The wall space above your sofa has some serious design potential, as it's a focal point in almost every living room. Start by exploring your options, saving pictures of rooms you like, and choosing your favorite decor inspiration.
"For example, if your living room is full of art pieces on other walls, adding a floating shelf to hold some of your favorite books and plants would be a great way to maximize vertical storage area and add something interesting to that wall," says interior designer Dai'Jah Wroten at Mackenzie Collier Interiors. Placing mirrors across from or near windows is best, as the reflected natural light will brighten your room and make it appear larger.
The mirror is leaning against the wall with a floor lamp in front, which will have an extra bright impact thanks to the reflection. Alternately, you might try flanking your oversized mirror with a pair of sconces to add more light to your living room.
Adding one piece to your gallery made from something different, like the chalkboard beside the framed posters above, creates variety and excitement in your decor. One Large Piece of Art "One way to decorate the space above a sofa that I have really been enjoying is the use of oversized artwork," Dai'Jah Wroten told Living Cozy. Pick something that works well with the color palette of your living room if you're revamping your existing space. Alternately, if you're decorating a space from scratch, base the room's palette on the colors in your large painting.
And if you don't have the square footage for a console table, adding shelving behind your sofa can also introduce valuable storage space. Here, you see multiple framed pictures, travel souvenirs, books, vases, and a houseplant, all nested neatly above the sofa.
Pro Tip: Try to keep your space's color palette in mind when choosing items to display on shelves above your sofa. Here, we see a modern minimalist living room with unique lighting and a gem-toned accent wall.
Multiple Large Pieces of Art Credit: Allison Smith Design, photographed by Kitta Bodmer.
Hanging multiple large wall art pieces above your sofa often has an elegant, modern appeal. If you're not using artwork from the same set, choose pieces with similar sizes and colors for a cohesive look that will bring your space together. Also, notice how the bright lights and white walls make this smaller living room appear spacious and inviting.
Find a flat, flexible strip and use your creativity to hang it in a fun and swishing shape of your choice. You might display a woven tapestry, a knit or crochet blanket, a quilt, an embroidered wall hanging, a rug, or a DIY macrame project above your sofa.
And if you're working with limited square footage, try two or three smaller textile hangings to avoid making the room look small and closed off. As Maggie noted above, textiles can be pretty affordable, whether you're hanging an expansive single piece or multiple smaller ones. In addition, you can find creative ideas for making your own macrame art, quits, and even woven tapestries. Alternatively, you might check thrift shops to find a discount price on a large textile or go deal hunting online.
Pro Tip: Try hanging a large textile in an apartment living room to dampen sound between you and your neighbors. There's something for every style with this approach, whether you install a large panel as we see behind this neutral-toned sofa or a DIY moss wall to bring a touch of nature into your space.
Many modern homes feature wallpaper as an accent wall behind the sofa, adding color, pattern, and styling.
"Wallpaper can be a great backdrop for a sofa, adding depth and interest to a blank wall," says James Mellan-Matulewicz. Abstract art comes in all shapes, sizes, and colors, and it's an excellent choice if you need to breathe some life into your living room. Here, we see contrasting natural colors with abstract geometric designs, creating energy and character in the room.
If you're designing a living room from the ground up, try choosing your abstract work first and growing the rest of the space around it. Houseplants make it easy to add life, color, texture, and depth to the space above your sofa. Floating shelves help anchor and balance the space above your sofa while adding extra storage.
A set of sturdy floating shelves like those seen here can hold your favorite decorative items while giving your living room added depth. Plus, you can redecorate your shelves and try new wall decor ideas whenever the mood strikes, which is perfect for those who change up their space frequently. Pro Tip: Move the sofa away from the wall so that you don't hit your head on the floating shelves every time you get up.
Leave Blank Space Credit: Allison Smith Design, photographed by Kitta Bodmer. Leaving empty space in your living room can make the area appear calmer and more open.
Pro tip: White walls with plenty of natural light will brighten your living room, making it appear larger.
For example, some designers prefer to take up more space on a large wall, extending the size nearly as wide as the sofa.
Here's what the experts had to say on the matter: "The number one mistake I see people make is hanging a piece that's too small for the area. "One mistake that many people make when decorating above their sofa is hanging something too small," commented interior designer Dai'Jah Wroten.