How High To Hang Pictures Over Sofa: 2 Best Rules

The answer to how high to hang pictures over sofa gives you two styling rules. We will discuss below the 8-inch rule and the 6-inch rule. As a bonus, we’ll even talk about what not to do when hanging artwork or arranging a wall gallery above the sofa. 

If you’re also interested in learning how to hang art above the couch, consider reading our separate guide regarding it. With these informative articles at your fingertips, let’s get started!

how high to hang pictures over sofa


What Is The Correct Height For Hanging Pictures Over Sofa?


8 to 10 inches above the highest point of the couch

The most common rule for hanging pictures over the sofa is to have the artwork or gallery wall 8 to 10 inches from the highest point of the backrest. This distance is close enough to the furniture to fill the space above it and far enough so the living room won’t feel cluttered in that area. However, you can make some minor adjustments with this rule depending on your ceiling size, sofa style, and artwork.


6 to 12 inches above the highest point of the couch

Another excellent distance for hanging a picture above the sofa is between 6 to 12 inches instead of 8 to 10 inches. The lowest side of the frame should be 6 inches from the highest point of the couch’s backrest. This way, the two are visually connected and won’t appear that you randomly placed an artwork or gallery wall to fill the space above the sofa.


What not to do

The 8-inch rule and 6-inch rule with the maximum distance of 10 and 12 inches are your safest proportion guidelines when hanging artwork above the sofa. However, you still need to layout the decorations to ensure that everything looks cohesive. Furthermore, avoid using the eye-level rule when decorating above the couch.

The eye-level rule is only applicable if you decorate an empty wall and not above a piece of furniture. For example, the distance at eye level with a sofa won’t be proportionally appealing because you aren’t considering the furniture below the artwork. The couch will be included in your field of vision when looking at the living room.


Where Should Pictures Be Placed On The Wall?

The general rule is to have the pictures centered on the wall. But if you are decorating above the sofa, the sofa will be your priority guide, so center the artwork or gallery wall over it. The total width of the decorations should make up 50 to 75% of your sofa’s width or two-thirds the sofa length as discussed in what size art over the couch.

You must also consider if your room has a high ceiling and adjust the picture’s placements slightly higher to balance out space at the top. You can even have the images closer to one side, especially when balancing an asymmetrical sofa arrangement with a table or tall indoor plant on one side. Overall, do not hesitate to use trial and error with decorating above the couch. 


How Do You Layout A Gallery Wall?

The 8-inch and 6-inch rule for hanging a picture above the sofa also applies when styling a gallery wall. Just remember to level their height, regardless of the number of images you’re using. But how far apart should you space the pictures on a gallery wall?

Allocate 2 to 5 inches of space from each frame of the pieces to keep the area balanced. You also don’t want to use too many pictures to take up more than the sofa width. And finally, use several artworks with the same style or features to make the space look orderly. 


What To Put Behind A Floating Sofa?

Floating the sofa in the living room is an excellent technique to utilize limited space. You only need to place the couch in the middle of the room; hence the term was floating. This will prevent creating an overly tight area that usually happens if you only push the sofa on one corner.

So what should you do with the space behind the floating couch?


Sofa table

There are different types and uses of sofa tables, so don’t limit yourself to the traditional coffee table in front of the seats. Instead, opt for a console table behind the sofa to become your bar or reading nook. Just keep in mind not to over decorate the table that it becomes obtrusive when the main couch is full.


Extra seats

You can opt for another couch, bench, or even a couple of chairs behind the floating couch. This decorating technique designates the middle part of the room for lounging and social interactions. Just remember to utilize the sides of the seats for other items to balance the space and maintain spacious paths. 



Hanging pictures above the couch is a fun way to add your personal touch to the living room. Just remember the tips we discussed regarding how high to hang pictures over sofa. To recap, you can follow the 8-inch and 6-inch rules. 

Do not have the artwork or gallery wall too close or too near the sofa to ensure that your living room looks balanced and orderly. And that’s it! We hope you enjoyed reading. 

Leave a Comment