Console Table Information
Console tables, sometimes referred to as “sofa tables,” have been around for centuries. They conjure up a variety of images for a variety of people. Some people may be more familiar with console furniture history than others, but for those of us who know only the modern rendition of this multifaceted table, we will review a brief history of this unique piece of furniture.
Console Table History 101
It is thought that console tables, in their original form, were designed by the Romans first. When they were initially designed, they were created with two legs rather than the four–legged tables we are accustomed to. Originally these tables were designed to be built right into a wall or other permanent structure to give them stability, since they clearly could not stand on their own. This kind of design is commonly known as a furniture installation. They were narrow by design, and have retained that design up through modern times. Much ornate consideration was given to the front and top of the table only, as the back was obviously never seen. Many changes and alterations were given to this piece over the centuries to reflect the philosophy of art and beauty of that period.
Transformation of the Modern Console Table
Presently, the modern version of this table has some similarities with its ancient counterpart, but obviously the greatest difference now is console tables come with four legs, rather than two—though the two–legged variety can still be custom made and installed. They have kept their original name because the front and top of the table many times will still have some kind of added ornate decoration—usually in the form of small drawers with elegant or fancy knobs and handles—with the back still being quite plain.
Sofa tables are very versatile in material and design, featuring everything from wood with glass tops, marble tops, or copper or gold-leaf tops, to wrought-iron or other metal legs with the same kind of tops. They can be relatively cheap or run to the extremely expensive side. They can also be purchased in a variety of period styles to fit almost any furniture decor.
These beautiful and ornate tables are much taller than most occasional, accent, or coffee tables, averaging 32”-36,” or about hip height of the typical adult. Some varieties are made a little taller—more towards waist high or so.
Where to Utilize Console Tables
Console tables make a beautiful addition to any decor - from rustic Texas ranch homes to elegant New York lofts. Many times these tables are used in entryways with a beautiful arrangement of flowers or a unique sculpture piece to welcome your guests. Since many tables feature drawers or cabinets, small items can be kept in them, such as a guest book, keys, mail, or pamphlets and business cards. Other people place them behind a sofa or in a corner displaying a beautiful lamp or framed pictures of family and friends. The decorating possibilities are endless with these lovely - and often practical - addition to any home!
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