10 Things to Put Above Your Sofa
Get creative ideas to fill that empty wall behind the couch.
I often find myself – typically after Netflix asks me if I’m still watching reruns of Friends and the remote is out of reach – staring up at the empty wall above my couch.
I had been holding off on filling that space until I picked out a side table and a lamp. Now that the living room is complete, I'm ready for wall decor. Here are a handful of my favorite ideas:
Living Room With Vintage Artwork and Mirror
Play with symmetry and scale by centering an oversized mirror directly above the sofa, then flanking it with similarly scaled art.
Rustic White Photography, LLC
Mirrors bounce light around a room, they're great for brightening and opening up tight spaces like mine.
Cozy Family Room Features Playful Lighting
Whimsical lighting steals the show in this cozy family room. Behind the sofa, string lights gracefully adorn the wall, and above the armchair, a lighted art installation adds a cool, crisp pattern to the space.
Claire Esparros for Homepolish
Is there anything string lights can't do? If you really want to make a statement, build this dreamy constellation wall art.
Photos, paintings, maps – put it in a frame and you've got art. And you don't have to spend hundreds of dollars on custom framing, either. Try searching thrift stores for frames, then give them a quick coat of spray paint in any color you like. Don't worry if the glass front is missing – you can pick up a new sheet of glass at your local hardware store, and many will even cut it to size for you.
Pick a Spot
The obvious first step in creating a gallery wall is choosing your wall. If you have closets full of art, think big. Smaller gallery walls also give great impact. Take into consideration less obvious spots for clusters of pictures like over an entry way table, up a staircase or above a bed.
A Gallery Wall Should Come to You
The most effective gallery walls are the ones built with art and trinkets that have been collected and curated as opposed to the ones where the pieces were all bought in ibe day. Flea markets, thrift stores, Etsy, your grandmother’s house and a child’s craft table are all great places to start.
To Theme or Not to Theme
There are several styles of gallery walls. If you prefer a clean and minimal look, use pieces in the same color scheme and in similar frames or a theme like family portraits. Bohemian more your vibe? Mix matched frames, styles and textures will magically come together once hung on a wall side by side.
Creating a Game Plan
Once the wall has been selected and the pictures have been chosen, it is time to come up with a game plan. Placement is everything. If you are afraid of wall damage, take the time to lay out all your pictures on the floor first and photograph them. You could take things a step further and cut out paper the exact sizes of your art and tape those to the wall first. If you just want to start hammering, hang the largest piece of art first and work out from there.
Securing Your Art
If you are using heavy pieces, be sure to use proper picture hangers. Double-sided Command tape is always handy to have. If your gallery shares a wall with a door that is often open and closed, your pictures will shift. Even the slightest movement can make an entire gallery wall appear messy. Use a level to make sure pictures are straight and then anchor the corners with tape.
Admire and Tweak as Necessary
Remember art, pictures and decorations are not permanently attached to your walls. When you find something you like better make a substitution. During the holidays add something festive (or change the whole thing). Or make small changes, like paint just one frame yellow. It is your wall and your gallery.
Blue Living Room With Built-In Bookcase and Framed Art
To integrate book storage into the family room, Esther had a 4' by 7' nook added to the wall behind the sofa. For richness, she opted to have the built-in stained in a medium brown tone rather than painting it white to match the trim.
4. A Bookshelf
Keep your next great read nearby. Designer Brian Patrick Flynn installed recessed shelves for this book-lover, but if you're not up for a big project, a few sets of floating shelves will do the trick.
Eclectic Living Room With Coral Curtains
This space is defined by a blend of bright colors, rich textures and bold patterns. Vibrant coral-colored draperies and valences surround this colorful room. A lime green shag area rug sits beneath a chocolate brown sections and neutral upholstered ottoman. Large picture windows provide plenty of natural light to keep the space feeling open and spacious.
Drapes aren't just for windows. Hang them floor-to-ceiling for a dramatic look that you can swap out as your style changes.
Ok, this is kind of cheating. But don't be afraid to use the gorgeous view outside your window to your advantage. A little rearranging can make a huge difference.
7. An Accent Wall
The space behind the couch makes a great candidate for an accent wall. From a simple coat of paint to these sleek tiles, the design options are seemingly endless and there's a look to fit every style and budget.
8. Your Collection
Take your collection out of those dusty boxes and and put it directly on the wall. For smaller items, it's floating shelves to the rescue once again.
9. A Clock
Beauty and function combine to create one stunning focal point.
Eclectic Living Room With Mustard Yellow Sofa, Patterned Wall Tapestry and Mixed Decorative Throw Pillows
A gorgeous wall tapestry featuring fuchsia and burgundy flowers sets a colorful backdrop for the mix of patterns and rich hues in this eclectic living room. A mustard yellow sofa is decorated with a collection of throw pillows. A pair of chairs with deep red cushions surround a clear coffee table over the faded rug.
10. A Rug
Floors shouldn't have all the fun. Click here to learn how to turn any rug into a permanent piece of art.