Updated at: 30-03-2023 - By: Helen Skeates

The two design guidelines for determining how high to hang artwork over a sofa are provided by the response to this question. The 8-inch rule and the 6-inch rule will be discussed further down. Plus, we’ll go through some common mistakes that people make when trying to hang pictures or arrange a gallery wall above their couches.

Read our supplementary tutorial on how to hang artwork over a sofa if that’s something you’re interested in. Now that you have access to these in-depth pieces, let’s get started.

What Is The Correct Height For Hanging Pictures Over Sofa?

8 to 10 inches above the highest point of the couch

The standard for hanging artwork or a gallery wall above a sofa is 8 to 10 inches down from the top of the back. You can hang artwork or photos over the sofa without making the room appear too crowded if you hang them at this distance. However, the ceiling height, sofa design, and artwork in a room may necessitate slight modifications to this rule.

The Art of Hanging Your Artwork: A Few Quick Tips

6 to 12 inches above the highest point of the couch

Instead of 8 or 10 inches above the sofa, a distance of 6 to 12 inches works wonderfully. The distance between the highest point of the couch back and the lowest side of the frame should be 6 inches. That way, it won’t look like you just hung some art or a gallery wall over the sofa there because it doesn’t belong there.

What not to do

When deciding how far above the sofa to hang an artwork, the safest proportion rules are the 8-inch rule and the 6-inch rule, with the maximum distance being 10 and 12 inches. Still, it’s important to plan out the decorations’ arrangement so that everything flows together nicely. Additionally, when decorating above the couch, don’t follow the “eye-level rule.”

You can ignore the eye-level rule if you’re decorating above a piece of furniture, but only if the wall in question is completely bare. If you hang artwork over a sofa without also taking into account the height of the sofa, the resulting arrangement may not be aesthetically pleasing. When you glance around the living room, the couch will be part of what you can see.

Where Should Pictures Be Placed On The Wall?

Picture frames should be centered on the wall as a general rule. However, if you want to decorate the wall above your sofa, you should use the sofa itself as a focal point and hang artwork or a gallery wall around it. According to the recommendations in what size art over the couch, the width of the decorations should be between fifty and seventy-five percent of the width of the sofa, or sixty-five percent of the length of the sofa.

If your room has a high ceiling, you may want to try hanging some of your pictures up there to create a sense of visual equilibrium. When placing a table or tall indoor plant on one side of an asymmetrical sofa arrangement, the pictures can even be closer to that side. In general, when decorating over the couch, don’t be afraid to experiment.

A gallery wall can be styled using the same 8-inch and 6-inch rules for hanging artwork above a sofa. No matter how many photographs you use, you must ensure that their heights are uniform. But how much room should you leave between photographs in a gallery?

Maintain visual harmony by placing each piece’s frame at a consistent distance of 2–5 inches from the others. You also don’t want the breadth of your sofa to be eaten up with artwork. Finally, to create a sense of order, group pieces of art that share a common theme or technique.

What To Put Behind A Floating Sofa?

Sofa floating is a great way to make the most of a small living area. Floating couch refers to the fact that you don’t even have to commit to a specific location within the space. This will keep the room from seeming too cramped, which can happen if the sofa is pushed into only one corner.

Now the question is, what exactly should go in the empty room behind the movable couch?

Sofa table

Don’t feel confined to placing a coffee table in front of your sofa; instead, explore the many options available to you. Rather, place a console table behind the couch to use as a mini-fridge, drink station, or reading nook. Keep in mind that while the main couch is occupied, too much table decoration can be distracting.

Extra seats

Behind the free-standing sofa, you can put in a bench or perhaps several chairs if you choose. With this arrangement, the focal point of the space becomes a social hub where people can relax and mingle. Use the empty space on the edges of the seats to store your belongings and keep the aisles clear.

How to Decorate Above a Sofa

1. Display Bold Artwork

One piece of artwork is the most frequent accessory for a sofa, but if it’s boring, it won’t make much of an impression. If you want to draw people’s attention, a bold piece that seems to leap off the wall is your best bet.

Try using a huge font size, bright colors, or an eye-catching design. The term “bold” can be taken in a variety of ways, but generally speaking it refers to something that “pops out” at a viewer when entering a room.

2. Create a Gallery Wall

At other instances, though, you need more than one. Here is where gallery walls come in handy and help save the day. You don’t have to settle for just one striking image when using a picture gallery to achieve the desired effect.

The items you place on a gallery wall will function as a whole, so keep that in mind when you arrange them. At the level of the viewer’s eyes, the display’s focal point is optimal. Before you start hanging, it’s important to make a plan for this kind of display.

Start by laying the parts out on the floor in front of the wall and experimenting with different configurations until you discover one that works for you. Use graph paper instead if there’s not enough room.

3. Display a Macrame Wall Hanging

There has been a revival of interest in macrame in recent years. Planters, earrings, table runners, and wall hangings fashioned of macrame saw a rebirth in the late 2010s, harking back to the craft’s heyday in the 1970s. Large and complex pieces are available, as well as those that are easy enough to assemble on your own.

If you have a colorful living room, a macrame wall hanging would be perfect for the wall behind the sofa. The knotted masterpiece would be a beautiful focal point, and the neutral-colored string would not detract from the space’s aesthetic. You can also use macrame wall hangings to inject some color if you get one with an ombré fringe.

Above a sofa, for example, you might hang one huge one for a dramatic focal point, or you could group several smaller ones together for a more subtle statement.

4. Mount Mirrors Above the Sofa

Mirrors have a significant role in interior design. They improve the aesthetics of a space by reflecting light and creating the illusion of more openness. Large mirrors look fantastic above a sofa, but they should always be positioned across from windows or other sources of natural light and beauty for the best effect.

If you have a large mirror and no better place to put it, don’t just slap it over your couch. Check to see if it complements the existing decor. However, if you want your living room to feel more like a museum, try hanging a collection of little mirrors above the sofa. When determining where to put your photos, think about the wall as a whole and take into account the frames’ size, shape, and finish in addition to the photos themselves.

2 simple rules to follow when hanging art above a sofa - FIZZ Gallery

6. Hang Floating Shelves

As the average size of American homes continues to decrease, storage space is becoming increasingly valuable, and more and more people are taking advantage of any spare wall or tabletop area to show off their collections. Shelving over a couch is a terrific space-saving solution that also allows you to show off your accessories in a unique way. Shelves that do not require wall anchors look excellent, as do shelves supported by decorative brackets. Install them properly (into a stud) to prevent them from toppling over onto the couch.

Shelves should be mounted at a comfortable reading height, or the center of a cluster of shelves should be at this height. Your shelves over the couch can be symmetrical or you can attempt something else. For a more impromptu vibe, try mixing up some extra wall sconces and some unique pieces of art alongside your shelves.

7. Mount a Sculpture Above a Sofa

Sculptures that are hung from the ceiling can be a great way to add a personal touch to any room. Though it’s a loose phrase, “sculpture” can be used to describe just about anything that isn’t a “fixed” work of art (i.e. painting or photograph).

Faux antlers, porcelain platters, and punched metal sculptures are just a few examples. The idea is to find items without a ton of depth so that they don’t crowd the area over the sofa.

8. Display Maps

There is no better way to infuse a space with depth and character than with vintage maps. They are also wonderful for memorializing travel destinations. There is a wide variety of maps from which to choose if you want to use them as decorative elements in your home. And that’s not all!

You can find maps in home decor stores, antique shops, flea markets, or even take them from old atlases and other books. The key is to choose a map that is meaningful to you in some way. Maps often look best when framed, so if yours doesn’t come with one, consider having a custom frame made for your piece.


You can get maps in bookstores, antique shops, flea markets, and even old atlases and other books for decorating your home. Selecting a meaningful map is essential. Many maps look their best when framed, so if yours doesn’t already come with one, you might want to consider getting one made.

These Five Decorating Rules Will Help You Refine Any Room

Hang Artwork at Eye Level

Hanging artwork at eye-busting heights is a common installation faux pas. In the same way as museums display their works, you should do the same. The ideal center height for hanging artwork is between 57 and 60 inches from the floor. In rooms with ceilings higher than eight feet, artwork can be hung a bit higher than 60 inches from the floor. If most people in your home are on the shorter side, you should aim for the lower end of the range. You should be consistent with your choice of the middle ground. Consider the whole set of pieces as if it were a single sculpture.

In the case of framing artwork to hang over existing furniture, however, an exception must be made. It is recommended that artwork hung over a sofa or headboard take up around two-thirds of the total width of the piece of furniture. The bottom of the frame should be 8-10 inches above the top of the furniture; this keeps the artwork from looking like it’s floating in space. You can hang sconces or other artwork to balance out the composition of a smaller piece of art hung over a huge piece of furniture. If the height of your artwork is more than 120 inches, you can disregard the midway rule and just hang it such that its bottom border is about a foot from the floor.

Don’t Install Lighting Too High

Most lamps are situated too low, while wall and pendant lights are installed at awkward heights. The brand’s Executive Editorial Director, Kevin Sharkey, offers the following rule of thumb: Shades in the living room should be hung so that the bottom edges are at or slightly above eye level when seated. You and your visitors will be able to see each other clearly. Your bedside lamp shade’s bottom should be at or slightly below your chin when you sit up in bed. When decorating with multiple lamps in the same space, Kevin recommends keeping the lampshades’ tops at the same height for aesthetic purposes.

Hang a chandelier or pendant light above a dining room table or kitchen island so that its bottom is 30 to 34 inches from the top of the table or island. It is recommended to leave at least seven feet of space below pendants in locations where people will be walking. The pendant light can be suspended a few extra inches if the ceiling is higher than eight feet.

However, sconces are governed by a separate set of guidelines: This sort of illumination needs to be set up at or above eye level. When placing a series of sconces, leave 8-10 feet between each one for a uniform illumination. Use the same rough guideline for height when hanging them on either side of a bathroom mirror, and space them 36 to 40 inches apart. If you’re going to use them on either side of your bed, make sure they’re hung where they’ll be at eye level when you’re in the seated position. You need the light to be high enough that you can’t see the lightbulb, but low enough that it illuminates the page adequately.

Give Your Rugs at Least Two Feet of Room on Each Side

Subtract 24 inches from the room’s length and breadth measurements. Alternately, consider how you’d like the rug to frame your sofa when deciding on a size. (The space you have to work with will determine this considerably.) You can guarantee a warm bedroom rug in one of two methods. The rug should start a few feet from the top (nightstands don’t need to rest on it) and extend out two to three feet on either side and at the foot of the bed (a queen-sized rug should be 8 by 10 feet and a king-sized rug should be 9 by 12 feet). Use a runner or a rug three feet by five feet on each side as an alternative.

Choose a rug size that will have the legs of your couch and armchairs resting on the rug and the feet on the floor, or go with a smaller size so that no sitting sits on the rug at all if your living room furniture is pushed up against the wall. If your furniture can fit entirely or mostly on the rug, the space will look larger, as stated by Sharkey. Choose a size that will allow each piece of furniture to rest on it without squeezing together in a particularly large living room.

When it comes to carpeting dining rooms, you have one choice: If you want the table and chairs to sit entirely on the rug, even when they are pulled out, you should measure the space between the legs of the furniture. Rugs measuring 8 by 10 feet or 9 by 12 feet are the most common sizes used.

Measure Your Rods Before Hanging Curtains

Selecting the proper curtains can provide the impression that the window is more spacious. Keep in mind that the width of the rod and the height to which you want the curtains to fall are more crucial than the dimensions of the window itself. The rod needs to extend three to six inches past each side of the frame, unless you want café curtains (which hang inside the frame). When the curtains are open, the natural light is maximized. Drapey curtains can be made by multiplying the rod measurement by 2 or 2.5 to acquire the necessary width. To provide the impression of a higher window, the rod should be installed four to six inches above the window frame. Valances and drapes should rest lightly on the floor or sill. The usual range for sleeve length is 63 to 120 inches; err on the lengthy side because you can always get them shortened.

How to select the right size artwork for your space | UTR Decorating

Keep These Three Tools on Hand

What follows are three tools that will help you hang your decorative items evenly and with precision. For spherical objects like lamp shades, use a flexible measuring tape like this leather one from Leatherology, while a rigid metal tape is best for measuring length or height. Having a level on hand will ensure that your wall mounts are perfectly aligned. Finally, a foldable ruler is useful for measuring vertical distances in areas without walls (e.g., for a chandelier over a table).


Pictures hung above the sofa are a great way to make the living area more comfortable and inviting. Don’t forget the advice we gave you about hanging artwork above the sofa. For a quick review, the 8-inch and 6-inch guidelines are acceptable.

If you want your living room to look put together and sophisticated, avoid placing the artwork or gallery wall directly across from or next to the sofa. And with that, I’ll wrap this up. We appreciate you taking the time to read this and wish you a pleasant experience.