DIY Behind-the-Sofa Table

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Chris’ latest woodworking project is done and is now adding a ton more warmth and charm into our living room!

This one was a fast one, thank goodness. No more 4-month-long projects like the family room reno please, at least for a while. This DIY console table (or sofa table, or what have you…) only took Chris a few weeknights to knock out. I think it looks great AND adds a ton of function.

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Chris and I were browsing around at West Elm a while ago and noticed all of the “rustic” furniture that is sooooo trendy right now. You know, the recycled “pallet” furniture look. Chris remarked that he thought building some of those rustic-looking furniture pieces wouldn’t be difficult, so I challenged him to do it!

We actually had a goodly amount of “reclaimed” wood (a.k.a. scrap wood taken out of the house during renovations) and an L-shaped sofa table seemed like just the right project for it. We had been wanting something behind the L-shaped sofa in the living for a while. The sofa was looking kind of tiny all smooshed in the corner of the room and we wanted something to help float it out off the walls.

Before:

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Now:

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The reclaimed wood is all battered and scraped, which is definitely in keeping with this trendy industrial-rustic look.

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Structurally, it’s an incredibly simple piece. We knew it would mostly be hidden behind the sofa so we didn’t bother to finish off the inner sides:

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Here’s what the legs look like in case that helps. The legs were just scrap 2×4′s screwed together and the top/exposed sides are three 1×4′s screwed side by side. The 1×4′s were pretty old and brittle so we had a bit of splitting but nothing too bad.

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Then we gave it a light sanding with coarse-grit sandpaper just to remove any splinters. It’s definitely pretty bare-bones on the interior.

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But the parts that show look great! The L-shape makes it so unique and perfect for our space.

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You can’t really see it until you get close. But it’s a great place to set a drink and warms up those cool gray walls a TON.

I’m still figuring out how to decorate it. The budget is pretty tight around here so I’m not really looking to buy a ton of new accessories, so I’ll be rummaging through what I have in the house. I did add some of my DIY napkin pillows for a nice pop of color.

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IMPORTANT UPDATE! We have now created plans that will will help you to build this project. Better angles, more info, and measurements! Go take a look at the plans for the DIY sofa table!

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I can’t decide whether we should have built it out longer so it reaches the other side of the window. What do you think? Is this a project you would tackle?

If you like this project, check out our DIY Dining Table too!

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Sharing over at Not Just a HousewifeThe Shabby Nest, SavvySouthernStyle!

 

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34 Comments on DIY Behind-the-Sofa Table

  1. Sarah @ 20 State
    May 12, 2013 at 5:50 am (2 years ago)

    I would leave it just the way it is! I love how it blends in behind the couch, looks fantastic! I imagine you will have heaps of fun adding bits and pieces to it over time.

    Reply
  2. Stacy Risenmay
    May 13, 2013 at 7:37 am (2 years ago)

    I love this idea! Such a good use of space :)

    Reply
    • Camilla
      May 13, 2013 at 9:08 am (2 years ago)

      Thanks Stacy and Sarah! We’re finding it is really useful for putting coffee cups, etc…out of reach of our toddler!

      Reply
      • PeaceOfMind
        June 17, 2013 at 6:22 am (2 years ago)

        If you haven’t already realized it, there is no place that is both convenient to you and out of reach of toddlers at the same time :)

        Reply
        • Camilla
          June 17, 2013 at 8:54 am (2 years ago)

          Haha…it’s true! My daughter just figured out how to climb up on the sofa and now nothing is safe =).

          Reply
  3. Kathryn
    May 14, 2013 at 6:13 am (2 years ago)

    I love it! It’s amazing how it does add a little more warmth to the space! You have a good hubby there to make you it!

    Reply
    • Camilla
      May 14, 2013 at 9:26 pm (2 years ago)

      I do indeed! Thanks for dropping by, Kathryn!

      Reply
  4. Judy
    June 2, 2013 at 5:03 am (2 years ago)

    Leave it the way it is. It looks great !

    Reply
    • Camilla
      June 2, 2013 at 1:11 pm (2 years ago)

      Thanks Judy!

      Reply
  5. geezee
    June 12, 2013 at 6:51 pm (2 years ago)

    I love this project. We are attempting a similar project. I think if you extended it you would be back to to the disproportionate feel you mentioned from before.

    Reply
    • Camilla
      June 12, 2013 at 10:27 pm (2 years ago)

      Awesome! I would love to see how your project turns out!

      Reply
  6. Pudel - design
    July 2, 2013 at 10:27 pm (1 year ago)

    Now that is an amazing idea!
    I need this one too to be behind my sofa;)
    Thank ou for sharing.
    Love and hugs
    Lydia

    Reply
    • Camilla
      July 3, 2013 at 12:21 pm (1 year ago)

      Thanks Lydia! And thank you for linking to my blog =).

      Reply
  7. Candace
    July 15, 2013 at 9:44 am (1 year ago)

    I LOVE this project! We have a sectional sofa as well and it is rather old so the sections come apart sometimes from the kids jumping on it. I would love to do this project and extend the sides to create side tables on either side as a sort of encasement to keep the sectional from separating so often. I just may have to tackle this! Thank you for the idea!!!

    Reply
    • Camilla
      July 15, 2013 at 11:23 am (1 year ago)

      Thanks, Candace! I’d love to see pictures of your finished project when it’s done!

      Reply
  8. randi
    July 19, 2013 at 11:39 am (1 year ago)

    We have a huge sectional. I have always told my husband I wanted a shelf behind the center piece for drinks, but I think I need him to try and make this for me for the whole thing. Love it.

    Reply
    • Camilla
      July 19, 2013 at 11:44 am (1 year ago)

      Thanks! Yes, the L-shape is pretty awesome, and works perfectly for us! It’s not hard to make…go for it!

      Reply
  9. Lesley
    July 28, 2013 at 3:50 pm (1 year ago)

    I pinned your project a few weeks ago and today we made it! It turned out really well…and we used cedar so it makes the house smell awesome.
    Thanks for the inspiration! :)

    Reply
    • Camilla
      July 28, 2013 at 9:07 pm (1 year ago)

      Awesome! I would love to see a picture of your project! Maybe you can email it to me at somethingisdoneblog (at) gmail (dot) com?

      Reply
    • Desiree
      April 27, 2014 at 8:25 am (8 months ago)

      Hi, Lesley! I was thinking the same about using cedar….I love cedar! Did you buy it at a hardware store or find it a recycle/building scraps/stockpile type place(s)? I’m curious about cost vs. other types of wood & places to find it. Thanks so much for your response , or if anyone else has advice?? Happy Sunday, all :-)

      Reply
  10. the cape on the corner
    July 31, 2013 at 7:39 am (1 year ago)

    I always love this ide and look, and am super glad to see it done again. perfect spot for plants and drinks and knick knacks. great job!

    Reply
  11. Emily Stewart
    September 9, 2013 at 9:51 pm (1 year ago)

    I love it! This is exactly what we’re looking for in our living room! I am going to use this for inspiration for the one my husband and I build, thanks!

    Reply
  12. Bobbie
    December 13, 2013 at 6:55 pm (1 year ago)

    Just what I was looking for.. Hoping it will work with a reclining sofa.

    Reply
  13. Shauna
    February 1, 2014 at 10:01 am (11 months ago)

    Love it! I have my husband working on one with recessed cup holders. Fingers crossed. What color/brand is your wall color? It’s so clean!

    Reply
    • Camilla
      February 1, 2014 at 10:36 am (11 months ago)

      The gray paint on the wall is Behr Silver Drop. Thanks!

      Reply
  14. Jason
    February 14, 2014 at 7:20 am (11 months ago)

    How long is the table? How much space between the 2″ x 4″ legs? Thanks!

    Reply
    • Camilla
      February 14, 2014 at 9:16 am (11 months ago)

      Hi Jason,
      You probably want to adjust the size of the table to suit the measurements of your own sofa and room. If it helps, ours is 98″ long on the longer side. But unless you have our exact same sofa, you’ll probably just need to measure yours! The center support legs are about midway.
      As for the piece between the legs. Well, the table is approx 11″ wide (three 1x4s, though each 1×4 isn’t exactly 4 inches wide). The average thickness of a 2×4 is 1.5″, so subtract 3 inches from 11 and the middle piece is about 8″. But these sizes are approximate so it’s best to have your saw handy so you can measure and cut as you go (though I understand that’s not always possible). Hope that helps.

      Reply
  15. Betsy @ BPhotoArt
    April 8, 2014 at 2:19 pm (9 months ago)

    I’ve been meaning to make something like this for a while :) Looks lovely.

    Reply
  16. Meghann
    August 23, 2014 at 8:54 am (4 months ago)

    My husband and I are tackling this project this weekend, we recently moved into a housing area and no lie we realized once all our stuff got here that there are no built in shelving units. ???? in fact the only shelves I have are my kitchen cupboards and inside the closets.

    Reply
  17. Amanda
    September 19, 2014 at 9:34 am (3 months ago)

    Where did you get that sofa from?? It is EXACTLY what I’ve been looking for!!

    Reply
    • Camilla
      September 19, 2014 at 6:21 pm (3 months ago)

      The sofa was actually a Craigslist find for about $200! But I think it’s a Jenny Convertible, which was very affordable to begin with. It feels a bit cheap, to be honest, but I love the shape.

      Reply
  18. Sheila
    October 21, 2014 at 1:29 pm (2 months ago)

    I LOVE this. I’ve been wanted to do something like this for a while at my place. Question though, I don’t have as much space as you do. Would it be too small if I made on half the size? (I was just going to use it for maybe a small plant and a few photo resting on the wall.)

    Reply
    • Camilla
      October 21, 2014 at 2:57 pm (2 months ago)

      Half the size would be pretty small. I’m not sure it would stand up well as a table. Maybe try just hanging a picture ledge or shelf on the wall behind your sofa? The effect would be similar without having to build legs on it.

      Reply

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