Have Your Sofa’s Back: 4 Ideas for What to do with the Space Behind Your Sofa

Behind the sofa

So you’ve mastered the art of the floating sofa. Great job! This is one of the points interior designers love to hammer home – pull your furniture away from the wall and your life will be complete.

And while this always looks great on Pinterest, in real life you’re left with an empty and, potentially useless space behind your sofa and the question, “Now what?”

Our stylists offered up their 4 best ideas for what to do with the space behind your sofa. See which option works for your needs, and try one on in your home today.

 

Console table behind the sofa

1. Add Storage With a Console Table

Perhaps the most obvious idea, a console table is a great option to cover your sofa’s behind. Available in a wide range of styles and prices, a console table is a great way to add a little extra storage to an otherwise unused space.

For smaller spaces, try a console with open shelves for a light and uncluttered look. This is also a great option for displaying your favorite decorative pieces.

If you have more room to work with, or if maintaining the look of open shelving just sounds like a chore, choose a console with enclosed storage. These look great and require minimal upkeep.

Designer Tip: Opt for a console that is a few inches shorter than the back of your sofa, and about ⅔ the width of your sofa. This will create a balanced look and keep walkways clear.

 

Bench behind the sofa in a living room

2. Add a Bench for Extra Seating

Another space-saving solution, a bench behind the sofa is a great way to sneak in extra seating and storage to your living room. This is an especially great option if the back of your sofa is near your entrance, so you can use the bench as a place to sit on your way in and out.

Try an upholstered bench with a pop of pattern to play up the warmth of your leather sofa. If you need an extra place to stash clutter, a storage bench can be the perfect solution.

Designer Tip: Make use of the empty space on the sides of the bench to tuck a floor lamp or some baskets. Another great way to use this dead space and keep high-traffic walkways clutter-free!

Living room design with two chairs placed behind the sofa for a reading nook

3. Carve Out a Secluded Seating Nook

More seating behind your seating? Why not! The space behind your sofa can be the perfect place to tuck a cozy reading nook or an intimate space for conversing over drinks.

Two small chairs with a patterned side table create the perfect place to get away from the main living room activities but also keep you close (great for parents who want to enjoy a little “me time” without straying too far).

Designer Tip: Be the host with the most seating! Chairs and benches behind the sofa are great ways to incorporate extra seating that can be re-arranged when entertaining guests. Simply tuck it back in place when they leave, no garage storage required.

 

Living room design with a desk in the space behind the sofa

4. Create a Home Office With a Desk

If you’re looking for an option that is a bit more functional than a console table, try a desk in the space behind your sofa.

This is a nice solution if you don’t have an extra room to transform into a home office, but still need a place to focus. You can also use it as a homework station for the kiddos or a place to pay your bills online while watching the game. Check out more ideas for offices in the living room.

Designer Tip: Although you can often use a console table as a desk, check the height before you commit. Many console tables are several inches taller than desks, making for an uncomfortable workstation.

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This post was updated August 18, 2021

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