The Glass Console Table

The idea of a glass console table was sure to be a favorite, as the tables evolved from the days of Louis XIV.  When the concept of the small half table came into being, hallways were larger and far wider than many rooms in modern homes.  The king’s halls were actually waiting rooms for those who were queued for an audience with the royal.  The first console tables could appear quite heavy and ornate without overwhelming the area.

In modern homes where hallways are often narrow, a glass console table fills the area without giving an appearance of taking up space.  It must be noted that glass top console tables can be found in any style.  While primarily a contemporary look, the glass top can be added to any design or period piece with ease.  Manufacturers who specialize on a particular period or style have easily transitioned to glass tops to accommodate the smaller areas new homes have for display.

As shown, the glass console table is particularly suitable for modern designs.  In fact, tempered glass tops became popular in the mid-20th century and has been improved upon ever since.  It is a matter of opening up the space, while not leaving it empty.  Glass top tables, or glass console tables are designed specifically for the decor, whatever it may be, that is esthetically appealing but does not require more space than allotted.

In some cases, one or two glass panels in the top of the table may be adequate to open up the visual area.  The table shown to the right is interesting in that while the table top is made of glass panels, the lower shelf is solid, giving the piece of furniture a substantial look while not being overwhelming.

For smaller areas, the two shelf glass console table to the left is narrow with a frame that supports the glass, again providing substance while giving an open eye appeal.


Where to Use the Glass Console Table

The simple answer is that the glass console table can be used anywhere any other console, hall or sofa table would be used.  For those who have children or entertain, a glass top or glass insert on a solid surface could be ideal as glasses or drinks may be placed on the top surface.  With the glass top one will not have to worry about rings on the wood.

When to Use a Solid Glass Console Table

Using a solid glass console table can be tricky.  It should never be placed in a dark area, such as a hallway that is not well lit.  Walking the hall at night could be a catastrophe as the table may not be visible.

Additionally, using a solid glass table should be used when the decorative pieces to be placed upon it are light in weight, at least visually.  With the table being “see through” it is important to remember that the table itself is the base of the focal point.  Using a mirror with a heavy frame above the table or placing ornamental decorations on the table can make it appear top heavy.

It is important to note that whether the table is all glass or only the top is glass, the additional decorations should be adequate to complement the table, but not heavy enough to overwhelm the piece.

Using the Glass Console Table with the Sofa

When selecting a glass sofa table, one of the favorite uses for a console table, it is important to note that the table should be framed, as shown to the left.  Whatever the style selected, it is probably wise not to use a 100% glass table.  After all the purpose of most sofa tables is to keep the back of the sofa from being fully exposed.  No one wants to look at the back of a sofa.  While a glass top may be the best choice, the style and the frame of the table will be what breaks the blank look of the sofa back.

Buying a Glass Table or Glass Top Table at Auction or in a Used Furniture Store

As a big fan of auctions and used furniture stores, caution must be taken when buying a glass top table or a solid glass table at auction or in a used furniture store.

Occasionally, the frame will be for sale if the glass has been broken or lost.  Before making a purchase or a bid, be certain that the table top is not warped.  Often if the table frame has been stored without the glass, the top frame may become out of level.  Even if a new piece of glass is cut for the opening, it may not rest evenly on the frame.

Another consideration is the price of having a glass top cut as a replacement.  While it is quite possible to have a top replaced, if the opening is not a standard size, it may cost more to have a piece of glass cut and beveled to fit the opening.  On the other hand, if the opening is a standard size, checking for glass panels at a local glass shop or salvage store could save quite a bit of money while creating a beautiful piece of furniture for the home.