The Difference Between a Console Table vs a Sofa Table
When shopping for living room tables, the variety of names can get confusing. Similarly sized, console tables and sofa tables leave many people wondering “what is the difference between these two choices?” Both somewhat slight in depth and tall, console and sofa tables resemble each other and the names are often used interchangeably. And for good reason, the primary difference between the two is where each is placed in the room.
A console table is taller than other living room tables. The height is similar to that of a dining table, usually in the range of approximately 30” – 33” in height. However, console tables have a bit more flexibility in the range since they are not designed to fit a standard chair.
Consoles have a fairly shallow depth of approximately 12” – 18”, but if you search the marketplace you are sure to find outliers. The length is the biggest variable, with measurements ranging anywhere from a scant 36” to an expansive 72” though the most common sizing falling somewhere between 42”-56” long.
It can have 4 legs, or three. Depending on the design, some even have a pedestal base and on a rare occasion, you’ll find a console table that attaches to the wall and has only one or two front legs for support. Console tables can completely open in the base or be constructed with drawers or shelves for storage and display, some have stretchers for added support and enhanced aesthetic. Typically the base is not a closed in as a cabinet would be. The shape of the table can be rectangular, oblong or even semicircular (also referred to as demilune).
Because of the size and dimensions, console tables are most commonly placed against a wall. They add a finished look to walls in the living room, entryway, or hallway. This is the perfect spot to display your family photos, cherished collectibles or decorative items.
Console tables can also be used below a high-mounted flat screen TV to balance the space. They can even be a successful option as a small server or bar in the dining room if you don’t have enough space for a typical server (which tend to be much deeper than a console).
Choose the size of your console table based on the size of the space that you have to fill. Because space is usually limited in an entryway or hallway, the best option is typically the more shallow tables.
When a console table is placed up against the back of a sofa it is called a sofa table. For design layouts that include a freestanding sofa that floats in the room, it completes the look quite nicely to have a sofa table against the back of the sofa. In this configuration, top the sofa table with a lamp or two, along with décor items.
When selecting a sofa table, choose a size that is shorter than the back of the sofa by about an inch or more. Typically it will look best if it is shorter than the frame (not just shorter than the pillows). The width should be at least 1 foot shorter so that you have 6 inches of sofa extending on either side of the table.
Uses and Designs
In many rooms throughout the house, a console tables or sofa table will complete your décor vision. Both help balance the design of your space and fill a visual void, offering a nice surface for display and often a drawer or two for storage. If you are in need of more storage than these pieces have to offer, browse the media consoles, sideboards or other cabinets.
If you have an open spot in your home that would benefit with the addition of one of these tables, be sure to search through selections in both categories to find the perfect fit. You’ll find a wide range of styles spanning from rustic industrial to stately traditional. Check the dimensions carefully to be sure you find the right fit for your space.