Give me [a] back [to] my couch!
April 20, 2012 10:18 AM   Subscribe

We have a dream... to rearrange our media room so that the couch is not against the wall. The problem? It's this sofa, and the cushions do fall off after a few minutes of relaxed sitting, despite being weighted. We considered putting a heavy piece of furniture behind it, but that's not ideal as it takes up all the wonderful space we are trying to get back. Can you help us add a back to our couch?

Ideally, it would be a low profile, stylish thing that we can drill into the bottom of the couch so that the pillows don't slide off when we're sitting on it. I can't find pictures of anything that I like, but here are a couple pictures that give you an idea.

I'm thinking of a low-back dark wood piece that is pre-made for this purpose (or a similar one). We're fairly handy, but we don't have wood working tools so making something complex from scratch is out of the question.

I'm looking to you, Metafilter. Give me your best solutions! Thanks in advance!
posted by two lights above the sea to Home & Garden (15 answers total)
Have you considered velcro? I tried searching for a "console bookcase" basically something with a long, narrow footprint that you could fill with books (heavy things) that might keep it from shifting. This piece could be oriented with the long side down or you could look at other bookcases, maybe you could join them in the middle on the couch side so the hardware is hidden. I can't think of anything "ready made" for this purpose.
posted by amanda at 10:32 AM on April 20, 2012

Would it be sufficient to put a layer of no-slip rug pad under the cushions? (Hint, you can buy essentially the same material in rolls of the approximate width you need in the kitchen section, sold as kitchen cabinet/shelf liner)
posted by tippiedog at 10:33 AM on April 20, 2012

I actually came back to suggest that, as an alternative, we would consider affixing something to make them EXTRA SLIP-PROOF. However, because one of the cool things about the sofa is that the cushions are movable, we don't want to put anything on the couch-side. Velcro is out.

Thanks again!
posted by two lights above the sea at 10:35 AM on April 20, 2012

My immediate thought is to simply get a big piece of solid, attractive wood (maybe just have a pre-made door cut down a little?), finish it to your liking, and bolt it on to the wood frame at the bottom and sides.
posted by Tomorrowful at 10:39 AM on April 20, 2012 [2 favorites]

Not knowing the construction of the pillows or the couch, or your desire to potentially alter them in some way.. perhaps two wood or PVC "posts" inserted into the pillows that would then attach/slide into the couch? You would have to stich the fabric, and make a kind of hide-flap for when the pillows aren't on, and depending on your handy-ness, the pipes/posts could be attched in a way the just slide in and out, versus being permanently attached to the pillows and/or the couch.

(thinking a 2 inch PVS tube attached to frame of couch and inside the pillows, hidden by a fabric flap, a 1 1/2 pipe that can slide into the tubes)
posted by rich at 10:43 AM on April 20, 2012

If you can sew (or know someone who does) you could make a tight-fitting slipcover to go over the entire sofa.
posted by JoanArkham at 10:44 AM on April 20, 2012

And to build something may or may not be simple. If you don't have the tools and space, I think you could hire someone. The trick is how to attach it. I'd only go high enough to keep the pillows in place, maybe mid-pillow because leaning back is going to cause whatever connection you use to be very stressed. Attaching to two vertical points would be best. The trick here will be if it's visible, to make the piece of wood and the attachments look nice.
posted by amanda at 10:45 AM on April 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

We have a big house and tons of space. We don't have bandsaws or anything like that. Making something is totally feasible. I like the door idea, as I think we could get that cut down at Lowe's/Home Depot.

Great stuff so far.
posted by two lights above the sea at 10:56 AM on April 20, 2012

I would create a stylish galvanized pipe back to hold the cushions in place.

Use the fittings to to lag screw into the back of the bottom portion of the couch. Use a 45 angle connector... go up 12 inches, then angle 45... over 60 inches, then angle down 45, etc etc. You get a solid steel pipe back that you can only see from the back side, you can still move your cushions and you can remove it when you want to push it up against a wall again.

posted by LeanGreen at 10:57 AM on April 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

BTW -- they cuts the pipes and Home Depot for you, so it really is simple.
posted by LeanGreen at 10:58 AM on April 20, 2012 [2 favorites]

What about putting a sofa table/book case behind it?
posted by katypickle at 11:37 AM on April 20, 2012

You might poke around your nearest flea market/antiques market/estate barn and look for a headboard - probably Full or Queen - you like that fits into the style of your house and is sturdy but not too large or heavy. Then have that bolted into the back structure of the sofa. You could do the same with something from IKEA (or, hell, just buy one of their plain tabletops) if you don't want to hunt something down.
posted by Lyn Never at 11:53 AM on April 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

look for a headboard - probably Full or Queen

That's a great idea. Headboards come pre-drilled with four holes, so it should be possible to tie it into your couch frame with a few holes and some 1/4 carriage bolts. Even lags might be enough.

I think you want a queen. A double is 54 inches, a queen 60 inches, a king 76 inches. The couch is 74, so unfortunately a king is just too large.

Something like this headboard might look great with a modernist sofa, and would give a bit of storage behind too. The whole thing would cost less than $150, including hardware.
posted by bonehead at 1:52 PM on April 20, 2012

Thanks for the help! We're going with the galvanized steel option. If we had different style, we may have also gone for the door or headboard idea, so I'm marking them as well.
posted by two lights above the sea at 8:53 PM on April 20, 2012

Finished product

We love it! Thanks for all your help!
posted by two lights above the sea at 9:21 PM on April 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

« Older Where to Kayak and Canoe in between Massachusetts...   |   Has Anyone Preferred The Words To The Music? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.