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One of my many ongoing projects is to finish off our living room.  And one of the tasks is to figure out something to put over the couch - see visual to do list below.

Now here is my dilemma - notice how the couch isn't centered on that wall back there?  I am trying to decide if I want the art work centered on the wall or on the couch.  I couldn't make up my mind just staring at the wall myself so I decided to find some pictures of both to try to help.

Centered Behind the Couch 

I like these iron pieces - they are big enough to cover the space without being too much!

Interior Design Los Angeles | ASD Interiors contemporary living room

Again - the size and scale of this piece works centered behind the couch but off center on the wall.

Gleichers Eco-Friendly Townhouse contemporary living room

Perhaps that is the key - getting something large to balance out the space.
KUNDALINI modern living room

These smaller pieces also work when grouped together to create that bigger feel and balance out the space.

Turnberry -piano modern entry

Centered on the Wall

Now these two paintings are centered on the wall - which works in this space.

Scarsdale Multi-Use Room eclectic family room

This painting isn't perfectly centered behind the couch but the two smaller pieces help balance it out.

AND Interior Design Studio traditional living room

I love this - the painting and the moulding are centered while the furniture is off center.

Jerry Jacobs Design: Portfolio: Paris in San Francisco traditional living room

Again - this piece is perfectly centered on the wall while the couch is slightly off center.  It works though - in a very modern way.

Romance Sofa modern living room

So - after looking at both - I think that I like it best when the art is centered behind the couch and off center on the wall.  Now I just have to find something in the right scale to fit the space!  

What about you?  Which look do you like best?  Centered on the wall or centered behind the couch?  

Linking this up to the Inspired by Party with Melissa @ The Inspired Room! Hop over and get inspired!

And don't forget to hop over and enter my giveaway for this beautiful Sylvie Bamboo Pillow! 

23 frugal friends said ...

Marty@A Stroll Thru Life said... @ August 12, 2010 at 9:18 PM

Well, I would center it on the couch and then find a much larger and taller lamp with a bigger shade to help fill in the space. Then if you still feel like it is off, you can hang another picture low next to the end table and lamp. I hope that makes sense to you. Hugs, Marty

mamahood said... @ August 12, 2010 at 9:27 PM

I for sure like the art centered behind the couch too!!! Good luck looking forward to seeing the finished product ;)

Lesley @ The Design File said... @ August 12, 2010 at 9:33 PM

I really like the idea of hanging a pendant over your side table or using a floor lamp behind it -- something tall that will help fill up that space.

And then you can center your artwork over the sofa and the wall will feel very balanced.

Basically...like the first inspiration photo you showed. It would be perfect.

Making It Work Mom said... @ August 12, 2010 at 10:03 PM

What a great idea to look at the pictures. I would have just put a bunch of holes in the wall until I figured out where I wanted it.

Absolutely the couch!!

Laurel @ Ducks in a Row said... @ August 12, 2010 at 10:34 PM

I definitely like it centered above the couch!

Nadine said... @ August 13, 2010 at 4:23 AM

Do something similar to the 6th pic however centre the artwork behind your couch then put a couple to the side but more balanced.... I need to be able to draw a pic, lol! Ummmm..... Ok: centre the large artwork behind your couch, then to the left (on the larger space of your wall) put matching frames on top of one another spaced evenly to eachother and the larger frame..... ummmm... I can see it but am obviously struggling to describe, lol! :)

Nadine said... @ August 13, 2010 at 4:26 AM

Ha, ha, ha...... reading that back; I'm sure that nobody will be able to understand what I was trying to convey, lol! I like Marty's idea! :)

Old Jail Artist said... @ August 13, 2010 at 6:24 AM

I vote for centered on the couch.

Erin said... @ August 13, 2010 at 7:31 AM

I would say over the couch, but would rather see the rest of the room before committing to that decision :)

The Single Nester said... @ August 13, 2010 at 1:33 PM

What about a nice gallery wall with all sorts of different shaped frames?

KimMalk said... @ August 13, 2010 at 1:35 PM

Centered over the sofa seems to work the best. Good luck!

the Blah Blah Blahger said... @ August 13, 2010 at 4:15 PM

My couch is against the wall, too, and I centered over it. Personally, I think centering on the wall can lead to making it look unbalanced and like the couch is sinking. Ha!

Chef Dennis Littley said... @ August 13, 2010 at 4:47 PM

now your hitting on a sore point....I always like to center over the furniture, my wife likes to center the wall....its not easy....lol

Jen said... @ August 14, 2010 at 11:46 AM

I had the same problem a while back & I ended up centering my shelf & mirror behind the couch!
It just made everything seem to balance out better!!

Vintagesouthernlife said... @ August 14, 2010 at 7:57 PM

I had the same issue. I centered mine over the couch and I like it best that way but I think it really is a matter of personal taste. As long as the art work is proportionate to the wall it will work. Have fun tweaking it.

The Polka Dot Closet said... @ August 14, 2010 at 8:26 PM

Thank you for stopping by, I like it centered behind the couch also. It seems to make more sense than centering on the wall.


re:Inspire said... @ August 14, 2010 at 9:54 PM

Okay, I hope this is not information overload!!

I am not sure how your living area space is in conjunction with your other rooms, but if it were possible, I would take the end table with the lamp out of that corner completely. Everything seems just a bit cramped. Then I would center the couch on that wall, and then center your art above the couch. Next, I would pull the side chair away from the couch a bit and put the end table on the other side of the chair (where you have the dark wicker ottoman). You may or may not find a new place for that wicker ottoman. I would go large scale on the art...maybe even just one large canvas with iron or mirrored scones on each side for interest and balance. I would also go large scale on a lamp...but not too overbearing...make sure the base of the lamp is chunky and don't overdo it on the size of the lamp shade. TJMaxx or Marshalls are you best bet on a lamp! I would put a larger white bowl on the coffee table to help balance the large artwork and add maple colored wicker baskets to contrast the dark table (but not white baskets!). I would consider adding an off white throw on the chair to brighten the space up a bit and to pull your white pillow on the couch. That will also make you want to snuggle up and read a book! If budget allowed, I would add a large area rug to define the space. Think about adding glass, mirror, and silver to the space when choosing accessories to help reflect light...this can be in your lamp, artwork, table decor. Curtains would warm up the space nicely...consider a dark bronze curtain rod.

Just some ideas for cheap artwork: If you can find a large canvas, (even if it is already painted) you could cover it with fabric if you found a large print fabric that you liked. You could also paint your own...wide stripes of coordinating colors, or a simple motif...I like to copy artwork I see in magazines like Ballard Designs or Pottery Barn. You can do this right over a piece of canvas that has already been painted...ex. like a canvas from Wal-Mart.

Please share your "after" photos!!

Sandra said... @ August 14, 2010 at 10:08 PM

Definitely centered over the couch gets my vote! :-)

Rachel Cotterill said... @ August 15, 2010 at 5:26 AM

I would definitely centre it on the couch. Of the pictures you've selected, I prefer all of the first set ;)

PASCALE POULIN said... @ May 31, 2011 at 8:06 PM

Well am I the only one who'd center the art work on the wall? In the case of these pictures at least. I find this puts the focus on architecture (Volume of space, wall height...) specially if you have, like in one of the pictures other elements like these two lamp fixtures also taking the wall in account. When you center the painting on the couch it puts the focus on the furniture and objects.

Anonymous said... @ March 6, 2014 at 12:18 PM

Well hello! Just a quick question. My husband, who's an architect, insists that our tapestry wall hanging should be centered on the wall. His reasoning is there's a wood beam right down the middle of our high ceiling, and the wall hanging should be centered on that, and not centered over the loveseat on that wall. Although it looks okay, i still think it looks "off." Any real rule of thumb?

Suchitra said... @ August 4, 2020 at 10:43 PM

Wow Very Beautiful.
crown molding shelf

Reginald said... @ October 2, 2023 at 11:48 PM

The dilemma of centering design elements is a nuanced one. Unlocking A World Of Possibilities 2Nordvpn Change Location Centered layouts exude balance and formality, while off-center arrangements offer a dynamic, edgier feel.

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