Our living room console table was cleared of the holiday tree-in-a-basket and I was researching what to do next. And then I stumbled upon a little epiphany. A Pottery Barn epiphany. Say that seven times fast.
These images all showed a similar way to decorate the top of a console table…
Do you see the pattern?
It’s what I dubbed the “SHORT TALL COMBO”.
I’m a genius. Especially when it comes to naming stuff. Don’t be surprised when my child is named “BOY”.
Back to the point. Decorating console tables. Apparently this combination of short & tall is an easy (and fabulicious) way to decorate the top of a console table. Let’s go through it together for the person out there that is scoffing at my very clever moniker and my assessment that all these console tables are the same.
Here is an easy to see example of the short tall combo in action. One side of the table top is sporting a low-rider…a piece (or pieces) that are low in height. The other side is sporting a tall piece (or pieces) that is at least 35% higher than the short pieces. It’s like that nursery rhyme with the tall skinny man who shares with his short fat wife…it’s one happy family.
But since I am such an analyst, I had to know the details on how to make this short-tall combo work in my own home. That’s how I came up with these simple tips:
Numbero uno tip is to leave some space on the sides of the console arrangement. 10-15% of the overall length of the table should do ya just fine. It makes this tableau look less cluttered and more like an organized decor decision rather than just clutter that happened to find it’s way onto the tabletop.
Then I started looking at the actual width of the pieces. The short one was actually longer – about 75% of the total width of all the decor pieces put together. And the tall one was whatever was left over…in this example about 25%. This can be a little finicky though. The squattier one can be closer to 60% of the width…but the key is that it is still longer in width than the tall piece. So tip #2 is stick to the 75/25 rule but allow yourself some working room.
Last tip of the day is know what counts and what doesn’t. This tip is in terms of the pieces of decor. If the item is resting on the tabletop then it is participating in the combo. If it is hanging on the wall behind the console (or is a window or a chair railing or is a piece of art centered on the entire arrangement) then in the Bower Power book, it doesn’t count. It becomes part of the background rather than part of the arrangement itself. So if you have a large piece of framed art directly centered on the console & still resting on the tabletop…then proceed with the 75/25 rule of decor. If you have a large piece of framed art NOT centered on the console & still resting on the tabletop….this would count as your “tall” piece. Get it?
Now is time for examples.
Also known as ex-wham-ples for those of you who don’t get it. Literally, this concept will WHAM you in the head.
Let’s look at all those Pottery Barn tableaus again – but this time, I highlighted the short-tall combos for you to see for yourself. Here you go:
Hit ya, didn’t it?
Yeah, I was pretty stoked when I realized the pattern. It’s like seeing those hidden pictures that you have to stare into for an hour before it finally pops out at you. Except this actually helped me with my home instead of just giving me a headache and one crossed eye. Yeah. I wouldn’t recommend driving after that.
So now, tell me, are you gonna run home and decorate a console table? I am seriously considering decorating the tables at Walmart and Target. It would be great practice. And it’s pretty amazing how those super-fly PB decorators have some hidden decorating concepts just waiting for us to find, huh? Or maybe you have a different method to arranging your console tabletop….please share with it us. It could be the tops