DIY Behind the Couch Distressed Shelf

25 Jul

UPDATE: Looking for directions on how to make your own behind the couch shelf? Check out our Part II post here.

This post has been sitting in my drafts folder for WEEKS now. Yikes! What can I say, things have been busy. We just got back from a little family vacation so we haven’t done anything new on the house in a week, but I still have a few old projects to catch you up on. And Andy has some fun projects planned for this weekend that will hopefully improve the front of our house!

Ok, let’s get to it. Note – I contributed nearly nothing to this project.

While I was off gallivanting with junior highers at camp weeks ago, the man was hard at work. Let’s get some background first.

Our living room is a pretty big space. We have the new sectional which provides a lot of seating. But with the chaise lounge, we weren’t quite feeling a big coffee table. I am looking for small side tables, but we felt like we wanted something different for setting down coffee cups and dessert plates.

I read about this shelf/console table on Young House Love.

So cool! But yikes, a lot of work. And although our living room is big, theirs is significantly larger. We thought a console table like that would make our room unnecessarily small.

Then I saw this on Pinterest, found here:

There was very little in the way of a tutorial but it was enough to give Handy Andy a start. Yes, he is just that good!

He purchased wood from Lowes, brackets, and all the things to put it together.

I don’t know a precise tutorial, but I know he sanded the wood, stained it, decided he didn’t like how dark it was, put a different stain on it, then roughed it up a little to give it a distressed look. He then added a final sealant coat to help protect it and then installed it. All together it took him a couple of nights and a Saturday. Not too bad!

I’m sorry these pictures aren’t great – I tried a few times but something with the light in the room makes it hard for my phone to get crisp pictures. Wait, what, I should get a real camera?? ;)

Here is looking down at the shelf. It wraps around so that there is a shelf behind every part of the sectional.

Standing back.

He even installed two outlets so that we can have space to charge our phones, the iPad, etc. Is he smart or what?

A major reason for the shelf was to put lamps on it, as there is no overhead lighting in this part of the house. I had purchased these two lamps from HomeGoods for $29.99 each. I put two books under each to raise them up a little. I so love them!

We purchased a big vase, some fake yellow flowers, and a floor lamp to anchor the corner. I moved around a few existing things we had to help accessorize the shelf. We didn’t really want it to be overdone. The point is to have space to set a glass or small plate, etc. I’m still looking for some colorful coasters to put on the shelf, but after that I might just swap out new things we find that ring my bell. I’m not a big knick knacks person, but this is a good place for that cute picture frame or little ceramic “thing” I just have to have!

One of the shelves was just a little short to the edge of the couch. It’s the perfect space for a fun distressed turquoise vase Andy got from Hobby Lobby.

This shelf, and its accompanying decor, is helping to make this house feel homier. When I come home through the front door, it’s the first thing I see from the foyer. I like that it’s just low enough that it hides the cords, remotes, etc., but that I can see the lamps, etc.

Next up on this room – frame an awesome picture to go above the couch, get curtains for the bay window, a side table or two, and maybe a chair or bench to go by the window. I love seeing this room come together!

UPDATE: Looking for directions on how to make your own behind the couch shelf? Check out our Part II post here.

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12 Responses to “DIY Behind the Couch Distressed Shelf”

  1. itsjustjessica July 25, 2012 at 9:41 am #

    I’ve been wanting one of those shelves for such a long time, so jealous! Love the outlets on it, so great!

  2. MarcieDail July 25, 2012 at 2:03 pm #

    Jealous of your table outlets. Trying to come up with a creative charging station or two in this house.

    Did you know the YHL kids live near me (actually in the same area I grew up in)? Just another reason to come visit RVa sometime :P

  3. Emily Fischer July 30, 2012 at 1:09 pm #

    Becca, this idea is genius! I have a similar conundrum with my living room space, and I think this may be the ideal solution. Unfortunately, I do not have a handy hubby, but I am so excited to try and figure this out. And, good call on the charging docs, I don’t know much about electrical, but at least it gives me the foresight to cut a hole in the wood to allow cords to come up through it! Love it :)

    • BecccaDing July 30, 2012 at 1:13 pm #

      Thanks! I can ask Andy to give me a little more info on how he did it to help!

  4. Sara July 30, 2012 at 9:46 pm #

    This is perfect! We may steal the idea sometime when we can replace our current giant furniture with something that fits our small living room a little bit better.

  5. Decorum DIYer January 2, 2013 at 10:24 am #

    Great use of space! My husband and I have considered the same for our modest living room. Even before YHL, but they always seem to get things done before I even have the chance. ;) So happy you tackled this for yourselves.

  6. Jenna Smith September 11, 2013 at 4:42 pm #

    I love this idea and I did almost the same thing in my current apartment. But now I’m moving and want to keep it. However, my accent wall will now have a window about 3 inches higher than the shelf. And suggestions on window treatments. I am obsessed with keeping my light behind the seating area. I just love the ambiance. With I could post pics to show you what I’m working with.

    • Jenna Smith September 11, 2013 at 4:46 pm #

      Oh and love the charging dock… I have holes for the lamps and run the cord through there. Never thought about an actual outlet.

    • BecccaDing September 16, 2013 at 10:00 am #

      Thanks!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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    [...] also has a little bit of that distressed look to it, which if you read this post you know we’ve been known to do it intentionally to things like [...]

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    [...] One of our most popular posts to date is the infamous DIY Shelf Behind the Couch. We love this thing and apparently many of you do too. Here’s the original post. [...]

  3. A Guest Ready Guest Room | Keeps on Ringing - September 19, 2013

    […] couldn’t find a lamp I liked so I moved one from our behind the couch shelf. I also added a pretty candle from Anthropologie and a soap dish I thought would be nice to use to […]

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