If you have some blank space to work with behind your sofa, your first thought might be to hang up a cheap painting and call it a day. But there are more creative solutions that can make a seating wall the focal point of the room rather than a void to be filled. Sculpted pieces that offer shape and dimension, for instance, can replace traditional framed art. A large mirror or set of mounted shelves can emphasize or create space. You could even paint or paper over the entire wall to make a bold statement without the need to configure dozens of decorations separately.
- Hang up some framed artwork. Put up one or two paintings, prints, or photographs that speak to you. This will give the wandering eye a place to settle as it drifts over your seating area. The right art style can also complement the overall theme of the room and make your home feel more cultured.
- Pick out handsome frames for your artwork to enhance its decorative value.
- Center large pieces over the sofa, or arrange several smaller pieces in a row or grid for more of a gallery feel.
- Mount a few sculpted pieces. Hunt for wall-worthy accessories like deer antlers, molded sconces, and carved woodwork. Three-dimensional objects can lend a sense of shape and contour that keep the wall from looking quite so flat. They’re an out-of-the-ordinary touch that make an interesting alternative to traditional art.
- Narrowing down a theme can help make your decor feel more focused. If you’re a sports fanatic, for instance, you could make room for a pair of skis, whereas an anthropology buff might exhibit replicas of rare artifacts from around the world.
- Position your sculpted accents carefully to keep the wall from looking too busy—since each piece will command so much attention on its own, less is more.
- Attract attention with a tapestry. A tasteful wall hanging can instantly make any room feel more worldly and lived-in. Drape a blanket, weaving, or selection of textile art across the wall along the back of the sofa. You can stretch it flat to cover a broader area, or let it bunch loosely so it flows with Bohemian flair.
- An ornamental quilt or afghan that you’re reluctant to use as a throw can make a good candidate for a tapestry.
- Use a mountable curtain rod or Velcro strips to secure your hanging without damaging it or being forced to nail into the wall.
- Paint a mural. Show off your own artistic sensibilities by brushing designs directly onto an undecorated wall. You might go with a simple yet eye-catching repeating pattern, or something more abstract like a solid base broken up by flecks and splatters of color. If you’re feeling bold, you could even try freehanding an original work of your own.
- Be sure to choose paint shades that compliment the style of your couch, as well as the larger color scheme of the room.
- Painter’s tape can be useful for creating negative space in elaborate patterns and preventing paint from getting anywhere it’s not wanted.
- Consider hiring a professional artist to come in and give the wall of your seating area a one-of-a-kind makeover.
EditMaking Room for Attractive Accessories
- Install a mirror. The wall above the couch can make a perfect place for a large central mirror that offers a panoramic view of the room. Mirrors have the added benefit of creating the illusion of space, which can make your seating area feel more open and inviting.
- For a more eye-catching, contemporary effect, try grouping multiple mirrors together to fragment the reflection.
- Hang your mirror at least a foot above the couch and make sure it's perfectly centered to keep it from looking out of place.
- Put up some shelves. A set of multi-purpose shelves can be used to hold books, vases, or the assorted knick-knacks that you don’t have room for anywhere else. You could even install a shelf specifically to set your snacks on while you watch TV or keep your various remote controls together!
- When it comes to shelves, you have many options, including ledge shelves, hook shelves, cube shelves, and more. Shop around to find a shelving solution that matches the character of your seating area.
- To increase the shelves’ utility, make sure they’re deep enough for different objects to sit on comfortably, and keep them within arm’s reach of where you or your guests will be sitting.
- Display your prized china. Attach a few sconce shelves or wire holders to the back wall, then array them with plates, platters, teacups, and utensils. This method of presentation is especially picturesque if your seating area borders the dining room or tea room. It sure beats keeping it locked away inside a trunk in the attic!
- Double check that your china is resting securely in the holders so it doesn’t topple over accidentally.
- Fill the wall with an eclectic assortment of items. There doesn’t have to be a rhyme or reason to your decorating scheme—anything goes! Mix-and-match miscellaneous objects to piece together a display that’s distinctly you. For instance, you might use trippy pop art prints to accentuate a centerpiece of crossed canoe paddles with your family’s name spelled out in ornamental metalwork letters beneath.
- Peruse antique stores, yard sales, and flea markets for items that might be a good fit for your oddball wall.
- One of the biggest upsides of lining your walls with odds-and-ends is that you can add or switch out anything you want without worrying about disrupting a theme.
EditIncorporating Other Unique Touches
- Use wallpaper to create a focal point. Rather than wallpapering the whole room, apply it to the sofa wall alone. The resulting background will reframe your seating area while adding a splash of color and texture. And, since it provides such a striking contrast, it can help break up the visual monotony of bigger rooms.
- Keep the design consistent with the palette you’ve picked out for the room, as well as its general energy. A coral and seafoam green chevron pattern will look out of place in a room with elegant Victorian decor, but will be right at home in one done up in colorful 1960s retro.
- Set up a changing screen. Even if there’s nothing behind it, it will add an air of chic mystery. A simple wood slat screen should be versatile enough for most homes, or you could go with an elaborately painted Chinese style to suit other exotic accessories. Be sure to unfold the screen so it will fit neatly behind the couch, unless you prefer to keep your seating pulled in closer to the center of the room.
- Update an uninspired screen with a fresh coat of paint or a DIY distressing job.
- A changing screen may be just the thing you need to conceal tangles of electronics cords near the wall outlet.
- Tack up some stringer lights. For a no-fuss fix to your wall problem, all you need is a few coils of plastic stringer lights and a little imagination. Drive nails or push pins into the wall, then loop the lights around them in whatever configuration you find appealing. Colored lights are the more festive way to go, while white bulbs will be subtle enough to suit just about any space.
- Have fun with your stringer lights by twisting them into words or symbols.
- Naturally, string lights double as a source of illumination. Their soft glow can be perfect for when you want it dim but not too dark.
- Try out a board-and-batten finish. Board-and-batten is an accenting technique that involves layering thin boards over an existing wall to give it added visual texture. The boards are arranged vertically or horizontally, or at intersecting angles for a latticed look. This unique design style can be a practical answer for those looking for a less conventional way to freshen up a sitting room wall.
- Board-and-batten is relatively inexpensive and simple to install if you know what you’re doing. If you’re not confident in your ability to tackle the project yourself, call a professional contractor to come in and do it right.
- A simple rule of decorating on a budget is to use what you have. Try gathering up unused items from around your home to see how they look on the wall of your sitting area.
- Get creative when combining different decorations. For example, you could offset a simple patterned wallpaper with an ornate folding screen, then put up shelves to hold small mirrors and pieces of artwork.
- Make sure that all loose and free-standing accessories are properly secured. You don’t want anything falling on your head while you’re trying to relax!
- Avoid cramming too many decorations into a small space. There’s a thin line between crafty and cluttered.
EditSources and Citations
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