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What is the Table that Sits Behind Your Couch? (Answered)

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By Blake Lockwood | Curated by Blake Lockwood | Reviewed by Blake Lockwood

Blake Lockwood, the seasoned interior designer behind Decor Snob, has made a name for himself with over 30 years of industry experience. As a member of esteemed associations such as the NCIDQ, CIDA, NAAB, and CCIDC, he upholds high standards in his work.  His content is always people-first, reliable, and engaging.

Grand living room with a long sofa table adorned with a vase and double lamps

The table that sits behind your couch is called a Sofa Table. A sofa table is a long, horizontal, and narrow table that is placed behind a couch. It’s about the height of the back of a sofa. It’s also a few inches shorter than a sofa in length. A sofa table can be paired with a couch or used as a stand-alone.

You’ve probably walked through a furniture store and wondered, what is that long skinny table behind the couch called. This somewhat odd-looking piece of furniture has both style and versatility. It’s the underappreciated sofa table.

How Big Should a Sofa Table Be?

You can always make room for a sofa table. The height and shape will vary. You won’t be locked into one standard size. On average they are narrow.

Vintage Hall Sofa Table

How tall is a sofa table?

The height is no taller than an average sofa. You don’t want your sofa table higher than the back of your couch. You want to be able to reach items on the sofa table from a sitting position.

How wide is a sofa table?

A sofa table is usually six to fifteen inches wide and four feet long. To be visually appealing your sofa table should be ten to twelve inches shorter in length than the couch. Sofa tables are usually rectangular. At one point it had drop leaves, but like our tastes, it evolved. They’re still available with drawers. As the name suggests, it’s often next to a sofa.

A Great Companion Piece to Your Sofa

Place your sofa table behind your couch. It doesn’t matter if it’s against a wall or in the middle of a room.

Sofa Console Table behind a couch decorated with vase and candles

Because a sofa table is less bulky than a sofa, it will act as a delicate and inviting element in your living room. Display various items on the sofa table to make your room more comfortable and inviting. Some items include:

  • Lighting
  • Flower vases
  • Books
  • Artwork
  • And more

Use your imagination. With big, bold accessories, create a focal point in your room. See Also: Sofa Table Ideas

What Else Can a Sofa Table Be Used For?

Prevent Your Couch from Blocking Vents

Put your Sofa Table behind the couch against the wall. If you have a furnace/air conditioning vent behind your sofa, your sofa will no longer be blocking it. This will help heat and cool your room by letting the air flow freely.

Place lighting on it. Tall elements on the sofa table will provide additional depth. This will add a 3-D effect to your room decor.

Use Your Sofa Table as a Room Divider

Large open floor plans are the rage. But sectioning them off into workable living areas can be a challenge. Use your sofa table. A sofa table can cleanly divide a large room into sections.

Separate the dining area from the living area. A sofa table is low enough for you to see throughout the room. This keeps the open feeling and breaks up the space. It’ll make your room cozy. (Read Also: Cozy Living Room Ideas)

Use Your Sofa Table to Jazz up a Big Empty Wall

A sofa table can break up a long wall. An empty wall is dead space. You don’t want that in your home. It’s boring. Place a sofa table against a wall with lighting, vases, etc. Hang artwork or a mirror over your sofa table.

Sofa Table along a wall with a plant and lamp. Art hanging above it.

It will be a focal point with flair. You can show off family photos too. This will turn a dead space into a display space… much more fun.

Welcome Guests with Your Sofa Table

A sofa table will be a welcoming touch to a large foyer or entryway. Your foyer is your guests’ first impression. This is an opportunity to shine. Pictures, lamps, artwork, etc. are all elements you’ll want to incorporate into a fabulous display.

Bright room with a bench, pool table, and Sofa Table in Entryway

The sofa table isn’t just a place to throw your keys or clutter it up with mail and junk. Show it off.

Add More Storage

Some sofa tables come with drawers or underneath storage. Storage is always desirable, and this is an attractive way of achieving it. If your sofa table doesn’t have built-in storage, you can DIY it.

beautiful living room with a drawered sofa table

Add attractive baskets and tuck them underneath the table. Remember to measure the area before purchasing the baskets. You want it to look balanced.

Add Extra Seating and Table-Space

That’s right, a sofa table can help you with extra seating. If you have a lot of guests, you may find you run through chairs quickly.

Sofa Table with 3 stools

Place a couple of small stools under your sofa table. Your guests will be able to grab them as needed. And when you don’t need them, they’re out of the way.

The Sofa Table Versus a Console Table, What’s the Difference?

Sofa Tables and Console Tables are basically the same thing. The tradition was to place a sofa table in a library or living room behind a sofa. A console table would be placed against a wall or in a foyer. Now, you can do anything you like with them.

A console table is also usually rectangular although in some instances it can be curved. The average height is twenty-eight to thirty-two inches. So they might be a little high for the back of your sofa.

In the past, console tables were built with two legs and then attached to the wall. You may have seen a console attached to the wall in your Grandmother’s foyer. Today’s console table stands on its own four legs or base. Consoles often have a little more drama than a sofa table. Sofa tables tend to be practical. But you’re going to dress up your sofa table so it’s dramatic too.

Tips for Decorating a Sofa Table

Use all aspects of the sofa table to present your accessories. If you have them, display items on lower shelves. If your sofa table doesn’t have a lower shelf; use the floor. A sofa table acts as the perfect frame for items beneath it.

a sofa table in an really nice living room

If you have your sofa table against a wall, hang a mirror or painting over it. Create a fabulous focal point in the room. Use all the surrounding areas of your sofa table. These areas include:

  • The space (wall) above the table
  • On top on the table
  • Under the table (including the floor)

Take the opportunity to show off your artwork, photos, and other decorative objects. Go crazy.

Using a sofa table with a large open floor plan fills up large dead space. And in a small area, you’ll be able to maximize space and display more of your treasured items by using your sofa table.

The Versatile Sofa Table

The lowly sofa table isn’t just a partner for the couch anymore. Use it in various ways. From a room divider to making extra seating available, its versatility will provide you with both form and function. Turn your new sofa table into a display area. Make your sofa table pop.

Photo: Homissue 2 Shelf Industrial Vintage Hall Sofa Table
Photo: Vintage Entryway Table with Storage Shelf for Hallway Living Room
Photo: Chilton Furniture Co.
Photo: Frederick + Frederick Architects
Photo: Timothy M. Giguere, AIA – TMS Architects
Photo: Rokane Rectangular Dining Room Counter Table
Photo: JS Interiors LLC

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