I have the Ikea Ektorp sectional in my living room, and end tables would be great except my toddler loves to climb. She loves to climb so much I can't leave the room for long or I'm afraid I'll hear a big thud. She's only 1-1/2, so she's still learning about boundaries. And gravity.
But I digress, the point of this post is to show you how we've turned our sofa table into functional storage. Because the Ektorp is fairly tall, a standard size sofa table would have been pretty short. My husband and I wanted a table that would come up as high as the back of the sectional, and fit the length as well. Looking at furniture on Ikea's website, with the sectionals measurements in mind, I realized the Kallax (formerly Expedit, which we have three of) are nice and tall but also thin. It would be the perfect "table" for behind our couch, the only downside was the 8-unit Kallax wasn't long enough. But if we took the 8-unit piece and combined it with the 4-unit Kallax the length fit the couch perfectly. We did this months ago, and it's worked great since. I don't know why it took me a few months to realize that we had 12 cubbies of storage, completely empty, sitting behind the couch. We have hardwood floor, and the bottom of the Kallax units have felt pads which makes them easy to slide in and out from behind the couch.
I went around the house gathering everything we wanted to store away, and drew out a little model of the 12 cubbies. I decided the 4-unit Kallax that's all the way in the corner would house things like high school year books, diplomas, and books and certifications for my husbands work. He has an insane amount of textbooks, workbooks, and paper work for his job that he doesn't need but can't get rid of. It's super heavy and difficult to pull out, but we really don't need to get to anything that's in it. And if we do, my husband can slide it out.
To give you an idea of what I'm including in the cubbies I'll show you the list I came up with:
- Isla's art supplies
- craft supplies
- plate chargers and extra tableware
- small board games
- Christmas decorations
- Easter decorations and party supplies
- seasonal decor
- school books
- yearbooks, journals, etc.
I still have two cubbies empty that I can fill with extra tableware and seasonal decor, but since we've just started the holiday season I have it all pulled out right now. I put Isla's art supplies and my craft supplies in the first two cubbies, because I only have to slide the Kallax out a bit to get to them and we use that stuff all the time.
Below you can see the Kallax in action. Right now I just have a basket I made full of faux flowers and pumpkins. One day my little girl will be a big girl and I'll be able to have a lamp and other decor on the table, but for now we keep things simple.