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Faux Sofa Table {Tutorial}

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hey there! I'm monica 

I pride myself on making amazing style and design accessible for everyone, regardless of location, budget, or ability! My design philosophy is rooted in authenticity + attainability - If I can do it, you can too! My work has been featured in countless publications, but I take the most pride in homeowners that have been personally inspired by my DIY ideas and have tried something in their own homes!

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A few years ago during my Christmas home tour, I gave you a sneak peek at the faux sofa table we built and promised the tutorial for how we did it. Well, today’s the day, folks- I’m going to show you How to Build a Faux Sofa Table. Quite honestly, this does not even need a step-by-step because it’s such a simple project. You’ll laugh when you see what I mean, and then you’ll get to work building your own. I can’t even believe what a difference this little DIY made to our living room space, which if you remember, is on my list of rooms to tackle in 2013. We’re one project closer to an updated, fresh living space. Woohoo!
Before we get started, let’s take a look at the room before the sofa table came to be. Seriously? This picture makes me want to slap myself across the face. I can’t believe I was ok with this for so long!
Our sofa is a recliner on both ends, which is super comfortable, but kinda ugly. See that big gap behind the couch? It’s a wall-hugging recliner so it needs a little space to open up the recliner. I used to just shove random picture frames back there…you know, to utilize the space. (aka to lazily hide things there because it was easier than taking them to the garage).
Luckily for us, we had some great old barn wood laying around (we LOVE barn wood!) that just happened to be the perfect length of the couch. Every once in a while, these things happen and they renew our DIY energy and make us feel like we’re invincible….until the next project. If yours isn’t the perfect length, use a chop saw to cut it down.  Anyhow, we held the wood up to the wall at the height that we wanted (FYI- the standard height of a sofa table is 32-36 inches high), found the studs and marked the location for each of the “L”-brackets. It’s important that you make sure you’re drilling into studs so that your shelf faux console table holds up when you put items on it. Once the brackets are attached, place your board on top and screw the brackets to the wood. That’s it! Super easy.
You ready for an onslaught of after pictures? You’d better be!
Ahhhhh……so much better, right? I love it. Unfortunately, because the back of the couch is still about 8 inches away from the wall, there’s still a noticeable gap. We could have added legs to our shelf/table- in fact, that was our original plan- but since it’s a recliner there was still an awkward gap. But, never fear! A plant that I found on clearance at Lowes’ for $2 (yes, you read that correctly!) distracts the eye from the space.
The room feels so much more finished. And in case you’re wondering, that old window that I love is moving. Not sure where, but I have something else in mind for above the couch. You’ll just have to wait and see. Bahahahaha.
It’s looking pretty good with the dining room (full reveal coming in 2 weeks!):
Of course, nothing is ever perfect in my house- that’s just how we roll.  If you’ll notice, there are several things that are wonky about the shelf, but I couldn’t care less. 🙂
So, what do you think of my faux sofa table? Gonna give it a try?
Yay for checking things off my home goals to-do list!

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The comments +

  1. Wow! That was way too easy for as big of a difference as it made. I’m hella impressed. SNAPS.

  2. Christina says:

    Love it, Jess! Such a good way to make use of some dead space – and I love the “after” reveal! 🙂

  3. Love that! What a great idea, and what a huge difference it makes.

  4. Cocalores says:

    Cute idea! Our sofa has a radiator behind it, so it has to keep its distance from the wall, too. Maybe I have to add a fake sofa table too. Only one thing’s for sure: My husband wouldn’t be caught dead being photographed doing DIY, ha ha!

  5. LOVE this idea and have had it in my mind for a while as well. You’ve shown that even with a few inches behind a sofa that a table is possible. The lamps, books, and accessories had interest and height. Great idea! xo Jenn

  6. Tam says:

    Great idea… hmmmm…. you are very inspiring!

  7. Katie says:

    What an awesome idea!!!I love it!

  8. Lol, we did the same thing in our den a few months ago.

  9. Becky says:

    I like…just need to talk my hubby into doing it.

  10. I have the same thing, I took the same size board that is across the top and attached them down the sides too, it hides the gap. 🙂

  11. JQ Ruetten says:

    Really great idea! It finishes off the area and makes the room look really polished. Great job! Found you via Sundae Scoop on I Heart Nap Time. Hope you have a chance to swing by my blog sometime too!

    Julia from

  12. love this idea!!! i am your newest blog follower!!!

  13. Car T says:

    I really like your lamps and lamp shades. Where did you find them?

  14. I want to know about your lamps too! Love them!

  15. Claudia says:

    Very nice, especially the old barn wood. Question: Is the recliner going under the shelf when it is opened ?

  16. I love this idea! I am absolutely doing this! I like the idea of adding the sides, simply so I can stash my cr**p back there, and no one would be the wiser! hee hee….

  17. Alisha Fox says:

    I wonderment why other professionals don’t respond your website overmuch m happy I plant this.
    fabric corner sofa

  18. Judy Steffen says:


  19. malik aayan says:

    LOVE this idea! you are very inspiring!thanks for mattress and bed retailer

  20. This is amazing one to see and really super tutorial to see.BED STORE EDINBURGH

  21. Erin says:

    Where did you get the lamps?? love them!

  22. […] Let’s start off with a few of the first projects that kicked off 2013 like Jess’ Faux Sofa Table. This was one of the easiest DIY projects ever- can you say “3 brackets and a piece of […]

  23. Louise says:

    My sofa recliner has put two nice gouges in the wall. I haven’t repaired it because I thought it would just happen again. Something like this might help, though.

  24. agnes says:

    Why of why did I not think of this idea? Love it

  25. K.dawn says:

    I want a recliner sofa but most of them are ugly and WAAY OVER-stuffed! I like yours! It has clean lines for a recliner sofa… If you see this, I’d love to know what brand your sofa is?? Thanks. Kim in N.C.

  26. I was searching for sofa tables on Pinterest, and found your blog! Loved the article!

    • Diana Trotter says:

      Aww so glad you found us and love this one. PS, check out the new one Monica just made in the latest post! Thanks for stopping by Cheryl!

  27. Marcia Kopp says:

    Hi Monica, Are you all ready to do the Xmas house??I’m sure it will be gorgeous!! Can ‘t wait to see it.., Just don’t forget me and my little kitchen, I am still hoping that you will be doing another project down the road. I know that there are no “good bones” in a mobile home. Everthing is pretty much straight lines.But I also know that you know how to make good bones anywhere. My counters need you, my cupboards need you…. Don’t forget me. B T W , That couch table is awesome and just last week my daughter told me she might buy one, But I think , together we might be able to do it ourselves!! I love this site and I love all your ideas!! I’ll keep watching, and if a kitchen remake comes up, I’ll be all over it!!! Just don’t forget us mobile homers out here. We are a big part of Americas homes, we like to have our homes look great too, , luvya Marcia

  28. Betsy says:

    Why didn’t you move the sofa over farther?
    Do you know that the lamps will effect the thermostat temps.

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