How To Create a Discrete Display Table For The Back Of Your Sofa – Step-By-Step TUTORIAL –

With this table or console, we wanted an easy way to add a display area in the living room that was fast to do, non-invasive and cheap. Yes, we are still dreaming of built-in shelves either side of the fireplace but that is a pricey project for another day. In the meantime, we found a way that doesn’t require nailing, nor drilling onto the walls.

– Updated with pictures below –

Actually, we haven’t touched the walls at all (so if you are renting, this can be a DIY idea for you too!) and fulfills my desire to display items and keep small objects nearby.


As you can see from the pictures,  currently we do not have a coffee table (I cannot find one I want), so this will satisfy me for the time being.

Today I am sharing on how we did this DIY that costs us about GBP30 in material. Yes correct this is a DIY for small Budgets !!


Now in terms of decoration, I kept it simple. I only painted the plastic brackets (colour of the wall) and haven’t painted the console top itself (yet) as I like the true natural look of this naked wood. Neither did I painted the legs. However, this is relatively easy to do and could be customised to any trendy or favorite colours.

Estimated Time needed: 2 hours (yes really)


Material Needed:

  • 1x cut-to-dimension wood plank, ours is L220xW16.5xD2cm (check your local wood retailer for options) GBP 8 – click link
  • 6x plain square spindle to be used as console legs (GBP 2.50 each) – click link
  • 6x shelf  bracket IKEA EKBY STÖDIS to fix the wood plank to the legs (0.50p each)- click link
  • Wood screws – click link – we used two sizes and it will depend on the shelf bracket and thickness of the wood you use.
  • Optional : Paint for the shelf bracket

Tools needed:

1. Measurements

Measure the back of your sofa and desired lenght of the console . We wanted to have it flush with the full lengh of the sofa. Finally, determine the depth of the console. Ours is 16.5 cm which is enough for a few glasses, and plant vases yet still discrete in relation of the overall space design.

2. Source your (responsibly sourced) wood

Visit your local wood retailer with the dimensions. We always seem to go back to the same one as there is so much choice. There, we found the perfect wood timber plank with a similar width and thickness we needed. The retailer had several lengh of the same plank so once we were happy with the lengh, we asked it that he’d cut it for us. In the same location, we found the plain square spindle which are traditionally used for creating traditional wood banister but we put a twist on it!

3. Back home with the material

I proceeded with painting the brackets, but first I applied a specific paint primer because the material was plastic. Click here for the primer I used. Let it dry, then a coat of paint, same colour as my walls. I only did one coat because the brackets are hidden.

4. The assembly

Cut spindle to correct height.


The spindles were too long so we had to cut them. We used the workbench, wood saw and mitre box.
We started off by moving the sofa and lying the wood plank on the floor and adding the spindle on the plank. We measured the ideal height of the console (well the inverse ideal height if you follow what I mean), and marked where the spindle needed the be cut at.

We cut all the spindle at same dimension (with the risk of uneven flooring revealing a problem later on, however we decided it would be so bad that the sander could not fix, yes, we can be daredevils sometimes).

Drill and Screw

Start off with two spindles either side of the table. Selecting the right screws to secure bracket and spindle yet not pierce through!

For those brackets with uneven depth (yet engineered like this for a reason), we had to use two screw lenghts

IMG_0086 small table diy
This table can be secured to the wall, but we didn’t feel it was necessary because it was kept securely in place by the sofa.

Et voila !! Easy, isn’t it ?

Pretty Peonies can be admired from anywhere
Cats aren’t too interested in knocking items off, such a bonus!
Styling still in progress, eventually Beethoven will have to go somewhere else…

Thank you for reading! Hope you found it useful.

If you did, please share it or pin-it on Pinterest !

Have a lovely day,


* Updated pics *

Since then I did a little living room makeover and we moved the console/table to our bay window. It now also serve as a sunroom table for the cats ad you can see here. They love it.