One of my biggest decorating challenges having a giant, open wall above a sofa. Whenever I can possibly rearrange a furniture situation to avoid it, I do! But in my apartment, the sofa is in the one and only place it fits... with a big, blank wall behind it.
That wall has bugged me for 8 months! I've put up all sorts of different pieces and disliked them all. But I finally found something I like that really works for me and the space, so I thought I'd walk you through how I got there.
Here are some things I considered:
1. Amount of negative space. My sofa is giant, as long as the wall behind it. And the effect that has is to frame out the entire wall, so your eye expects the whole darn thing to be full of something.
2. Scale. A frame that looks pretty big on a store shelf can look minuscule/unimportant on a vast, empty wall above a long sofa. And a groupings of small frames can look cluttered. When in doubt, I always size up.
3. How high to hang. The "rule" is to hang art centered at 57" (gallery height). I'm not strict about that rule, but I do think people commonly hang stuff too high, and I especially notice it above sofas. I always put a guide up on the wall with tape and move things around until I'm happy with it.
I tried canvases, a Chinese screen, mirrors, and what seemed like a dozen different gallery arrangements. (My post on 20 ideas for above-the-bed art has some good ideas for what to hang.) I kept coming back to a gallery wall-- I liked how I could "fill" a big space but leave some negative space between frames. The scale is cool-- it's both big (whole arrangement) and small (frames), so I felt like it didn't overpower anything. I liked it centered at about 60".
I obviously still need to straighten the frames and put art in most of them (and let's not even talk about the color scheme I've got going on in here). I'm just happy I finally put something up on this wall!
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