Imagine If - Betsy's Console

My good friend Betsy emailed me with a design challenge a little while back. She wrote,

"Here are photos of our entertainment center thingy that I am having trouble figuring out how to decorate.  Right now, it is a hodgepodge of things that I just had around the house.  I really haven't taken any time to actually "style" it.  I was thinking I needed some taller items because of the space between it and the TV."

Here's her console in its present state

These are my suggestions:

You're absolutely right about that space between the TV and the console top! That span of wall is begging for some love. While browsing pinterest, I found a few pictures for inspiration, and this one is my favorite:
Image by Patrick Cline for Lonny
I love it because both the objects on the table, (namely the branches,) and the images in the gallery wall add height, and they're layered beautifully. (Branches like that, by the way, can be very inexpensive, and they last forever! I bought a sweet set last week at The San Francisco Flower Mart for $15!) I'm also loving the way the matching lamps add some symmetry, while the rest of the look is more casual.

Now of course, there isn't a TV in that picture, but below are a few other sources of inspiration that do include televisions:

In this picture, the items on the console are kept to a minimum, which helps keep the look clean.

 Image via Open Deco, photographer unknown

In this picture, a few of the frames mimic that of the TV, which makes it look like a part of the collection.
Image via Open Deco, photographer unknown

In this picture, rather than a standard gallery wall, floating shelves fill the space. What helps this look stay uncluttered, is the scale and color palette of the objects and pictures. For the most part, everything is over scale, and grey, beige, or black. Even the shelves match the console!

In all of the pictures, the color schemes are pretty muted, which helps keep your eyes from darting around too much.

If I were shopping for your console, I'd consider the following items:
  • Frames for a gallery wall, in a few shades; some browns, some black, mostly large in size, to match your TV. (You can fill them with all kinds of things. It doesn't have to be labeled "art" to be framed! Sherry and John at Young House Love do a fabulous job of turning non-art into art. You can also hunt for things in vintage stores, estate sales, Etsy... or DIY!)
  • Two matching tall-ish lamps, to flank the ends of the table for symmetry, like the first inspiration picture.
  • Something tall and natural, like branches or an orchid to place to one side.
  • Then I'd probably clear everything else off, except for maybe that gorgeous wooden leaf tray.
  • I'd also consider a basket or two for inside the console - they're so good for hiding remotes and tchotchkes.
  • Organizing ties, for keeping those cables under wraps.

Here's a rough Polyvore mock-up. (My first one ever!) I tried to keep everything affordable. ♥

For Betsy

Ribba Frame
$15 -

Framed Alice Too Big Wall Art
$24 -

Erikslund Frame
$9.99 -
Malden Linear Wood Frame
$8.61 -

Palma Small Low Basket
$9.95 -

RIBBA frame
$20 -

Jära Shade
$30 -

Wooden Owl Frame
$18 -

Hive Vase
$24 -
Januari Lamp Base
$13 -

Chestnut Branch
$20 -

$8 -

Time for some shopping!


  1. These are great ideas! I agree about keeping the wall tones reasonably muted, so you can make it all happen with the details instead.
    P.S I love your blog logo - cute!


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