When you hang picture on the wall behind a sofa, you want to think of the Sofa and Pictures together as one grouping, not two separate entities. You want to take the horizontal format sofa (wider than tall), and by properly hanging your pictures above it, turn the sofa and pictures, together into one Vertical display. The vertical grouping will suggest height in the room.
Now look at Illustration #1, on the first page. This is how most people hang a grouping of pictures over a sofa. Notice the large amount of space between the top of the sofa’s back, and the bottom edge of the groping of pictures. Also notice that the shapes of the sofa and picture grouping are both wider than tall. In a way the arrangement of pictures is like an island floating in a sea of wall space.
Illustration #2, on the same page, shows the same pictures, plus a few extras that I added. The grouping is now more upright. The bottom edge of the grouping of pictures starts about 8 or 9 inches above the sofa’s back, and works its way (vertically) up the wall. Notice how the top edge of the majority of the framed pictures in this arrangement line up with the inside edge of the molding surrounding the doorway, that is to the left of the sofa.
When figuring out how tall of an arrangement you want to create over a sofa, the outside and inside edges of the molding are two natural horizontal lines in your room to line up with. In my home, I have 8 foot ceilings. Most, but not all of my vertically stacked pictures and decorative wall accessory groupings, line up with the inside edges of the molding surrounding doors, windows, and archways.
In illustration 2 notice how both the sofa and picture grouping are acting as one. Your eye looks from the top of the grouping of pictures downward in one smooth movement to the sofa. There is no break in the movement caused by a large amount of wall space.
If you have art objects with large frames that project out from the wall a ways, move your sofa out from the wall a bit to compensate for the frame. If you must have the sofa placed against the wall, start your arrangement of pictures higher, out of the way of people’s heads, and make your grouping vertically (upward) from there toward the ceiling.
All the illustrations on Page 2 represent shapes / layouts of possible groupings of pictures over a sofa, that might interest you. #1 is just one large picture over a sofa. 2A, 2B, and 2C represent a large picture or mirror, that is held up in space by a small picture positioned under it, acting as a pedestal. Always stack Big over Small and Dark over Light (if you have two images that are the same size), otherwise your arrangement will look Bottom Heavy. 3A and 3B show a large vertical format image, that is flanked by smaller images on either the right or left. 3C is a grouping of many small images stacked together to make one vertical format presentation (higher than wide). 4A illustrates how three horizontal format images (wider than tall), hung one above the other become one vertical format grouping. 4B consists of three narrow but tall pieces, that become one substantial grouping when put together. 5 is a composite of 2A, 2C and 2C (small under large), and 4B (three narrow objects, put together become one large display).
Finally ..The groupings that I have covered are all shown over sofas. The same kind of vertical stacking applies to decorations hung behind chairs in corners of rooms. Just make them narrower.
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