Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Guest post

I have a guest poster today. She is a delightful lady who has one of my favorite blogs. 
Have you met PK? Her blog is titled Room Remix the blog. Her blog is about creating a great space within your budget! She provides you with decorating inspiration, practical decorating advice, creative ideas and resources, DIY ideas, before and afters, and helps you think outside of your current decorating box.
She recently posted this article that I loved, and wanted her to share with you. So here it is...
What's behind the sofa?

Don't worry, this isn't a post about when the last time was that everyone cleaned behind their sofa! :-) We're just looking at some behind-the-sofa decorating inspiration.

In many living rooms, the sofa is against a wall and there just isn't space or really any need to have anything behind it.

But sometimes even when your sofa is against the wall, a slim sofa table can still be an option. It provides a space for lamps when there isn't room for end tables or floor lamps, helps with accessorizing the wall and, in a larger room, allows you to move the sofa in for more intimate seating without leaving an empty space behind it.

Simple Autumn Decor contemporary living room

The above idea can also be used to fill in the space behind a sofa when you're angling it in a corner. A folding screen would be another option.

They've used the same idea below of filling the extra space with a console table when trying to make the seating more intimate but, in this case, I believe there's a walkway between the table and the wall. The clever placement of the art keeps your eye from moving beyond the seating area.

Chicago Home Photo Nathan Kirkman
Remember this CR Laine image from this post? An out-of-the-box option...

An open floor plan brings another set of options. I was taught to avoid placing a sofa in a way that you would be staring at the back of it, if possible. Once I started decorating real-life rooms, I quickly realized that many times, especially in an open floor plan, it's just not possible.

However, there are ways that you can divert attention from the sofa back...
This is actually the image that inspired me to do this post. A nicely accessorized table behind the sofa in an open space can create a room divider of sorts and a cozy, more intimate feeling to the spaces on either side of it.
Having two chairs on either side of a console table is a nice option, especially if the adjoining open space is a dining room. Extra dining chairs can be placed on either side and then pulled into the dining area as needed. The addition of a lower shelf on this table allows more space for accessorizing or open storage for items that you don't mind having on display, such as books, and further distracts from the sofa back. As with some of the other images we've seen, this is also a nice spot for lamps, which are not only functional but give another level of interest, color and texture to the room.
House Beautiful photo Julian Wass
I like Amanda Nisbet's take on what to put behind the sofa. Going with an oval table versus the standard rectangular console and using two ottomans on either side instead of chairs.
In this open space, they've used a console table as a divider of sorts with a walkway on either side. An interesting idea.
Another interesting idea. An accessorized bench behind the sofa...
In smaller open-plan spaces that need to be multi-functional, the back of the sofa can be used as a divider wall of sorts to create another space such as:

an office...
or a dining area/work surface. In this case, they've used a bench that can be easily tucked under for the "traffic side" of the table. Robbie Caponetto
Here are a couple of more permanent solutions...

house and home Photo Angus McRitchie

Crown Hill Remodel traditional living room

I've also seen decorative items like trunks, etc. used behind the sofa. I think it can work as long as you really pay attention to scale. Larger items and fewer of them is best or they can look lost against the back of the sofa and create a cluttered look rather than a design statement. 
What's behind my sofa in my open plan home? Nothing. In fact, you can see the back of my sofa when you come in the front door because that's the best furniture placement, in my opinion, for the living room and there's no space behind to put anything to soften the transition. The sofa has a reverse camel back which creates some interest and there's plenty of room to walk around it, so you don't get the feeling that it's trying to block you from coming into the room. I'm absolutely okay with it.

I do think I might try this little trick though. A well placed throw to distract the eye...

House Beautiful 

What's behind your sofa? Any creative ideas?
Now hop over and visit PK today I promise you will enjoy her blog

~Don't forget about my giveway here~


  1. Hi Debbie
    I love your pics and suggestions for behind the sofa...this is my first visit and I've enjoyed it. I like the look of the livingroom in the bottom picture also...great ideas. My sofa has to stay against the wall...not enough room to have it sit out or any other way.
    I will visit PK too! Thank you for the visit and I do hope you'll stop by for a visit too

  2. These are good ideas. My sofa "backs" to the dining "room" - open plan - so it serves to divide the two rooms and the back does show in the dining room. I like the throw idea, tho, and will try that. Thanks.

  3. This is a perfect post for me to see right now. I'm adding a sofa table to a client's house and am not quite sure how I'm going to set it up yet.

  4. I have a dresser behind my sofa. Love some of the ideas in this post!

  5. Nice collection of posts you have at your blog! I've just found it recently, but have enjoyed the reading that I've done so far.

  6. Great post and gorgeous ideas. My couch is "floating" in the room and kind of serves as a hallway of sorts into the dining room. We have an open living room, kitchen, dining room, divided by open double door ways and it's small so it's hard to arrange. It works for now though. My "New Old TV Stand" does sit on the wall behind my couch, with a walk way in between. Does that count?

  7. I know PK! ANd I love the look of the sofa table between the wall and sofa...never thought of that...

  8. What beautiful and creative ideas! Now you've got me wanting to move some furniture around! lol

  9. These are some great ideas....I would not mind doing something like this...however I have a little wall in the way and only a small space to walk through....I still like the look though.