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Art Over Sofa: What’s The Right Proportion?

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Figuring out the aesthetics of a home can feel like an endless task sometimes. Do you want to hang some wall art over your sofa but have no idea what proportions and sizing to follow? Well, you've come to the right place because we have the answers for you. Let's get into it.

Generally, you want the art above a sofa to be between 2/3 to 3/4 of its width. Think of this as having your artwork be big enough to stand out, but not so big it makes your sofa look small. Furthermore, you can also try using multiple art pieces to accomplish this 2/3-3/4 rule, so there are many ideas here.

As we begin, we will cover all things artwork and discuss what proportions you should follow in your home. Whether you have a new piece you're excited to hang or need some inspiration; we're here to help. With that said, let's dive right into this topic!

Dry flowers in white vase on small wooden table behind comfortable futon sofa with pillows, Art Over Sofa: What's The Right Proportion?

Should You Hang Art Above The Sofa?

Yes, it is generally good to hang some type of art above a sofa/living room seating. Most times, you will see this used as a way to brighten up a home and add some color to a space.

You'll want to make sure whatever you hang above a sofa covers at least 2/3 to 3/4 of its overall size. Following this proportion will ensure your room looks cohesive and your furnishings don't look awkward.

Modern home interior mock-up with dark blue sofa, table and decor in living room

Sometimes, small art above a bigger sofa can make your room feel unfinished, and the same goes for huge artwork with smaller seating. The key here is framing your room: follow proportions.

How High Should Art Be Above A Sofa?

For those wanting to hang artwork above their sofa, try to have it be 4-6 inches overhead. Giving your sofa a couple of inches of wall space will help keep things adequately spaced.

Hanging art directly above a sofa can give your room a cluttered look, which you want to avoid. Doing this can also take away from the art itself, ultimately confusing your guests.

Furthermore, allowing for some space between the art and a sofa will help both of them shine. This is important for good Feng Shui, essentially the energy through furniture/decor placement in a room.

That also applies to multiple art pieces above a sofa, so when in doubt, leave some room.

Where Should Art Be Placed On A Wall?

Botanical posters on the wall in a living room interior with white cabinet, wooden lamp and plants

In general, you want art to be eye-level. Of course, this can vary depending on your height and other furnishings, so everyone will be slightly different.

According to Studio McGee, on top of having your artwork be eye-level, it's also good to have it 60 inches from center to the floor. This suggestion mainly applies to single art pieces, so expect some leeway if you have more than one.

They also cover the importance of spacing, ideally between four and six inches, when hanging art above furniture. Remember, leaving that extra room between your pieces will allow them to all shine equally, creating cohesiveness in a given space.

Do You Center Art Over The Sofa Or On The Wall?

For those needing help centering their art: always focus on the furniture. Although hanging art directly in the middle of a wall can be tempting, this won't always look right with your other furniture.

For example, if you have a 15-foot wall and your sofa is positioned towards the right side, hanging your art in the center of the wall will make your sofa look out of place.

Instead, you want to hang the art directly centered on the sofa. This allows the two of them to be connected while also leaving room for other artwork on the same wall.

However, if you have multiple sofas, you can try centering your art to the wall and positioning your furniture on either side.

Can You Hang More Than One Piece Of Art Above A Sofa?

Elegant living room interior with a grey sofa, wooden shelves, plants and paintings on the wall

Yes! It's certainly fine to hang more than one piece of artwork above your sofa. It should be OK to hang as long as your art doesn't extend past your furniture.

However, we do recommend sticking with the 2/3-3/4 proportion guideline. So, if your multiple art pieces will be wider than your sofa, you may want to stick with one.

If you collect art, it's also possible to use various pieces to cover most of your sofa wall, although this can be hard to do successfully.

Again, your exact positioning and proportions will come down to your room and style, so if you want art everywhere, don't be afraid to try doing that.

How Much Space Should I Leave Between My Art?

If you plan on hanging multiple art pieces, make sure they have enough space. Generally, you want to give your pieces about four inches between their frames.

According to designer Stephanie Lindsey, not leaving at least four inches between art can give it an overcrowded look, which you want to avoid.

With that said, come designers purposely go for the "crowded" look, but this rarely turns out picture perfect.

Can Art Be The Same Width As The Sofa?

Although you can decorate your home however you want, we don't recommend having the art above your sofa be the same width. As we mentioned earlier, allowing your artwork(s) to fit inside the width of a sofa will create a cohesive look.

This applies to any type of furniture, whether it's your bed, a console table, or even a bookshelf. Although artwork of any size is beautiful, having it be larger than your furniture can make your home feel unfinished or underwhelming.

On the other hand, if you want to hang larger art pieces in your living room, you can center them on the wall and place your furniture around them.

There isn't one way to do this, so whatever piece you want to stand out in your space should be at the forefront.

Should Art Match The Couch?

When it comes to art matching the couch, this isn't always necessary. Considering that most art pieces will be distinct, finding one that will 100% fit your furniture is not always possible.

With that said, it is a good idea to use art that incorporates colors throughout your space. Finding similarities is essential, whether it's a hint of blue to match your rug or a touch of yellow to match your throw pillows.

Again, this doesn't have to be perfect. For example, if your sofa is neutral and your living room doesn't have much color, adding a bright piece of art can tie the whole space together.

Adversely, you can also use neutral tone art in a colorfully furnished room, so this goes both ways.

Can I Hang Shelves Above My Sofa?

Picture of modern sofa in living room

Using a wall shelf is a great idea if you have more art and decor than you can handle. Assuming you want to use this shelf to display art and special items, having one (or more) above the sofa can tie your entire room together.

In general, you still want to follow the 2/3-3/4 guideline for your proportions. That means your shelving shouldn't go past your furniture.

If you're worried your shelf is too big, you can always try using multiple wall shelves and hanging them above each other. Many decorators choose to follow a tiered pattern, which gives you more space to showcase your pieces.

How High Should A Shelf Be Above A Sofa?

When it comes to hanging a wall shelf, leave between eight and ten inches from the top of your sofa. Unlike most art pieces, a wall shelf will stick out a bit, becoming dangerous for those sitting on the couch.

For this reason, you'll want to leave closer to a foot of space between the two. Doing this is also better for anyone wanting to grow plants on their shelving, allowing them to sprawl.

However, it's still good to have your shelving be around eye-level, so keep that in mind while hanging.

Should You Hang A Mirror Above A Sofa?

Depending on the layout of your house, having a mirror above the sofa can work nicely. Unlike normal artwork, a mirror will reflect plenty of light.

This can be helpful for darker spaces, like apartments or basement settings. However, hanging a mirror above a sofa needs to be done correctly.

According to The Spruce, an ideal positioning for a mirror is across from something visually appealing, like a window. Hanging a mirror above your sofa that faces a bare wall or other room won't always turn out pretty, so be careful with placement.

Can I Keep The Wall Above My Sofa Bare?

If you prefer a simple look, you can certainly keep the wall space above your sofa empty. Typically, it is nice to have some color there, but this depends on the person.

Additionally, keeping your walls bare can help open the door to other areas in your space. For example, you can choose a bright-colored sofa and similar decor with plainer walls without having your home feel distracting.

Remember, it's your house, so you can do whatever makes you happy.

To Wrap It All Up

Whether you need new artwork for your living room or already have some, it is essential to know how to hang it. From what we found, you want to keep the art above a sofa between 2/3 and 3/4 its size.

That means whatever you decide on hanging needs to be smaller than your sofa. This mainly applies to width, so longer pieces should be fine.

Regardless, make sure to find artwork that reflects your personal style, and don't be afraid to try using shelves or even a mirror if you want to.

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