How to hang a trio of photos above a sofa

Displaying art above the sofa is a fantastic way to create a focal point for your living room.  Here we have three different frames — one large and two that are identical in size — and three different ways to hang them. All three looks work well from a design point of view, but you may want to play around with them to see which best fits with your personal style and the overall composition of your room.

Sofa trio post image

Tips to get you started:

  • For any of these three looks, start by centering the first piece on the wall, aligning it with the middle of the sofa. In this case the sofa has three cushions, which makes it easy to center your frame in line with the middle cushion. Be sure that your sofa is placed exactly were you want it before you start hammering so that you’re not left with an off-center wall arrangement.
  • Once the middle piece is hung, add the second piece, either to the left or right of the center frame (it doesn’t matter which side you start with). If you are working with more than three frames, the hanging order would be the same. For example, if you had five frames, you would still hang the middle one first, then the two on either side, and continuing on with the two outside frames. Note: because you’re able to center the middle picture with the couch, hanging an odd number of frames is much easier than hanging an even number.

Differences between the three looks

Top picture:

  • The bottoms of the frames are lined up with each other.

Middle picture:

  • The two outside frames are centered with the middle one – as if you could draw a line right through the middle of each frame.

Bottom picture:

  • The tops of the three frames are perfectly lined up with each other.

Tip about spacing:  The spacing between each frame should be consistent to achieve an even balanced look. If you’re unsure about the spacing, cut identical lengths of low adhesive tape and place them on the sides of the middle frame to measure the distance to the next frame and keep spacing even. Peel the tape off once all three frames are securely hung. (See our post  “Perfectly spaced frames without the headache” for more information.)

Balancing act: To create balance between the furniture and wall display make sure that the total width of the arrangement doesn’t exceed 2/3 the length of the sofa. When wall displays are wider than the couch it will overwhelm the furniture instead of enhancing it.  (See our post “Easy tips to hang pictures above a couch” for more great tips.)

Height:  As a general rule, the bottom of your frames should hang 8” to 10” above the back of the sofa, though there are always exceptions. The best way to position your art is to have someone hold the frame in position while you step back and have a look to ensure the height is perfect. There’s no magic rule, just remember to keep your wall arrangements low enough that they can still be enjoyed while you’re sitting.

Which look do you like the best?

Other posts you may also find helpful:

Our top 5 picture hanging tips
Hanging pictures at eye level – what does that really mean?
How to keep picture frames hanging straight on a wall?


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