The console table may be one of the most overlooked pieces of furniture when creating a home decor. In fact, the narrow table may be an after thought in many cases. Originally designed as a display piece with little real function other than filling a space along a wall, with modern variations the console table can have an important use in hallways in particular.
The mirrored console table is often purchased with little thought of its use other than a space filler. However, in some cases it could be a terrible selection. In other cases, it can be the best choice possible. To consider the best use of the mirror top table, one must think about its placement in the home.
The mirror top table above is a perfect example of the use of a more formal style of table with a mirror top surface. The particular table shown also has a mirrored skirt. Although the vase (partially shown) is a part of the display for the picture, it is important to note that when a mirror forms the top surface, adding too many accents can totally negate the value of the mirror. The singular vase is the perfect appearance. Should a passerby look at the table top, he will not see clutter. Instead, he will see the reflection of a well selected and well placed ornamental accent piece.
Best Use of Mirror Top Console Tables
Of course, the very best placement for mirrored console tables is in a hallway that needs reflected lighting. Many halls in newly built homes do not have access to natural lighting. That said, the only light available may be from an overhead hall light and even with that, in the late evening hours the hallway may appear shadowy.
Another “best use” would be in a corner of a larger room that does not have adequate lighting in the evening hours. For example, many family rooms have furniture groupings centrally located leaving one wall rather dark as the sun goes down. Most of us choose not to use the harsh light from an overhead ceiling light. The placement of a mirrored table along the far wall with a small table lamp could provide more than adequate lighting with a soft ambiance. With a good choice of lampshade the light would be reflected downward to the table top for soft lighting.
Avoid the Following Locations for a Table with a Mirror Top
Avoid placing a mirror topped table in an area that receives direct natural lighting. The reflection could create a glare.
A table with a mirror for the surface is not generally well placed in an area where “things” such as drinking glasses, etc. will be set. There is nothing more unattractive than a dirty or spotted mirror, either as a surface or hanging on the wall. Avoid high traffic areas.
Shopping for Quality
Luckily, if the mirror should become broken it will be easy to replace. However, a few points one should consider when purchasing a mirrored console table include the finish of the mirror.
Is it beveled? A beveled mirror has a sloping edge that is finished so as not to be sharp. Generally speaking, tables with beveled mirror tops will be more expensive, but worth the extra cost. Most often a beveled edge is the sign of a well finished back, meaning that the silvering is well done. We have all seen mirrors that have lost some of the silvering around the edges. That is the last thing one wants to see on a table top.
If the mirror is not beveled, and most will not be as style dictates the edge as much as anything, the edge should be ground to a smooth finish. There should be absolutely no sharp edges or corners.
Shopping for a Mirrored Console Table in Thrift Stores or at Auction
As always, solid wood is always recommended. Honestly, there is no reason for anyone to ever purchase a piece of furniture made of particle board. Period!
If purchasing a modern console table made of metal, be sure it is heavy enough to feel substantial. If you can easily lift it as if it is plastic, do not buy it. It could tip over if bumped into and the mirror could shatter into a carpeted area. Buy quality.
Before shopping at a thrift store or at auction, call the local glass company and ask the cost of 3/8″ thick mirror that is 16″ x 40″. There is no exact size of a console table, but using those measurements for the mirrored top should give an idea of the cost to replace the mirror should it be missing. With that figure in mind, determine the price you are willing to pay for a table without the mirror. As always, if you do not find the perfect table at the right price, there will always be another day and another table.