How To Decorate The Wall Behind Your Couch

Empty walls are filled with endless possibilities. When designing a living room, the open space above the couch is often a quandary that home designers and everyday decorators tackle. Do not be intimidated by the blank canvas before you, instead embrace it and decide which decor elements you want to add to express yourself. Take all the time you need to curate a space and decorate it to your liking so you can start to make the house feel more like a home. 

Look to spruce up the wall behind your couch by starting to fill in that empty space with modern touches, plants, unique artwork, or traditional picture frames. Finding the right decor to place in that empty void is simpler when the items you choose reflect who you are and what functions well in your space. From mirrors to woven baskets, taxidermy to classic gallery walls, inspiration for your wall space project is right here. Keep reading for your next idea!

Add shelves to create the perfect photo ledge

Adding shelves to a wall is perfect for those wanting to display pictures, framed art, and collectible trinkets. With careful planning and thoughtful execution it could prove to be the ideal way to take up space on the wall and create dimension in the room. Hanging shelves on the wall draws the eye upward and creates the illusion of height, as per Ideal Home. Consider this tip for smaller spaces and areas with lower ceiling heights. For someone looking to create contrast in the room, consider hanging shelves that pop against your wall color. You can opt for a light wood oak finish, classic shade of white, or choose a dark color to create a bold statement. Regardless of which color shelf is selected, you could add a bit more flare by pairing them with unique wall brackets.

On the contrary, one could also paint the shelves to match the existing wall color in the room. This route allows the decorator to create contrast in the space within the additional elements adorning the shelves. These could include family pictures in different colored frames or botanical art of varying sizes. Country Living suggests keeping the items well-edited as they are always on display -– less attractive items can be kept in closed storage areas. If you are the type to refresh decor often or add seasonal elements throughout your home, adding shelves would be best for switching decor items and adding festive touches.

Hanging unexpected art makes for the best unique decor

If you are someone searching for that "wow" factor behind the couch, consider adding some unconventional decor. Think outside the design rules and discover unlikely items to spread across the walls. These items could include Bohemian baskets, tapestries, plates, or macramé wall art. Unique art finds such as macramé art can warm up stark walls and introduce texture into the space with their weavings and carvings, as per Architectural Digest. Items like these create a focal point in the room and can be the anchoring piece in the decor. 

Unusual pieces are unique and showcase your personality beautifully -– they truly can be a one-of-a-kind find. Homenish suggests hanging china plates above the sofa as a decor element. Suspended correctly in a grid-style pattern, this look displays clean lines and an elegant vibe. One could consider intricate woven baskets as decor, too. They can cover a large wall easily and bring added texture to the space.

Create an earthy aesthetic by adding plants to the wall

Adding a potted plant or a vase of flowers on a table is nothing new, but perhaps you could consider bringing that plant upward and hanging it on the wall instead. Plants and flowers bring a sense of delicate beauty to a space. One may consider creating a unique look by adding wall planters to the blank space above their couch. 

If you choose to add plants to your space, it will add visual texture and introduce an organic touch. Martha Stewart shares some favorite wall planters you can use in your home. While some greenery may require sunlight or watering, some plants are low maintenance, such as succulents. One could also opt for high-quality faux greens as an alternative. These require no maintenance but still bring the same impact to the room. If filled with the right plants, these planters could create the perfect green oasis to escape to.

Keep the look classic with a grid gallery wall

The space above the sofa can be the ideal spot to show off those new family photos, some favorite vacation destination snapshots, or newly discovered vintage prints. You can change the images inside the frames over time, but a classic gallery wall creates an impactful statement in any room. Creating a gallery wall not only gives you the ability to showcase some fond memories, but the setup also brings symmetry to the space. The frames create definitive lines and bring a sense of balance to the wall. 

A grid-style gallery wall is especially aesthetically pleasing, according to Modsy. One may choose to keep a themed approach in the prints or opt for a favorite series of personal photos. To make the wall seem more uniform, you can also drop the color and print each in black and white. A pro tip Studio McGee suggests is to keep the spacing cohesive between the frames. Different sized frames will measure different inches apart. This streamlined look can be a great way to take up space on a wall.

Make a focal point by displaying a large work of art

Sometimes all a wall space needs is a single statement item to elevate the room and create a focal point. A large painting or piece of art appeals to the eye and creates a less busy look when entering the area. Ballard Designs reports this style of decor also feels simpler and more polished. If adding bold patterns and vibrant colors is not needed in the room, opt for a minimalist look and choose a neutral framed canvas as a statement piece for the wall. 

Hang the wall art at eye level for the best look. Studio McGee suggests about 60 inches from the floor. The decision to hang a single item on the wall is simple and requires minimal coordination. One should keep proportion in mind when finding the right piece for your wall –- the larger the item, the more space it covers. You want to make sure the art covers enough of the wall for a complete look.

Give the appearance of added space by hanging a mirror

If wall space allows for it, consider hanging a mirror as part of your decor design. This element opens the space and adds something to reflect all the beauty in the room. This reflective capability creates the illusion that the room is bigger than it appears and reflects the decorative accents on the opposite side of the room, as per HGTV. While all mirrors may reflect light, their size makes a difference and needs to be considered when choosing the perfect one for your wall. 

If you prefer smaller mirrors, consider grouping them together for a maximum effect. If you are working in a smaller room, consider adding a mirror to the wall behind your sofa to create the illusion of more space. Homes & Gardens suggests choosing the largest mirror in your budget to reflect the most amount of light in the space. You also want the mirror to accent the existing room decor, so it would be wise to pay close attention to the shape of the mirror. For example, circular mirrors can offer a more whimsical look, and angular mirrors can create a more orderly aesthetic, as per The Spruce.

Brighten the room with a wall sconce or two

Wall sconces were popular in mid-century decor and are once again proving their elegance in today's home landscapes. Shift the mood in the room by adding some wall sconces to the space above your sofa. One could add these lights in with other pieces, such as art or mirrors, per Ballard Designs. Besides accenting art, wall sconces are the perfect addition to frame the sides of your wall-mounted television and add visual texture. 

Wall sconces give a classy appearance and bring functionality to the space with the addition of light -– they can create a great ambiance in any room. One can create contrast on the wall by opting for a bronze or gold finish to mix with other elements in the room, or consider lamp shades for a refined feel. The addition of wall sconces can make any dull area instantly brighter and offer maximum floor space in a home.

Add prints and patterns for a bold look

This can be the space in your living room that attracts attention with bold colors and intriguing patterns and prints. As seen above, the prints could be botanical, of animals, structures, or silhouettes. One could create an accent wall behind the sofa with their choice of framed wall hangings. Mix and match the frame colors and materials to create a staggering collection of framed art on the wall. If you seek a more uniform feel, consider arranging prints from the same artist for a cohesive look. 

To begin, Better Homes and Gardens suggests envisioning the space and starting with a color palette complementary to the sofa. Photographs, themed prints, scrapbook paper, and bold artwork can showcase personality and set the mood. If your space is more on the neutral side, use the gallery wall as a way to add an assortment of colors to the environment. 

Keep time by displaying a wall clock

Some people may group clocks into the same odd category of house phone relevance and consider them relics. Clocks may be vintage, but they provide a vital function of telling time while also offering a bit of decor elegance. One could consider taking the time to fill the space above their sofa with an oversized clock. You could even add a smaller clock to a gallery of existing photos and framed art. 

If you decide to hang a clock, The Spruce suggests straying from old-fashioned timepieces and choosing a style that fits your space seamlessly. Clocks offer functionality in an area and can be put in most rooms, including the living room. As with most interior decorating, one should consider the size of the clock necessary to fill the space without overtaking it. Begin your search by looking for clocks that add dimension and help break up space. Clocks have evolved and can be found in more shapes than just the typical circle.

Create an accent wall with wallpaper

What better way to create movement in a space than by adding some bold, colorful or repetitive patterned wallpaper? You can create an accent wall behind the sofa to energize the room and bring it to life. Wallpaper brings a drastic change and an instant eye-catching moment to a space. Let the design do the talking, as Ideal Home suggests. If the wallpaper you pick is drastic enough to create a statement on its own, opt to let it be bare. Do not hang anything else to disrupt the decor. 

If you choose a neutral wall covering, then the addition of framed art or classically styled shelving may be just what is needed to complete the look. Bold accent colors and patterned wallpapers can work best when colors in other elements in the room are subtly accented. Homes & Gardens suggests tying the colors together with vases or other textiles in the room.

Design the perfect book nook

Books are a popular home decor staple and are often stacked on a table or side by side on a bookshelf. Rather than let them sit in a box collecting dust, brush them off and set them on display behind the couch. MyDomaine suggests creating a bookshelf border above the sofa as a cool way to draw your eye upward, making the space appear larger. One could choose to place the books on the wall shelves you are about to hang above the sofa or stack them between bookends on a bookshelf. 

Using books as decor is a great design technique to take up space and add personality to the room. It also provides a storage solution for all those titles you are hiding. Create the perfect book nook and bring a sense of comforting charm to your space by styling your shelves with some of your favorite titles or neutral book covers.

Add drama by tacking a rug on the wall

Bring a bit of flair to your room and easily cover a good amount of wall space by tacking a rug or tapestry on the wall above your sofa. One could hang a two-by-three piece on the wall, or go bigger and cover a larger space. Once you choose the rug size you need for the wall space, consider what vibe you want and search for colors complementary to the area. 

Consider searching for an authentic Moroccan rug or a hand-woven piece from India. Instantly add color and dimension by hanging a large rug on the wall above your sofa with a pattern or abstract design. As per Apartment Therapy, adding a rug to the wall is the perfect design solution for any blank space that needs a boost. You can also create a sleek vibe by using a curtain rod to display the rug. This decor preference proves itself to be renter-friendly and easily transitional.

Bring an outdoor feel indoors with taxidermy decor

Incorporating the outdoors into the indoor living space is a great way to invite nature inside and invoke a sense of calm in the area. Nature is beautiful, and one can find ways to add it to their existing decor. Faux taxidermy is a creative and ingenious way to bring wildlife into the home, as per Housedit. If mounting real animal heads is not your vibe, but you enjoy the rustic cabin look, then consider some vegan-friendly animal decor options to add to the wall above your sofa. 

There are a variety of ways to incorporate faux taxidermy into your space. If you consider yourself crafty, you may opt to make a paper maché deer head, spray paint some branches to appear like antlers, or crochet an animal tapestry to hang on the wall. If you are less inclined to DIY decor, consider abstract animal decor items, such as origami animal sculptures or cardboard trophy heads.

Craft a millwork masterpiece for the space

Adding some intricate millwork or completing a DIY wall paneling project infuses a space with texture. Millwork designs help create visual interest without overpowering the furnishings, as per HGTV. Designing a millwork masterpiece can be the perfect way to add visual texture and dimension to the wall behind your sofa. For example, one could consider adding wall moldings or wall panelings to create a large geometric design that is decorative and functional. 

If furniture moves often or there are children at play, wall moldings will take their impact better than drywall, shared Houzz. Creating millwork wall designs can help accentuate other existing architectural features on the wall, such as windows. One could even paint the woodwork a complementary color to make a vibrant accent wall. It will create an instant statement in the room, and add character to the space.