How To Decorate Above the Sofa

Make a bold statement above your sofa with a large piece of art. Follow design expert Phoebe Howard's tips to learn how.
Story by Jennifer Kopf

1. Make it Personal
Select a painting or photograph that speaks to you, and don't worry about everything matching style wise. "I like injecting a modern painting into a traditional room," says Phoebe. "It can really shake things up and feel fresh."

2. Go Large in Scale
Your ceiling height, wall width, and sofa dimensions should all factor in. A scale drawing can help you find the size that's most pleasing to your eye, but as a general rule, pick a horizontal or square piece that measures at least half the length of the sofa.

3. Frame It Right
"In this case, more is not necessarily better," says Phoebe. "The frame should finish off the piece, not compete with it." Most large works look good with a simple floater frame, but an unframed canvas or Lucite box would also be a good option.

4. Think Beyond Canvas
"For something unexpected, try a vintage quilt," says Phoebe. When you limit the palette to two or three colors and choose a graphic pattern, the look is totally modern. To hang the quilt, stitch it to a linen backdrop and then frame it.