Warm Up Your Home with Shelves Behind the Sofa


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Last year I was sitting in my chair in the living room – the same chair I sit in to write all my posts – and I realized how cold the room was.  Strange, since the whole wall behind me had heater on it.  The problem, I soon figured out, was that 60% of the heater was blocked by the sofa.

Now what?  Well, the simple solution would be to move the sofa.  Unfortunately, that’s not an option.  It just doesn’t fit anywhere else.

The next option was to pull the sofa out from the wall.  Great!  Or not.  What happens when you pull out the sofa?  It gets pushed back into place by kids who like to launch themselves on it from across the room and husbands who prefer to flop onto the couch rather than sit on it.

There needs to be something there to keep the sofa away from the wall, so the heat can escape, and your floors don’t get scratched up with the constant in and out.

You may think I’m crazy, but I was originally thinking of building something to go back there.  Something like a super-skinny sofa table.  I even picked up table legs at my local ReStore.  But there never seemed to be any time to make it happen.

Then one day as I was wondering through Target, one of my favorite passtimes, I found a picture ledge and a light bulb went off over my head.

It was the perfect depth (4 inches), the color would be inconspicuous, and it was easy to install.

The first step was to pull out the sofa and clean up everything back there.  It wasn’t pretty.  I used a level to mark the height of the back of the sofa and lined up the shelves so that the raised edge on the front of the shelf was the same height as the back of the sofa.  That way, when someone flopped onto or got a running start at the sofa, the back would simply press up against the shelves.

When I put the sofa back the spacial difference was hardly noticeable – I actually had to tell Mr. O what I’d done – but you can feel the heat coming out from behind the sofa.  It’s fabulous.

And as a special bonus, the shelves are perfect places to keep remote controls when company comes over!

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