::at home:: ikea inspired shelf

Obviously, this is looking pretty stark.

The first thing I wanted to do was to pull the couch out and away from the wall. This room is fairly long, so anything I can do to visually shorten the distance between that wall and the stairs is a GOOD thing.
background:: I don't really believe in end tables. Weird? Totally. I'm not really sure why, but they just seem pointless to me. There are two things I don't go for in decorating and the first one is: furniture that is just going to be a place to set stuff and get cluttered and look unsightly (like end tables and night stands). I'll talk about the other one later. Obviously, though, there are benefits to an end table. They give people a place to put their drink, or set their book. And I'll admit, a lot of times they look nice.
solution:: I got this idea in an ikea sample room and instantly loved it. They displayed a very narrow shelf (maybe 3 inches) hung behind the sofa at exactly the same height as the back of the sofa. Their display had frames leaned on the little shelf and it looked fantastic.
We went with the same type of idea, but did it ourself. Our friend had extra half-inch plywood leftover from a project, so we used his leftovers to work with our space. Chad cut it to ten inches deep by five feet long and sanded down the corners so there were no sharp edges. Then I went to work with the sponge brush*. I put on about 3 coats of Minwax stain with polyurethane (in satin) and then another coat of Minwax polyurethane (in gloss). I let each coat dry for about 4 hours, then used a fine grit steel wool to sand down the high spots, and continued with the next coat. {{This is exactly the same method we used on our stairs}}.
We picked up three cheapy brackets from Lowe's (since they wouldn't show behind the couch anyway), and Chad attached them to the wall at the correct height. Since our cushions are a good 3-4 inches higher than the shelf, things on the shelf aren't super visible unless they're tall. This means it's finally time for me to get rid of those eight dollar lamps from Home Depot and get some grown up lamps...that will look so pretty popping up from behind our cushions!
*I use those cheap sponge brushes so that I don't have to wory about cleaning them. I don't want to mess with cleaning unless it's water soluble. Instead, I just wrap them in a grocery bag to keep them from drying out, and use them for the entirety of a project. Then I pitch them.


blackstarmonkey: aspiring ninja/sheepherder said...

i saw those shelves at schmikea too! I have two narrow ones with a short lip, but i haven't used them like that yet because i don't have a couch. booo... i want to see more pics with the lamps and the curtain!

Anonymous said...

V. here. Very clever to do this on your own. great project.

The Ringer Family said...


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