How to Decorate the Wall Behind Your Couch

The wall behind your couch is often overlooked as a decorating opportunity. While your couch takes center stage, the empty space behind it can feel bare and uninspiring. Transforming this forgotten area into an eye-catching focal point will take your living room from bland to beautiful.

Decorating the wall behind your couch is an easy way to add visual interest to any room. With creative styling and clever design tricks, you can make this space shine. From gallery walls to built-in shelving, accent walls to pendant lighting, there are endless ways to decorate the wall behind your couch. Read on for useful tips, ideas, and inspiration to turn this blank canvas into a showstopping display.

Assess Your Current Space

Before decorating, take stock of your existing furniture and overall decor. The couch itself often dominates the room, so consider its size, color, and placement in relation to the wall space. Assess the current style and color scheme of the room as well. A minimalist living area needs a different approach than an eclectic, colorful space. This helps determine what type of wall decor will complement your furnishings and design aesthetic.

Also consider whether the wall behind the couch should be filled or left bare. Empty wall space provides contrast and breathing room in a cluttered area. But a decorated wall can make the room feel more polished and complete. If your living room already has plenty of decor, an empty wall may be best. A bare wall surrounded by stylish furnishings calls for some decorative love.

Gallery Walls

Gallery walls are a popular choice for decorating the space behind couches. Grouping together a cluster of frames adds an artful touch. To create a cohesive gallery wall, use frames in a mix of sizes, shapes, colors and finishes. Black and white photos printed on canvas always make a classic statement. Choose artwork and photographs meaningful to you, whether family photos, travel prints or original art.

how to decorate wall behind couch

Arrangement and Layout

When designing your gallery wall, start by laying out frames and printouts on the floor to map placement. Hang the largest, most eye-catching piece first as an anchor. Build outward from there, working in an asymmetrical triangular shape. Vary frame heights and orientations for dimension and interest. Leave comfortable 2-4 inch gaps between pieces. Stepping back occasionally helps ensure proper spacing.

Cohesive Theme

Tie your gallery wall together through either coordinating frame colors or a consistent decor theme inside the frames. Mixing black, white and wood frames with pops of metallic or color creates a collected look. Filling frames with botanical prints, family photos or colorful abstract art ensures cohesion.

Styling Tips

Hang gallery wall frames 8-12 inches above the couch. Any lower starts to feel crowded, while higher leaves too much empty space. Mixing vertical and horizontal frame orientations adds movement. Incorporate layered 3D objects like wall shelves or shadow boxes for added depth and texture.


Building customized shelving behind the couch provides both storage and style. Floating shelves in varied heights, lengths and finishes make an artistic statement. Corner shelves maximize unused space in room corners that flank the couch. Style shelves with decor, books, plants and found objects that reflect your personality.

Floating Shelves

Stagger floating shelves at different levels for a dynamic look. Opt for wood tones like walnut or driftwood that coordinate with other finishes in the room, whether flooring, tables or cabinetry. Accent with metal detailing for an industrial vibe. Leave shelves long and low for displaying rows of books and accessories.

Corner Shelving

Take advantage of often overlooked corner space by installing angled corner shelves that fit the couch shape. Built-in cabinetry also works well centered between corners. Populate shelves sparingly, allowing negative space between objects. Rotate seasonal decor or collections to keep the display fresh.

Large Artwork and Mirrors

For a bold statement, hang a large canvas print or artwork directly behind the couch. Oversized photography and abstract art make dramatic focal points. Leaning artwork against the wall avoids making holes while allowing flexibility to switch pieces out over time. Mirrors also beautifully fill empty wall space by reflecting light and creating the illusion of more room.

Artwork Types

Oversize prints of landscape photography or floral imagery make an instant impact. Black and white cityscape prints add an urban edge. For a personal touch, compile a photo collection of cherished travel moments or family memories. Multi-piece pop art sets infuse vibrant color.

Mirror Placement

Horizontally oriented rectangular mirrors work best behind couches. They widen the space visually by reflecting the rest of the room. Position mirrors strategically to double the appearance of special features like windows or artwork. Place mirrors high above eye level to expand wall height or make ceilings appear lifted.

Accent Walls

Transforming the entire wall behind your couch into an accent wall turns this area into a dramatic focal point. Use bold paint colors like deep blue or emerald green as the backdrop for decorating. For serious style, paper the wall in lively wallpaper prints and patterns.

Paint or Wallpaper

Painting the couch wall an eye-catching hue different from surrounding walls makes that area pop. Choose colors that coordinate with couch fabric and pillows for a pulled-together aesthetic. Wallpaper offers countless colorful and graphic print options, from geometric patterns to palm leaves.

Ideal Wall Sizes

Use accent paint or wallpaper on the entire wall from corner to corner for maximum visual impact. For a more subtle approach, cover just the wall section around the couch perimeter, leaving upper and outer areas untouched.

Tips for Patterned Prints

Larger wallpaper prints make seams less obvious. Busy or bold patterns look best on walls behind more understated furniture. Let graphic prints take center stage by choosing a couch in neutral solids.

Final Touches

Add finishing touches like lighting, plants and textiles to complete your newly decorated wall. Sculptural wall sconces provide soft illumination while making a unique statement. Hanging pendants cast an intimate glow. Potted plants breathe life into the space. Draping plush throws and arranging colorful accent pillows on the couch ties the whole area together.

Create a Cozy Reading Nook

Building a reading nook creates additional useable space while adding visual interest. Install shelving above the couch to hold books, then place a comfy chair or cushioned bench beneath. Include a swing-arm sconce for reading light and a plush rug underfoot. This not only decorates the wall but also provides a functional relaxing spot.

Incorporate Greenery

Bringing greenery into the living room purifies air while complementing decor. Hang trailing plants in macrame baskets for a bohemian vibe. Create a vertical garden using a series of wall-mounted planters at varied heights. Succulents and snake plants thrive in these conditions.

Add Stylish Lighting

Sconces mounted above couch corners add soft, ambient lighting for late nights reading or viewing. Opt for transitional styles with linen shades to match room decor. Hang a dramatic pendant low over the couch table to cast a warm glow during evenings.

Use Captivating Wallpaper

Make a unique style statement by installing vibrant, funky wallpaper behind the couch. Tropical motifs, geometric prints and large-scale floral patterns all captivate. Neutral couches let these wallpapers shine. Minimize seams by selecting oversized patterns.

Build Storage and Cabinetry

Construct a shelving unit or media center spanning the wall behind the couch. This provides storage for electronics and media while hiding wires and clutter. Built-in cabinetry with doors keeps items tidy but accessible. Floating shelves hold books, photos and curated objects on display.

Create a Gallery Wall

Grouping framed photos, artwork and prints makes a lively gallery wall. Use an assortment of frame sizes, from large statement pieces to tiny clusters. Black frames provide contrast to colorful wall decor contents. Follow tips for mapping symmetrical arrangements.

The wall behind your couch has so much potential to become a decorative focal point. Using creative styling techniques and innovative design concepts, you can easily transform this overlooked space. Gallery walls, shelving, accent walls and artwork breathe new life into the room. Final touches like pendant lights, plants and pillows pull the whole area together.

You can make a wall display that fits your style. Whenever your decor feels tired or lackluster, look to the forgotten couch wall as a blank canvas waiting to be transformed. Use these ideas and tips as inspiration to finally give your living room the decorative attention it deserves.

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