how to hang art over a sofa

How to Decorate Behind a Sectional Sofa

Decorating Behind a Sectional Sofa

Are you having trouble thinking of ideas on what to use in that large space behind and above your sectional sofa? In last week’s Facebook Design Challenge post, we asked our followers to share a design challenge.  In response to one of our follower’s question on how to decorate behind a sectional sofa, we are offering some tips and suggestions on how to pull it all together into an eye pleasing design.  A sectional couch is most likely going to be the largest piece of furniture in the room, drawing the eye directly in, so you want to make the most of this statement piece by properly decorating the walls behind it. When you have a large piece of furniture such as a sectional sofa, you need to make sure that whatever you hang above it is substantial enough to visually match the weight of your sofa.  The walls behind a “U” or “L” shaped sectional become part of the focal lure, but without balance, the space will appear to tilt or feel overfilled on the couch’s side.

{Rule of Thumb} Measurements for Hanging Artwork

  • For a single piece of art, the center of the image should be at 56″ – 60″ from the floor, which places it at eye level. The larger the piece of art, the closer to 56″ it should be.
  • When hanging two pieces of artwork, one above another, treat them as one large picture – find the center point between them and use the 56″ – 60″ rule.
  • For larger pieces of art hung on the same wall, use a spacing of about 2-3″ between them. Smaller pieces can be hung a little closer together.
  • When hanging art pieces above a sofa or other piece of furniture, the grouping should ideally be about 2/3 the width of the furniture below it. (For example, if an art grouping is being hung over a 60″ sofa, the ideal grouping would about 40″ in length.)
  • When hanging artwork over a sofa or other piece of furniture, leave 5″- 9″ of space between the top of the sofa/furniture and the bottom of the art.

Don’t be afraid to break the rules! “Rules” are meant to help you, they really act as starting point or guide, and should not squash your creativity or the fun of decorating. If you’ve tried something with a room that doesn’t fit with these measurement “rules” but looks and feels right to you, go for it!  Some of the most beautifully designed rooms break every rule in the book!

Large Pieces

One large piece of art hanging above a section of the sofa creates the main focal point of the room. Having one large piece on a wall is more soothing and formal than having a grouping, as it’s easier for the eyes to focus on a single piece rather than multiples.  A single piece of art can strike the perfect balance between the architectural assets and personal contents of a space.


what to hang over a sectional sofa

One large piece of art above the longest section of the sofa will create a real impact upon entering the room, as well as turning the seating area into an attractive focal point. However, remember that “large” is a relative term — ensure that the piece of art is the correct size for the available wall space.

what to hang over a sectional sofa

The style of the artwork you display should complement the style of the room you wish to place it in.  Art pieces provide a single mesmerizing focal point.

what to hang over a sectional

what to hang over a sectional

what to hang over a sectional sofa

Hang a mirror. In close quarters, a large mirror creates the illusion of space. Not only does it draw the eye up, it bounces light around the room, making any space appear larger and brighter.

what to hang over a sectional


Often, one large piece of artwork works perfectly, creating a main focal point for the room. But a series of pieces can work just as well. For a more abstract effect, use a random pattern.To help arrange the grouping, make a paper template for each frame and play around with the grouping, either on the floor or on the wall using painter’s tape.   This will help you to determine the best possible arrangement before hanging them on the wall.  Always take a few steps back and assess the design.  Tip:   In a corner, ensure that the larger grouping is above the longer sofa section. However, a smaller grouping of just two complementary pieces above the shorter sofa section creates a cohesive look.

decorating behind a sectional sofa

Grouping smaller pieces together create a dramatic effect and a cohesive look. The odd small piece scattered about the walls can appear messy, and the eye doesn’t know where to look first.

what to hang over a sectional

Remember, art doesn’t have to be expensive to make an impact.   Sometimes it makes sense to splurge on big pieces such as a sofa and save on other items such as artwork and accessories.

displaying artwork over a sectional

The Northcote home of Amanda Henderson-Marks and Michael Marks.

how to decorate behind a sectional sofa

{Source: Apartment Therapy}

how to perfectly balanced

what to hang over a sectional

Themed grouping of coastal items create a unified look


Shelves help break up a wall and allow for you to use framed art, mirrors, potted plants, wood art, figurines, etc. – Basically you have the freedom to use what you have and create multiple eye-catching interest on the wall. Floating shelves can help you easily revamp your walls and showcase your favorite accessories.

what to hang over a sectional

what to hang over a sectional

If you find yourself in need of a little interior design assistance, we offer online interior design services and packages regardless of your location or budget.  It’s an affordable alternative to the traditional way of hiring a designer since everything is delivered right to you via your email. Find out more on our e-design services here.