How to Decorate a Space Between a Sofa and a Wall

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Your sofa looks great pulled away from the wall a little bit; now, what can you do to fill the space behind it? If you leave the space empty, it will collect dust bunnies, but there isn't enough clearance for a bookcase or storage shelves. Well, you're not the only person to have this problem; there is an entire furniture category designed just to solve this dilemma: the sofa table.

Things You'll Need

  • Sofa Table
  • Table lamps (one or two)
  • Vase
  • Books
  • Bookends
  • Pull your sofa away from the wall about 18 inches.

  • Slide a sofa table into the vacant space and center it behind your sofa. Sofa tables come in many different lengths and heights. Choose one that is at least three-fourths the length of your sofa, or you will end up with too much empty space at either end. The table's height should be 2 or 3 inches lower than the sofa's back: too high, and people will bump their heads when they sit; too low, and it will be uncomfortable to set down a drink.

  • Arrange one or two lamps on the table. If you have two lamps, position them symmetrically on either end of the sofa table. If you are only using one, place it where it will provide the best task lighting for reading. Light for reading should come from over your shoulder, and the lampshade should end at about the level of your eyes.

  • Collect several books that you have been meaning to read. If they are novels or in a small format, position them upright between bookends. If they are large format (such as photography or art books), stack them in a neat pile with the spines facing into the room, so you can see the titles. Place them near the lamp you will use for reading.

  • Add a vase filled with fresh flowers midway between the stack of books and the second lamp (or other edge of the table, if you are using only one lamp).

Tips & Warnings

  • If you are allergic to flowers or don't want to spend the money on fresh flowers every week, get a vase that is beautiful on its own. Another option is a small sculpture or a large photo in a decorative frame.
  • Sofa tables accumulate clutter easily. Nothing ruins the look of a room like tables piled high with magazines and remote controls, so be vigilant about keeping the surface of your sofa table clear.

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