How To Hang Art Over A Couch


abstract art hanging above white sofa

Tips & Ideas For Displaying Prints & Pictures Above Your Sofa


Above the sofa is prime real estate for displaying art, photos & prints.


Where the couch is located in a space, how big it is & even the style & colour of the sofa, can all be considerations for where & how to hang your art, as well as what style of wall art to display.


What Size Art Is Best Above A Couch?


Sofas can come in a range of sizes, as too the artwork.


So when choosing art specifically for displaying over your couch, certain sizes & proportions of artwork are suggested so as to appear balanced.


The width of the artwork should be approximately 80% the width of the couch. This way, the art won't overhang & appear to dominate the sofa.

There's also the amount of available wall size to consider.


How High Should Art Be Hung Above A Couch?


The height of the wall above the couch is also a factor in how balanced the artwork will look.


Another guideline interior designers suggest is the 33% & 66% rule. This is where approximately 33% of the wall space is between the top of the sofa & the bottom of the artwork, the 66% of wall space is above the artwork & below the ceiling.

When displaying wall art over any piece of furniture, a visual connection needs to be maintained.


A way to ensure this is to hang the artwork at an appropriate height from the sofa.


Generally you need the bottom of the artwork to be no less than 6 inches and no more than 12 inches from the back of the couch. This maintains a visual connection to the sofa so the artwork doesn’t appear lost on the wall.

Of course these are all guidelines, not strict rules as such.


infographic dimensions for hanging art above couch

But experimenting with these ideas will help you find the best placement for you art so it's balanced & coherent in relation to the sofa.


What About Hanging Art At Eye Level?


You may have already come across advice that art is best hung at eye level.


Eye level is around 54 to 57 inches ( 138 to 145 centimetres ) from the floor to the horizontal centre of the artwork.


Many galleries display art at eye level & it will also work in the home provided the artwork isn't being displayed above a piece of furniture.


But in the home environment, it's more important that the artwork is balanced within the available wall space & the furniture that surrounds it.


This leads us to the next question.


Does Art Need To Be Centered Above The Sofa?


If you have one artwork that's the right size in relation to the sofa & a completely blank wall space, more often than not, being centered over the couch is probably best.


But this isn't always the case, because where the sofa is located in relation to other furniture & other elements in the room will affect the overall look.


framed print above yellow sofa

It comes back to balancing the art with the sofa & the amount of wall space.


So the guidelines suggested can also be applied in relation to the other elements in the room.


multi-panel art hanging above couch

Although these 3 picture frames aren't centered above the couch, they're central to the last 2 sections of it. If it wasn't for the foot stool, I feel that this arrangement wouldn't look as coherent.


Hanging Multiple Pictures Above A Sofa


Multi-panelled prints are quite popular & so too is creating gallery walls.


Artworks can be various sizes in relation to each other as well as mixing & matching different types of wall art.


This can look fabulous, the trick is to treat multiple artworks as one.


Arrange the art pieces in a coherent manner, so the final look is one display, rather than a mish-mash of various styles & sizes.


This can be done by first laying out your design on butchers paper or something similar.


Then once you have the correct measurements, simply mark the wall where appropriate hanging hardware needs to be placed.


Wall art doesn't always need to be prints & framed photos. The shelves look great & are practical too.


Does Art Have To Hang Above The Couch?


Although the wall space over a couch will usually benefit from a nice artwork, sometimes hanging art in other areas may be more visually pleasing or create a different feel.


The sofa may sit amongst other furniture & artwork placed above it may start to look cluttered or crowded.


Displaying the art elsewhere can create a more clean & spacious feel.



How about going for a more bohemian or casual look & simply lean the artwork on the floor next to the sofa?


Other elements like a lamp, a stack of books or other ornaments can be arranged to create a wonderful display or focal point.



Sometimes the only space to put a couch is under the window.


Although this prevents you hanging an actual print or picture, you can still arrange other art on the window sill.


Art, Sofas & Décor


As well as the size & placement of your art, the colour & style of art has an impact on the overall room décor as well.


Often artwork over a couch will be the focal point of a space.


A wonderfully large & colourful artwork can look amazing, but if the rest of the décor is quite colourful too, it may just add to the visual noise.


But within a minimal décor, a bright & vibrant artwork can look amazing.


abstract painting above black sofa

The sofa itself can often be a feature in a room, especially when it's a vibrant colour within a more subdued décor.


A colourful artwork may compete for attention.


framed picture above vintage sofa

Perhaps you have modern décor & a vintage or retro style couch creates a fantastic focal point.


So an artwork in a ornate or vintage frame again, may compete for attention.


But within a more modern décor & above a contemporary style sofa, a single artwork in a funky or vintage frame can add contrast & be a real eye catching element.


ornate picture frame above white couch

There's many elements to room décor as well as the sofa, there's the wall colour the art is hanging on, accent colours of soft furnishings etc & artwork need to compliment & sit within all these elements.


Here's some related articles if you'd like to explore further:

Choosing Picture Frame Colours To Match Your Walls

Matching Picture Frame Styles To Your Décor


Creating Purpose


Usually the living room comes to mind when we think of the couch, but you may live in an open plan or loft style apartment or something similar.


In the UK they're called bedsits, & I've lived in a few in my time!


Usually just a big room with a bed & a kitchenette, there's no defined living space.


Having artwork above a sofa, or even an armchair, & combining other elements like a rug, a lamp & a simple side table, help create a defined space, it gives purpose to an area of the room.



Final Thoughts


A lone couch against a blank wall may not be the most inviting space to rest your weary bones.


A carefully chosen artwork can really transform a space into somewhere you want to hang out.


Art can not only add to the room décor, it can also compliment the couch it's hanging above.


I hope you found value in this article & I always appreciate it if you want to share it around.