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Easy Tips to Hang Pictures Above a Couch


Sofa - easy tips to hang pictures above your sofa exactly where you want on the first tryDisplaying pictures over a couch is an easy way to create a focal point in your living room. Here are a few tips to get the job done:

Size it up

  • To create balance, your artwork (or grouping) should be at least 2/3 the length of the sofa.
  • Don’t have a large piece? Use two or more pieces in a group to create the size you need.
  • Pictures should not be wider than the couch or the artwork will overwhelm the furniture instead of enhancing it.

How high, how low?

  • As a general rule, the bottom of your frame should hang 8” to 10” above the back of the sofa. There are exceptions when you’re hanging a grouping of frames and in this case, you may have to play with the measurements a bit.
  • If you hang your artwork too high it will look like it’s floating away from the couch instead of being connected to it. Keep your wall arrangements low enough to enjoy when you’re sitting.
  • Have someone hold your artwork in position while you step back and have a look to ensure the height is perfect.

Spacing between pieces

  • When hanging a grouping of pictures, leave 2” to 5” between each frame for proper spacing. Use low adhesive tape to keep spacing consistent between frames.
  • Hanging frames too far apart will look disjointed, like you are trying to fill the wall instead of connecting each piece of art.

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Liette Tousignant's signature, co-founder of Under The Roof Decorating

Liette Tousignant

I’m passionate about picture hanging and wall decorating (and I’m also the Co-Founder of Under The Roof Decorating).



28 thoughts on “Easy Tips to Hang Pictures Above a Couch

  1. Liette Post author

    I’m so glad to hear we could help you! Come back and visit us soon, we post new articles and great picture hanging tips almost every day.

  2. Cheryl

    Wall is 104″, sofa bed couch is 73″ picture I like is 47″square. Is this picture too big for this wall and sofa?

  3. Liette Post author

    Couch and artwork in painters tape
    Hi Cheryl, using some painter’s tape we did a mock-up of your wall, couch and artwork to help us visualize your space. Scale wise, your picture is the right size. Other things to keep in mind is the height of the ceiling and size of the room. Can the space support such a big piece of art? I’d suggest trying to mock it up like we did, it might help you decide if you should hang it or not. Please let me know what you end up doing.

  4. Tommie Wilson

    I have a brown sofe in my family room, my carpet is beige, the walls are a light greenish color, I’d really love to have your help as to what colors need to be in the pictures.

  5. Liette Post author

    Hi Tommie – picking wall décor with 1 or 2 of the colours you already have in your living room will definitely help tie in the whole look together. Also keep in mind what atmosphere you want to create in your living room. Bright colours and busy patterns will energize your room while softer colours and landscape type of paintings are more relaxing and soothing. Here’s a link to our living-room Pinterest board to give you a little decorating inspiration. http://www.pinterest.com/utrdecorating/%7Eliving-room-walls%7E/ Please let me know how your wall decorating project turns out.

  6. Nate Williams

    Love the article. Is it ok to have a large piece of artwork facing another on the opposite wall (both hanging above similar colored sofas, facing each other, as well) ?

  7. Liette Post author

    Absolutely! It’s a great way to add symmetry to a room and to balance out the weight of the 2 sofas that are facing each other. Your room sounds lovely. Glad to hear you enjoy the article.

  8. Mary Ann Powers

    I have a high ceiling living room painted goldish with an off white couch against it.
    To make the couch “pop”, I painted a medium blue behind the couch and added a chair rail. The bottom of the 2.75″chair rail is 3.5″ above the top of the sofa back.
    I left the wall above the chair rail goldish, and hung an art piece with blue and gold colors 3″ above the chair rail. The center of the art piece is 60″ from the floor. The visual problem is that with such a small area of blue, the couch looks like it’s been squashed by the chair rail. Any suggestions would be welcomed.

  9. Liette Post author

    Hi Mary Ann – Although you’ve given me a great description of your living room, if I could see a picture it would make it much easier for me to send you my suggestions. You can send it directly to me at [email protected]. Hope to talk to you soon.

  10. basak

    hi Cheryl, I have a 108″ long gray sectional. I bought 3 natural steel color manhattan frames from room and board, 20 by 20 to hang side by side. I am wondering if I need a fourth one?

    I am planning to put black and white pics in these frames. My couch and frames both being grey, do you think this would be too much grey? I have cherry hardwood floors, lots of light, and another cream color small sofa in the room. Rest of my furniture is dark cherry color.


  11. dianne

    can I hang 2 pictures different frames different sizes above my couch. One is 25 inches long, the other 29 similar theme

  12. Liette Post author

    Before you start hammering I would recommend to mock up the 3 frames above your sofa using low adhesive Painter’s Tape. It will help you visualize your display and instantly confirm if a fourth frame is needed. It’s easy to do and you’ll be amazed at how well it works. As for determining if grey frames will work in your living room, I would lean the frames against the back of the sofa and take a picture of the entire room. The photo will reveal things that the naked eye can’t pick up on and help you confirm if there’s too much grey in your overall décor. I’m sure that the black and white pictures will look terrific in your room, it’s a timeless classic look. Great choice! I hope this helps!

  13. gaby

    Hi, I want to hang a painting above a couch in my living room. My couch is off-center due to one end table bigger than the space that would be left if I centered the couch. How should I place the painting on the wall? Should I center it relative to the couch or to the wall? Thanks!!!

  14. Liette Post author

    Great question Gaby. I always connect pieces of art to furniture so I would definitely center your painting with the couch, that way you’re creating a great focal point in your living room.

  15. Linda Griffin

    My sofa is 82″ & I have a painting 60″ long X 40″ high. From the back of the sofa to the ceiling is only 59″. Is this too large for my wall? my room has a sofa facing love seat. Ceilings are not high but I love this piece of art. how high above the sofa must it hang? How far from the ceiling must it be? Thanks so much.

  16. Liette Post author

    Hi Linda, using the measurements you sent, we mapped out the dimensions of your couch, painting and the height of your ceiling on one of the walls at our office. Considering the size of your artwork, the closer it hangs to the couch the higher the ceiling will appear. Hanging the bottom of your piece approximately 6” above the top of the sofa would work best. If you hang it higher, it will look like you’ve tried to center your piece on the wall space between the sofa and ceiling instead of anchoring it to your sofa. As for the scale of your painting, it’s the perfect size and counter balances the size of the sofa nicely. Given what we know, this is our best advice. Please keep me posted on what you end up doing.

  17. Nancy

    Hi Liette, I have just purchased a new home ( have not moved in yet) the wall measurement is 107 , my ceilings are 9′ and I have a 6′ crown molding . My
    new sofa is 97″ I fell in love with a print that is 42 ” x 42 ” is it too small for over the sofa? I have the option of remitting and reframing it . Should I do this? If so what size

  18. Liette Post author

    Hi Nancy – Based on the measurements you’ve given me, I think your artwork is big enough for your wall. It’s almost half the size of your couch which will visually counter-balance the weight of your sofa quite nicely. If needed, you could add a wall sconce on either side of your art to fill more wall space and to create a beautiful focal point in your living room. Congrats on your new house!

  19. marc

    Hi,can I place 2 identical picture frames next to each other (spaced by a few inches) on top of a sofa? Or they must be different?
    They are really identical, same frame, same pic. Thnx

  20. Darlene

    I have a piece of wall art over ny flat screen T.V .with a quote, then found a picture for above The couch saying HOME. With small quote under that . Can it be to much to have two pictures. With quotes in a apartment size living room . Should I go with a Mirror over The couch or a picture collage instead.?

  21. Liette Post author

    Hi Darlene! Hanging a mirror above your sofa is a great idea especially if you have a great view or something pretty to reflect. You could hang all the quotes on the same wall as your flat screen TV which is an artful way to camouflage it without having to hide it. Would that work?

  22. Diane Maher

    I have a blank off white wall, couch is tan, brown , green, tweedy like. There is one floor lamp, table lamp on either side of couch
    I have a mirror that I woo like to place over the couch which I know is the correct size. Right now I feel it’s pretty high over the couch
    At what height should the mirror be
    Right now it looks like it is flying away
    Thank you for taking your time to answer this question
    Diane Maher

  23. Liette Post author

    Hi Diane! If the mirror looks like it’s flying away from the couch it’s definitely hanging too high. Depending on the size of mirror, I usually hang pictures and mirrors about 8 to 12 inches above the sofa. You’ll find more tips at this link http://www.utrdecorating.com/blog/deco-101-art-above-a-sofa/ Before hanging your mirror, make sure you like what it reflects. This article is all about mirrors http://www.utrdecorating.com/blog/tip-tuesday-hanging-mirror-fireplace-mantle/ I hope this helps.

  24. donna

    I have a 30×36 mirror above a love seat that is 68inches long.I have 2 pictures that are 8×12 and would like to hang 1 on each side of the mirror .Would that look strange?

  25. Liette Post author

    Hi Donna! Before answering your question, I need to confirm a couple of things. Is the 36″ side of the mirror hanging parallel to the back of your sofa? Is it wider than it is tall? And are you planning to hang the 8X12 pieces in a portrait or landscape orientation?

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