What To Put On A Console Table Behind A Couch

The console returns. Yes, the console is like Rocky and Batman movies. The sequels keep coming. Maybe instead of The Console Returns we should say “Console: The Final Chapter” or “The Console Strikes Again” or “I Still Know What You Did Last Console.” No? Fine. We’ll stick with The Console Returns.

Yes, after many (many) posts about our big console build, this is the official finale. And this one is the most exciting for me because it’s all about the fun stuff I put on it. Haha. I’m deep, what can I say? I’m sure it’ll constantly change, but here’s what it looks like today:

The lamps were more than we’ve ever spent on lamps (I have some sort of imaginary $50-a-pop maximum and these were $59 each) but from the moment I saw them at Marshall’s I couldn’t. walk. away. I even texted a picture of them to my friend Cat and she said “You’re a magpie, gotta have ’em if they’re shiny.” So I said to myself: “Self, what’s $18 extra bucks when it’s true lamp love?” It did help that they were marked down from $125 each.

We also picked up that big capiz-topped black lacquered box from HomeGoods (on clearance for $15, down from $36) because I knew it would be awesome for stashing nearly all of the clutter that seems to collect on the sofa (a few magazines, books, notebooks, pens, remotes, and even my brush and lotion). And the sleek glammy vibe worked with the blingy lamps to bring some modern chicness to our rustic ol’ console beast.

Other than that I just brought in some stuff that we already owned, from a few stacks of pretty hardcover books that I love to flip through (which are also functional thanks to a handy coaster that I stacked on top for my nightly cup of tea and the smaller white capiz box that’s secretly full of my smaller sofa essentials (lip gloss, vitamins, nail clippers, etc).

And this cute $3 thrifted quatrefoil tray is perfect for all of the jewelry that I like to remove as soon as I sink into my special spot on the sectional (the chaise in case you’re wondering).

And here’s what we have going on in those hidden baskets in the middle compartment. The left side is full of board games since this the room where we usually get our game on. And the basket on the right has a lesser used remote (for the DVD player) as well as some books that we got for Clara from the library (we try to keep them all together so we’re not looking everywhere for one last book on the day that they’re due).

And of course we have a little ceramic animal action going on thanks to my old ZGallerie rhino friend. Probably just for a bit until Clara gets bigger and he becomes endangered. Then he’ll go live on the built-ins in the dining room again:

For some reason this shot kills me. The little ceramic rhino butt in the background gets me every time.

As for the bookshelf sides of the console, we found three of these $5 baskets at HomeGoods, so the one on the close side of the console on the bottom shelf is full of a bunch of Clara’s board books while the top shelf has some of our books and a fun little Cardboard Safari rhino going on.

… and two more baskets on the far side of the console have blocks and other small toys stashed inside.

We’re sure everything that we have on/in the console table will be constantly changing. For example, once Clara’s a bit more mobile I don’t think my beloved ceramic rhino will get to live up there anymore. Unless I want him to meet an untimely end like my ceramic pooch.

Heck, she might even try to murder the cardboard rhino on that side shelf (so far, so good though) so we’re just going to play it by ear. We might decide that we’d like more empty space for putting stuff down on the top of the console (we have that big expanse in the center for a large bowl of chips or something, along with plenty of room for more coasters for drinks, but you never know if we’ll want even more). So it’ll be fun to tweak it and watch it evolve as the rest of the room comes together over the next year or two (still on the list: breezy curtains to add softness, a larger and more balanced looking media cabinet, etc).

And now for the weirdest video we’ve ever made. We were in sort of a quirky mood so we thought it would be hilarious to make a sexy stroking-the-console-video of the whole thing in action (we even throw open that middle compartment for ya to see how it opens and closes in “real time”). The music kills me. And the slow motion. Yup, we’re still laughing about it:

Strangest video you’ve ever seen. Am I right? Oh and we have one more pic for ya. At night it’s all sorts of magical in the living room now that we removed all the weird ceiling fans and that off-center corner pendant light and use the console table lamps along with the desk lamp to illuminate the room.

This photo doesn’t even do it justice, but in person it’s so cozy and glowey and charming. And we can only imagine how the right curtains and a bigger and more proportionate media cabinet will take this work-in-progress room a whole lot further. Someday…

Psst- Wanna flip back through the whole console building journey? Here’s the first post, the second post, the third post, the fourth post, and the fifth post.


  1. Christina Peterson says

    I think this room, particularly the couch and console table, is some of the best work you all have done. It’s really amazing.

  2. Martha says

    Oooooh – shiny happy lamps! I love it. I also appreciate the night shot. It’s amazing how different a room can look as the lighting situation changes.

  3. Emily says

    Love the lamps! I’ve got a blog post suggestion: can you tell us your secrets for shopping for the house? We just bought a new house ourselves and there is just so much to buy it is overwhelming! Do you shop for one space at a time? Or keep a running list of things you need for various rooms so you can keep track when you’re out and about? I’d love to hear your strategies!

    • says

      I wish we had a process but we don’t. We just have a running list of big items we need (ex: dining room table, guest room bed, etc) and we save up for and purchase those in the order of priority (exL if overnight guests are coming next weekend we get the bed before the dining room table). As for smaller things, we also prioritize those in our minds and just keep an eye out for things we need. We would have waited months for “the right” console lamps if we couldn’t find them right away. We would much rather wait for the perfect thing than buy some interim item that we’re only feeling “meh” about. Hope it helps!


  4. JennyB says

    oh man..that video made me laugh out loud. Thanks for a great start to the day. The console is terrific! The whole room is just beautiful. And I love that you put the library books together so that you can find them on the due date. It makes my little librarian’s heart proud!

  5. Angela says

    So cozy. Love it. Hey, bte, the toy basket 9the big one) you have for Clara? Do you have a link for it? Couldn’t find one at my Tar-jay.

  6. karen says

    LOVE the lamps. The colour of the base looks so good with the wood!!
    I would like to see more of that gorgeous distressed wood though. It’s too awesome to cover.

  7. says

    Your room is coming around just swimmingly. Now, I have an idea, and maybe you have thought about it or maybe you may nix it as bunk… Maybe in the future would you consider getting taller lamps shades for your fabulous lamps? I think a taller shade might bring a bit more height to that wall. Just a thought! Keep up the fab work!

    • says

      I think for right now we’re in love with the lamps just as they are (with those chunky drum shades) but who knows where we’ll end up down the line!


  8. Mel says

    Sherry, your lamps look like the big Disney Epcot ball! How magical. <3 I love reading about your life, it really gives me hope that some day I'll have my own house and family to come home to.

  9. David F. says

    Might need to mark the movie NSFW just based on the music ;)

    Very nice work… we are tempted to try our hands making night stands based on this very soon.

    BTW- we made the trek from Williamsburg to Maymont on Saturday based on your “top things to do in Richmond”… that place is fantastic! Our toddler loved all the animals!

  10. says

    The devil really is in the details and all the little accessories have really pulled the room together! My favorites are the lamps (gorgeous) and the side baskets. The room was feeling a little straight-lined but the round lamps were the perfect choice. Love seeing the transformations.

  11. Heiðdís Björk says

    Just wanted to say that the console is awesome. I´ve been reading your page for almost a year now, great stuff and lots of ideas. Thank you and keep up the good work:)

    Greatings from Iceland:)

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