrical – almost forced. The idea with decorating is to achieve an effortless and organic look of elements that all work together. So by using the rule of odds and clustering accessories in threes, the result is a more interesting overall look.

In addition, varying heights are important for achieving balance. I’m talking a tall table lamp, stack of books with interesting decorative accent, and a textured vase with stems. This makes more sense than all low-lying or all tall accessories competing with each other, right?

5. Don’t Be Afraid of Variety

Nothing resembles a cringe-worthy moment more than walking into someone’s home and seeing an entryway table littered with the same item…over and over. I’m talking clusters of photo frames, loads of candles, or an abundance of greenery. Understand that too much of ANYthing is never a great idea.

Instead, choose variety! As mentioned above, keeping function and balance in mind opt for things like a table lamp, vase with stems, stack of books, taper candles, bowl or vase – you get the point. Variety means interest and texture – two main components in interior design!