How to hang artwork above a couch

Hanging artwork above a couch can instantly change the feel of a room. Here are some of our top tips to help you confidently go from an empty wall to enjoying a decorated space.

Illustrated image of a couch with a red square above it to indicate this is the space available for decorating the wall

How much space is above your couch?

How long is your couch and how tall is the ceiling? Knowing this will give you the area where you can consider hanging your art. Typically, your artwork is centered above a couch to create a balanced look, so it’s good to start by having the dimensions of the block of space above the couch so you can figure out what you want to hang there.

Illustrated image of a picture above a couch and arrow indicating the picture should be 2/3 the length of the couch to look balanced

What size art do I need

Your art should be the right size in relation to the couch to create a balanced look. So as a rule of thumb, select a piece that is a minimum of ⅔ the length of the couch, and generally doesn’t exceed its length. 

Here are a few illustrations that quickly show the scale of artwork compared to the couch, and why getting the right size of art is important for a balanced look. We are inherently good at understanding when things are out of balance, so trust your instincts!

Illustrated image of a picture above a couch and arrows indicating to hang the picture 8 - 10 inches above the top of the couch.

How high do I hang my art?

Now that you have the right size of art for the space above the couch, you’re ready to hang it. Center it above the couch, and select a height so visually the picture looks anchored to it. This typically is about 8 - 10 inches above the top of the couch. If you are unsure how high above the couch to hang your picture, start at the lower end of the scale and move your picture up if you think it’s too close. Why? Because when you move your picture up on the wall, the picture will cover the previous nail hole.

Tips: Make sure that when you are sitting on the couch, your head won’t bump the artwork. Also, consider viewing the art from other spots in the room to see how it looks from different points of view. It’s great if you have a helper to hold the picture while you stand back to assess the different looks. 

Illustrated image of three pictures hung in an arrangement above a couch and a line indicating that the single footprint should be a minimun of 2/3 the width of the couch to look balanced

Is it OK to hang an arrangement?

Yes! Instead of hanging a single picture, you can create an arrangement of different items that fill the same size footprint. We’ve written a few blog posts about hanging galleries. Click here to read, “Step by Step guide: creating the perfect gallery wall.” Also, you can search ‘gallery walls’ on our website to find even more how to and inspirational resources.

An illustration of 3 pictures hanging above a couch and the spacing between them is consistent and about 2 - 5 inches apart

A few tips: Lay out your arrangement on the floor so you can try different looks. Use consistent spacing between frames of the same size for a balanced look. And, vary the spacing between items in a gallery with different sized artwork, or a collection of artwork and other decor items, until it looks balanced on each side of the centerline.

Illustration of a product package for fasteners and where to look for weight rating for the nail or screw so you can hang pictures securely 

How do I secure my art?

Typically in drywall you can use a nail, screw or picture hanger to securely hang your artwork. Make sure to use a hanger rated for the weight of the piece you are going to hang. At UTR Decorating we have designed our DécoNails™ and DécoScrews™ specifically for hanging artwork securely in drywall, so have a look at these pages for more information.

An illustration showing how to use a bathroom scale to measure the weight of your artwork e.g. stand on scale with artwork, stand on scale without artwork and the different between the two numbers is the weight of the artwork

Tip: it can be hard to guess the weight of artwork. Usually, it’s a lot lighter than we think. You can use a bathroom scale to quickly calculate the weight of the item, so you can confidently match it with the right picture hanger.

What if my wall isn’t drywall?

There are a variety of picture hangers available for different surfaces, such as drywall, plaster or cement. It’s important to find a hanger that will hold your artwork securely, and to select a picture hanger that is rated for the weight of your item and the surface where you are hanging it. If you are uncertain, review the package or ask a store associate for help.

Decorating, simplified™

We love making it easier for everyone to decorate their homes. Since designing the picture hanging tool Hang & Level™ we’ve created a full line of products that help save time, walls, and even relationships. When the decorating process is simplified, it’s easy to decorate your walls. Check out our full product line here.

We love designing products to make decorating easy and help people create spaces that bring them joy. Click on the live chat below or email us at:, and we’ll do our best to help you Create the home you love™

-The UTR Team

At Under The Roof Decorating our mission is to design innovative products that help you Create the home you love™.

We believe everyone should have a home they love that reflects who they are. Our passion is to design products to help you quickly and easily decorate your home—all on your own. Discover the joy of creating spaces you love, and the satisfaction of doing it yourself.

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