The number one thing most people do wrong, when hanging pictures over a sofa, is they hang them up too high.
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 object under a large element).
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.
Companion Posts …
Picking and Hanging the Right size Picture or Mirror over your Fireplace 6-23-2011,
Hanging Pictures around a Room 8-3-2011,
It’s Easy to hang Pictures Up on the Wall 7-17-2011,
It’s Easy to make a Grouping of Pictures 6-29-2011,
Making an Interesting Arrangement of Pictures 7-8-2011,
Step-by-Step Instructions for Hanging a Gallery Wall 2-15-2015,
A Bridge unites a Tablescape and Wall Decor 6-11-2011
Interior Decorating is all about Equal Balance 2-27-2011
(Hanging Curtain and Drapes)
The Right Way to Hang Curtains and Drapes 5-3-2011,
Hanging Valances, Curtains and Drapes on Different kinds of Windows 7-15-2012.
(Color and Fabric)
Pick (Use) Four Colors when Decorating a Room 3-7-2011,
Looking at Patterns Used in Interior Decorating on Fabric, Drapes, Wallpaper and Carpeting 3-10-2012
Mixing and Matching Fabric and Wallpaper Patterns 4-13-2012
How to Pick the Perfect GRAY PAINT..A Popular Color Choice of the Moment 2-15-2014,
When decorating a Beige Room, think Tones, Texture and Sculptural Interest 3-16-2011.
Arranging Living Room Furniture, so Sofas talk to Chairs, like the Pros do 9-7-2012,
When buying Living Room Furniture, FORGET the Loveseat, buy two Wing, Club or Occasional Chairs instead 10-13-2012,
Arranging furniture TWELVE different ways in the Same Room 9-15-2012,
Arranging furniture around a Fireplace in the Corner of a Room 9-29-2012,
Arranging Furniture in a 12 foot wide by 24 foot long living Room 2-5-2014.
(Lighting and Decorative Accessories)
The Right height of Table Lamp for your End Table 5-19-2011,
Matching the Right Shape End Table with a Table Lamp 1-12-2014,
Looking at the Different Shapes of Lamp Bases 12-20-2013,
The answer to..”Can you put a Floor Lamp next to a Sofa?” 10-4-2012,
Arranging your Decorative Accessories (Knickknacks and Collectables) 6-7-2011.
(Unrelated, but Really Popular Seasonal Posts)
Putting Lights on a Christmas Tree…The Easy Way 11-3-2011,
How to Decorate a Christmas Tree with Tulle 10-20-2012,
Cutting / Making Paper Snowflakes 10-27-2011
Christmas Tree Decorating..Step by Step, Like a Pro 11-13-2011
***Hi There Everyone*** The San Francisco Chronicle used this post as a reference for their article Hanging a Picture Behind a Couch. If you have a moment, check out their site. Here is the direct link to the article http://homeguides.sfgate.com/hanging-picture-behind-couch-56328.html
How about 2 24 x 36 images over a 76″ sofa? One inch from frame edge to sofa edge and 2″ between frames. Or should I use a gallery wrap and no frame?
Hi there Robert, not seeing your sofa, or your art work that you are thinking about purchasing, I say take two pieces of cardboard, or tape together news papers to make the two 24×26 inches shaped you are thinking about handing on the wall over your sofa. With painters tape (it is low tack and won’t ruin your paint job) tape the silhouettes representing the framed pieces up on the wall over your sofa so you can see how the two things look next to each other. Step back, and in one minute you will know if you should have them framed or mounted so they are smaller sized. Good luck with your project.
Here is the link to my web page that shows the photos that will be in the living room.
The first two will be over the sofa and the third one on the same wall but not over the sofa.
Hi there Robert, If I were making a pair for over the sofa, it would be #1 on the left and #4 placed to its right. They both have the same mood, tonal quality, and kind of design shape. I would not pick the buffalo(??) but have the tree, (as the away one) it seems more like part of the set, but a little different. Hope I was a bit helpful ;-}
Pingback: Valuable tips on how to improve the aesthetic of your living room just by properly hanging a picture behind the couch. | DECOR8TION-ideazDECOR8TION-ideaz
Pingback: friday beauty