Floating Shelf Behind the Couch – Is it a Shelf or is it a Table?

This floating shelf behind the couch is a sofa table. The narrow space behind the sofa is perfect for a shelf that doubles as a table.

During party prep, I had another project on my to-do list, aside from the mantle, decorations, and everything else. Find a better way to have a sofa table. After we bought our new sectional I wanted a space for lamps, to set drinks, and to have pretty things. So my husband and I started building a sofa table. It had to be tall enough to go behind the couch. But small enough to fit between the couch and the wall.

What we built ended up being a wobbly piece of crap. So we scrapped it and went back to the drawing board. I thought about the fact that the curtains would cover the side of the table. So no one would ever see anything but the tabletop. I also thought about how much I liked being able to slide things behind the couch.

This all led to me deciding to make our sofa table a floating shelf behind the couch on brackets instead. I bought a 12″ wide piece of white wood. Then, I cut it down to size. The wood needed to fit the length of the wall.

Then, I stained it and gave it a few layers of poly.

Sofa table shelf

After the seal dried, I measured out the spacing of the studs and attached the brackets to my shelf. Then I realized that I flipped the shelf the wrong way, so the brackets didn’t line up with the studs. Never fear, that’s what anchors are for! Even though I wanted to doing that, at least it was an option.ย 

Shelf sofa table

Boom! A floating sofa table! And look at all the space underneath the shelf! It’s perfect for my lighting kit, which is too big and bulky to go anywhere else. And for my yoga mat since I workout in the living room.

sofa table on brackets

I love the contrast between the dark wood and the grey couch. And it’s perfect to have a place to for another vignette, lamps, and to set my wine. You know, because I’m too lazy to lean forward to pick my wine glass up from the coffee table. ๐Ÿ˜‰ย 

Living room sofa setup - Copy

This was another super simple project that has really improved the room. We love having the lamps and extra space behind the couch.

Sofa table vignette

This project has also confirmed my love of walnut stains. I’m pretty sure my next project is to stain the top of our coffee table walnut.


  1. such a great use of space! i think it’s a sofa shelf. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. That is so cute and such a smart use of space!

  3. This looks really great Ashley!

  4. This is exactly what I need for behind my couch. I’ve seen people talking about sofa tables but my cats are always back there…and they are followed by a crawling baby, so I knew a table wouldn’t work. I was just thinking about making it a shelf so thanks for the info on what you used!

  5. Sofa shelf looks great! I really love a walnut stain, so classic and works with so many colors.

  6. Perfect! I love the idea!!! Looks great.

  7. I need a shelf like this behind my sofa!

  8. Amanda McCellon

    Now this is creative! Love it. And I love that you admit when you make a mistake. Really, what a fantastic solution!

  9. i love this idea, if our couch were arranged different we’d do the exact same thing!

  10. Such a great idea! I love the hidden storage space you gained!

  11. Amy of While Wearing Heels

    That is all sorts of brilliant. Anything that saves space or offers it is a HUGE benefit. And, I love that wedding picture.

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