Behind the Couch Table Ideas for Your Living Room

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There are many ways to improve the look of a room. However, one of the top questions I get asked is how to simultaneously make a space more stylish and functional. Today, I am sharing behind-the-couch table ideas to help you do just that in your living room!

view of living room with sofa facing the tv wall, console table behind couch, decorated with candles and dried flowers

Why should I put a table behind my sofa?

You are here because you like to decorate, right? Not only does placing a table behind your couch allow you to show off your styling skills, but it also provides a place for someone to keep things nearby (like a drink or book) when a coffee or side table is not within reach.

Modern homes boast large open living spaces which means furniture is arranged away from the walls and central to the room. Placing a console table behind a sofa is an opportunity to ground furniture so the arrangement feels purposeful. Open-concept homes have a wide sightline from one space to the next so unless you want the back of your sofa to be visible, a console table is the best choice!

behind the couch table with candles for decoration, sofa table with drawers

Not everyone has a big open space to work with. If you are limited on space pull your sofa away from the wall just enough to slide a narrow console table between the wall and the sofa. This provides another way to decorate back there!

I love the look of this small console table. The woven drawer fronts make the design more interesting despite having a basic rectangular shape. An elevated look for a casual piece of furniture!

By the way, are you wondering what the difference is between a couch and a sofa? Generally speaking, a sofa is more formal and for seated conversation while a couch is for everyday use and is where you would retire for a nap. I’ll let Martha Stewart talk about the finer points, but I will be using these terms interchangeably.

Couch table sizing guide

The first step to take before any furniture purchase is to measure, and then measure again. The dimensions of your sofa will impact your console table options so it is important to make note of the length and height of the back side of it.

A console table should not exceed the back of a sofa in either direction. It is recommended to be the same height or a couple of inches below the back and there should be at least a few inches from the end of each side.

When it comes to decorating, adding too much to a small table will leave it feeling cluttered and cramped. A shorter couch requires a smaller table and less decor for balance.

It may be hard to find the right extra long table and if you do, it will likely have a hefty price tag. Keep reading for my solution to this common problem!

Sofa tables with a simple style

A simple console table is great for grounding living room furniture and lets your decor do the talking. The console table in the image below can be used just about anywhere in my home. The clean lines make it universally pleasing with any style of decor.

entryway console table decorated with a gleaming primrose mirror, vases, artwork and book

If not for the table, the back of my sofa would be visible from the adjacent kitchen. I certainly didn’t want that to be an eyesore, but I also didn’t want some elaborate piece of furniture distracting from the overall look of the view.

sofa tables with a simple style

SOURCES: 1 | 2 | 3

Budget-friendly behind-the-couch tables

You don’t have to spend a fortune to get a nice-looking table for the back of your couch. Plenty of affordable console table options won’t break the bank – especially if you are working with a small space.

The old saying goes “You get what you pay for.” But to be honest, many manufacturers are skimping on quality materials – even on higher-priced items. Sometimes the extra cost comes in the form of convenience. For example, you’ll pay more for furniture that comes assembled and is usable right out of the box. More often than not, sofa tables that need to be assembled can be done so in just a few steps.

Sofa tables for long couches and sectionals

You’ll need a longer table if you have a long couch or sectional. Traditional sofas average around 85″ but many retailers offer multiple lengths. One of the benefits of this “problem” is having more space to decorate! Just don’t overdo it with a bunch of things that will collect dust.

two console tables pushed together to make one long table behind white sofa

As I mentioned above, it can be tricky to find an affordable table for behind your long sofa or sectional. Use two (or more!) smaller tables to create the desired look! I have two smaller console tables pushed together to create the impression of one single larger table behind the couch.

view demonstrating how pushing two console tables together with straight sides makes it look like now single table behind couch
light bulb graphic

TIP: Tables that have flat sides make the best pairing for a seamless look. If the tabletop or legs stick out past the side panels you will end up with a gap. This setup makes it obvious that your sofa table is not a single piece of furniture.

The Everett console table from World Market has long been a popular choice for decorating larger spaces. I have styled it in my entryway hallway and the big blank wall in my upstairs loft area. A very versatile and affordable choice for tables on the longer side.

Everett console table decorated with storage boxes, a lamp, art, and vases

Another classic console table is from Pottery Barn. The Heritage Farmhouse table has drawers for storage and beautifully turned legs for some extra charm. It works well with an elevated casual home!

The table in the image below is currently in my entry hallway but can used as a behind-the-couch table as well. One of my favorite features, besides the length, is the reeded detail that wraps around the frame.

The reeded table above is from McGee & Co., but I found a more affordable option here!

Sofa tables with drawers and storage

This is where style meets function. One of the biggest complaints homeowners have – especially those with older homes – is the lack of storage space. Adding a console table that has storage is a bonus! Use it to store small items, like extra candles or anything you want.

three drawer console table behind couch

sofa tables with drawers

SOURCES: 1 | 2 | 3

Sofa table decor ideas

The most popular things to style on the table behind your couch are a lamp, decorative objects, coffee table books, and candles. I also like to use real or faux branches and stems to brighten up my living room. Swap out your

for a fresh new look.

table behind couch decorated with flowers

Like many aspects of my style preferences, less is more! A simple object in the center of the table makes a tasteful statement.

table behind couch decorated with dough bowl and moss

Another way to dress up the space behind your sofa is to tuck ottomans under the console table. You’ll have extra seating when needed and it is an opportunity to add fabric and texture that complements the colors and patterns already in the room.

living room view of tv wall with simple console table behind couch

A few years ago I fell in love with the grasscloth furniture from Serena & Lily. At the time, I didn’t want to spend the money on such high-end furniture so I got creative and did a couple of DIY projects that saved me thousands! I covered an IKEA malm table with peel-and-stick wallpaper and then built some smaller tables with scrap materials and covered them with wallpaper too!

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