The entryway is an important part of your home. It gives guests a glimpse into your personality and style. One way to express that style is through an entryway table, where you can place pictures of your family, pieces of art, or even your keys. However, you want to be sure any entryway table is just the right size. Too small, and you completely miss it, too big, and it’s overpowering and leaves room for little else. So how tall should an entryway table be exactly?
The exact length of an entryway table can vary pretty widely. Depending on the size of the hallway or home entrance, it could be anywhere from 32-64 inches long and 14-18 inches deep. However, the height is quite similar across different entryway tables; it is typically anywhere from 30-36 inches.
Now that we know how tall entrance tables are, we can look further into some of the uses for them (they are not limited to just entryways), how to style them, and what is the best height for them and for what will be its primary use. Read on to find out more.
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What is a Good Height for a Console Table?
Generally speaking, a good rule of thumb is to have a console table at a height that is level with where a person’s hand will naturally hang at their sides. This is usually anywhere between 2.5 to 3 feet tall.
This height is convenient because you can simply place a purse, keys, or a jacket there without having to bend down or reach high.
Different Uses and What Height Works Best for Each
With all the potential uses for a console table, you may be wondering what a good height for a console table is if you’re placing it somewhere other than the foyer?
As already established, the potential height for a console doesn’t vary too much. However, even just a few inches too tall or short can throw off the entire look or feel of a room. So, let’s take a look at what the ideal height is depending on the use.
- Console table behind the sofa. This is a fairly common interior design look. The console table is placed behind a sofa and used to hold lamps or pictures. In this case, the ideal height is one inch shorter than the back of the sofa, but if it ends up being shorter than that, it is not a big deal.
Generally speaking, your console table should not be taller than the back of your sofa (though some people prefer the look of it). Given that the average sofa height is between 30-36 inches, your console table should be anywhere from 29-35 inches. However, it should not be longer than the couch. A general rule of thumb is to keep at least six inches of the sofa on either side of the console.
- Console table as a side table. There’s a little more leeway with this. A table that stands taller than the armrests on a sofa may not appeal to someone’s aesthetic sensibility, but it’s really just a matter of personal preference.
- Console table as a mantle. Perhaps you have a home that doesn’t have a fireplace or mantle, and you’d like to create a similar kind of space by using a console table such as is shown here. While a standard-sized console could look really nice if you accessorized it right, you may want something that is closer to the height of an actual mantle so you can see the items on it clearly when you are standing.
If that’s the case, while they are not as common, it is possible to find some console tables that are around 42 inches in height.
- Console table a buffet. A console can also be a great addition to a dining area. A console with drawers can hold the fancier dining-ware that may need to be stored separately to avoid tarnishing. The top can be used as a place to hold the extra dishes that may not fit on the table if you are having a big dinner. The great part about using a console table as a buffet is that one that is standard-sized will work perfectly.
- Console table as a desk. If you don’t have a lot of space for a full-sized desk but still need a workspace area, a console table can be a great option. It is deep enough that it can hold a laptop or notebooks, and if it has drawers, then it will also have the storage space you need. A standard-sized desk is between 28-30 inches, which is right in line with the standard-sized console table, and it will be easy to find.
- Console table as a bar cart. There’s something great about having a designated spot for alcoholic beverages and preparation-especially when you have guests come over. If you get a console table with plenty of space underneath, you can store bottles of wine, liquor, bowls, shakers, and towels, while the top can be used for direct preparation. Most bar carts are table height, making a standard console the perfect height.
- Console table for laundry sorting. Having a designated area where you can place clean laundry and sort it before you put it away is another great use for a console table. That place being a table is especially nice because you don’t have to worry about anybody sitting on it (like they would on a couch) or fuzzing it up (thanks, pets).
Because consoles are so narrow, they won’t take up a lot of space and can be placed in an area that is convenient between the laundry area and the bedrooms.
- Console table as a vanity. Perhaps you really love the idea of having a vanity in your room, but you don’t have enough space for a full-sized one. A console table can easily be turned into a vanity, and a standard 30-inch tall console will work just fine.
What is a Good Length for a Console Table?
As mentioned in the introduction, the height of a console table is usually within a four- or five-inch range of 28-33 inches. The length, however, can be anywhere from two feet to seven feet (with the average length usually being in the two-to-four foot range). So, how do you know what the proper length console is for you and your home?
What Is Its Purpose?
Before you start shopping, and definitely before making a final purchase decision, one thing you will need to ask yourself is what the ultimate purpose of your console table is going to be.
- Are you going to use it as a display? If you are going to use it primarily as an area to display your artwork, plants, books, or treasured items you’ve picked up from various places, then a standard size and style of console table that can fit into an alcove or against a spare wall without taking up a lot of space will work just fine. An extra-long console really isn’t necessary.
- Is it going to be used in a more practical way? On the flip side, if you want to use it as a storage area or as a place for your entertainment system, then a longer console of five to seven feet could be really helpful.
- Is it going to be part of your laundry solution? If you are planning to add it to the laundry room, having a longer console can provide that extra space for sorting and folding clothes, while drawers can be used to hold detergent, fabric softener, and the like.
The Space it Will Be Placed In
Another thing you will need to think about is the space itself that you are planning to put your console in or against. For example, are you planning to stay traditional and keep it in your entryway or hallway? If so, a standard-sized length will be the perfect option to add that sophisticated touch to the entrance of your home.
However, what if you are planning to place it behind a sofa or to use it against an otherwise empty wall or larger space? In this case, you will want to have a console table that fills the space a bit more, so it can properly serve its purpose and not look awkward or out of place.
Different Styles and Materials
One of the great things about console tables is that, although they were originally made in a half-moon shape and out of stone or wood, they have expanded and are made in a wide variety of shapes and materials. When it comes to the material you choose, the most important thing to remember is to choose a console made of a strong material such as any of the following, which each have different benefits that may appeal to your sense of style.
- Glass. Glass is a popular option for furniture such as console tables. Some of the appealing factors include the fact that it is easy to clean, can make it look like you have extra space (especially nice in smaller homes), and reflects the light in an attractive way.
- Granite. Granite is an especially sturdy option. In addition to being an attractive material, it is resistant to scratching and chipping and is also resistant to bacteria.
- Slate. Slate is also a very sturdy option for a console table. It is often used in roofing and flooring because it is water and mold-resistant. So, if you are using your console table as a coffee, liquor, or side table, then this could be a great option as it is a waterproof material perfect for any coffee or other liquid spills.
- Marble. If beauty is especially important for you, then marble could be a great option. It is attractive, always in style, is environmentally friendly, and a less expensive option than some other materials, such as granite.
- Hardwood. Hardwood is a great option if you want a classic look. It is long-lasting, and there is great potential for versatility in look and design.
- Softwood. Softwood console tables are perfect for the person who enjoys rearranging their furniture. It is lightweight and easy to move, and easy to turn into different shapes (for that person who wants a custom-made piece of furniture).
- Iron. The benefits of having an iron console table are that it is easy to clean and durable. Furthermore, it is resistant to rust and corrosion, which means it can last a long time and be passed down to other family members. It is also perfect for those who like their tables to have detailing or designs built into them.
- Steel. A steel console table has many positives, including being recyclable, stable, durable, capable of bearing a lot of weight, and for those whose sense of style veers into the contemporary, the perfect look to finish off your home.
- Aluminum. Aluminum furniture has a distinctly modern look and can be finished in a variety of colors, including gold plated, making it a versatile material option for a console table.
- Stone. This is a classic material for a console table, and it has stood the test of time because it is durable, strong, and environmentally friendly.
How Can I Style My Console Table?
A console table can really be a great addition to the home, but we’ve all seen homes that have a piece of furniture that either stands out or feels awkward. So, what are some things you can add to the surrounding area where you place your console table so that it enhances and blends in well with the rest of your home?
Take a look at some of these ideas:
- Hang a piece of art directly above the table. If you want to take it to the next level, place some items (such as plants or books) that are in the same theme or style as the artwork.
- Hang a mirror over the table. A mirror can help the space seem bigger, while the console table will draw attention to it.
- Dress up the table with some books and interesting bookends.
- If you find that the table doesn’t match the look that you’re going for, dress it up with a tablecloth and choose the rest of your decorations from there.
- Don’t be afraid to use the space under the console. Some interesting-looking baskets (which can also be used for storage) can add a unique flair to the area.
Although console tables were made out of either wood or stone originally, many more materials are now available to suit your lifestyle and personal sense of style. Along with the material, knowing how to style the area around your console can really make it a lovely feature that enhances your home.
The History of the Entryway Table
The entryway table has been around for a couple of hundred years. It is believed that their first appearance was in 17th Century France. Their original name (which is also still used) was a console table. It was thus named because it was originally more of a shelf attached to the wall than a freestanding table. The part which anchored it to the wall was typically scroll-shaped and called a console bracket.
As the years have gone by, console tables have gone through many iterations. The very first console tables were a half-moon similar to the one seen here. Many of them were pieces of art, in and of themselves, made from either wood or stone, with beautiful detailing added to them or carvings etched into them.
As the years have passed, the shapes, designs, and even the uses have changed considerably. While many people still use and prefer the half-moon shape, the more modern look is a narrow, rectangular freestanding table. Additions, such as shelves or drawers, are fairly common and have helped expand their use and offer some extra storage in the home.
No Longer Just For Entryways
Additionally, while they are often still used as an entryway table, they have also expanded into other parts of the home. Some people use them as coffee tables to center their living room. Some put their tv on them as a welcome change from the clunky look typically associated with that piece of furniture.
Still, others use them as side tables or place them behind their sofas, while others use them as buffets. Their narrow size makes them unobtrusive and easy to place, but their varying lengths can provide many uses, both practical and decorative, to the home.
Entryway tables, also known as console tables, are typically anywhere between 28-33 inches in height, while the length of them can vary greatly between 24-84 inches. While they may have originally started out as just tables that were placed in the foyer or entrance of the home, their uses have expanded to side tables, coffee tables, mantles, buffets, vanities, desks, and so much more.
You don’t have to limit your creativity.