sneak peek best of: art above the sofa


It can prove to be one of the biggest design dilemmas: What do you hang in the space above your sofa? You want something that makes a statement, but the big question is whether to go with a large single piece of art or a collection of smaller pieces. I tend to bounce around. For a while I hung a large vintage map, then I hung a vintage collection of seascapes. (It took so long to get that arrangement right that I’ve vowed never to change it!) I’ve scoured the sneak peek archives for the best examples of art above sofas that are sure to give you plenty of inspiration for your art-hanging decision making. — Amy Azzarito

Image above: Two huge works by Australian artist Abbey McCulloch hang in Katie Graham’s living room in Victoria, Australia.


Image above: A wall hanging by Australian textile designer Pony Rider hangs above a vintage Danish sofa in Annabelle Kerslake’s Australia home.


Image above:
A portrait by Shelley Adler in Amie Weitzman’s Connecticut cottage

See more art above sofas after the jump . . .


Image above: A collection of favorite pieces hangs above the studio in Nerissa and Peter’s Vancouver, Canada, studio room.
Some of the paintings are thrift store finds; one of the framed posters was taken home from a Jeff Koons show at the Palace of Versailles, and the tree poster was a wallpaper the couple designed for a friend.


Image above: Rym of Mademoiselle Bagatelles decorates her Parisian apartment with artwork created by her mother (the carpets and cushions were found in Tunisia).


Image above: The sofa in Meghan McEwen’s Detroit home actually came with the house. They gave it second life with new upholstery and hung above it a huge charcoal drawing by
Andy Krieger.


Image above: Jordan and her husband try to buy one significant piece of art every year to hang in their San Francisco home. They bought the big colorful
piece hanging to the left of the settee from Michelle Armas.


Image above: The dramatic arrangement of photographs makes the simple Ikea sofa in Jimmie Martin and Rick Schultz’s London home look so much more luxe.


Image above: A little twist on the classic collage — everything slants to the left in Paul and Megan Wilkes’ Dallas home.


Image above: A photograph by Jean-Pierre Khazem hangs above the sofa in Dorothée Monestier’s Paris home.


Image above: A painting by Scott Herskovitz hangs above the sofa in Grace Hsiu’s Pasadena, California, home.


Image above: Lizzy Janssen displays her collection of vintage hand-painted portraits above the sofa in her Philadelphia home.


Image above: The Thomas Pheasant mirror hanging above the settee in Cortney Bishop’s South Carolina home was one of the first pieces that she purchased for herself.


Image above: You can’t go wrong with a pet portrait. Haddock lounges on a chair underneath his portrait in his 1920s Maine farmhouse from Sneak Peek: Tyler Karu and Brendan Ready.


Image above:
A sunburst wrought-iron wall lamp hangs above Steve Soria’s 1940s Victorian 3-piece couch in his Santa Barbara ranch home.


Image above: Objects as art: In her home in Tunisia, Victoria Reppert hung the old mashrabiya screen slightly away from the wall so that it would cast beautiful patterns in the light.


Image above: Amanda Happé’s sofa in her Toronto home is a vintage Canadian design that was once airport waiting furniture. She took the photographs (of graffiti cover-ups) during a trip to Santa Monica.


Image above: A mirror is flanked by vintage magazines in Bryan Minnich and Katie D’Angelo’s Washington, D.C. home.


Image above: In Alissa Walker’s Los Angeles living room, the poster
on the wall is a 1967 serigraph by Sister Corita Kent, who was a Los Angeles designer and nun. The off-center hanging makes the window feel like another piece of art.

  1. I honestly loved all of these. Such unique, quirky and clever ideas.

  2. Dixie says:

    My favorite is the dog picture.

  3. Swati says:

    Totally the post I needed. I’ve had a bare walled sofa for the last 1.5 years and really really need some art above it now. Thanks!

  4. That panel of blue sky in the final photo KILLS me it’s so perfect. I’ll take a frame of natural light any day. :)

  5. Eileen says:

    or…don’t have the sofa against a wall…mine divides the living and dining room areas, so no sofa wall art needed.

  6. how2home says:

    Love the wood stomp. Looks beautiful inside a home :)

  7. kirsty says:

    does anyone know what the beautiful fabric is on the cushions in the first image…..?

  8. Tara says:

    *Sigh* this post makes me want about 20 living rooms…

  9. charlotte says:

    Love the brown velvet sofa!

  10. Kristie says:

    Ooh I love Abbey McCulloch!

  11. Tara says:

    Love the screen on the wall over the couch. I want it!!

  12. Rachel says:

    I still love Rym’s home. It’s one of my favorite sneak peeks!

  13. All are lovely, but the sunburst wall lamp over the gold couch is outstanding as far as I’m concerned. Not my colors at all but it stands out and pulls the room together at the same time, which is quite a feat. I also love the charcoal (or is it black?) gallery wall in the London flat .

  14. Rebecca says:

    some nice ideas, but i cant help but feel that most of these rooms are more like galleries than people’s actual homes. I cant imagine coming home from a day at work and and wanting to sit on some airport waiting chairs and rest my cup of tea on a tree stump!

  15. JC says:

    Where o’ where can I find those floral pillows (or the fabric) and the matching lampshade in the 1st photo at the top? They are ADORABLE! I think I’m in love…
    Cheers!

  16. Alexis Tryon says:

    These are some great examples! Very inspirational. I could never decide what worked in my space – part of why I started Artsicle (www.artsicle.com), actually.

  17. very timely post. i have been collecting things to hang above my sofa for a while.. I think i finally have the guts to hang them now. I
    great inspiration here.

  18. Alex says:

    I have been searchiing for a great way to decorate around this HUGE abstract super colorful painting we have in the living room, and these have helped so much!

  19. Meg says:

    Kirsty & JC – click the link,
    Couch pillows and lampshade are made from original 1960s fabric.

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