Art over the Living Room Sofa

I'm on an art over the sofa kick!  Last Friday I showed you my mini-gallery wall in the den.  Up today: the living room.

I've been on the hunt for something to go over my sofa in the living room (aka, "library") in my home.  There is a huge expanse of wall, so I knew it needed to be either a large scale piece of art or a bunch of frames hung in a gallery fashion.  Here is what the room looked like:

I thought about adding a really large canvas that I would paint a stenciled design on, kind of like this:

Image courtesy of Loft Life
But really big canvases are kind of pricey, even with a 40% coupon at Michael's.  And I wasn't loving the idea.  I also thought about doing a symmetrical gallery wall, like this:

Image courtesy of House Beautiful
But it felt too cluttered and similar to what I did in the den (hanging a wall of family pictures).  I wasn't thrilled about buying a ton of frames either.  So, I kept an open mind and my eyes open for a solution.  And wouldn't you know, I found it at ... wait for it ... the ... Pottery Barn Outlet!  Surprise surprise!  

Jamie and I went back (yes, again) right after Thanksgiving to do some Christmas shopping in other outlets.  We had to stop at Pottery Barn, and I am so glad we did (note: we have an overnight trip planned to the outlets in a few weeks - we have taken our obsession to the next level).  Pottery Barn Outlet was having a Black Friday Weekend sale, where everything in the store was an additional 10% off.  That's nice.  What was nicer?  Oh, I found two huge white gallery frames with oversized mats for $38 each.  Yeah!  See?

Here is the frame from the Pottery Barn website (the white one on the top right).  I love that huge oversized mat. 

Image courtesy of Lonny Mag Blog
I have seen these frames on the website and in the stores.  I've been particularly interested in the frame matted to fit an 8x10 picture, but whoa, the Pottery Barn Oversized Mat Gallery Frame in that size retails for $69.  I knew I'd need two, which would be $140.  I couldn't do it.  So when I stumbled upon two white frames in that size at the outlet for $38 each, I snatched them up!  They had some scuffs and marks on the frame, which is why they were on clearance, but I knew if I took some time to clean them up it would be worth it.  I was on the fence (why??) but Jamie essentially forced me to buy them, and I am glad she did.  I walked out of there paying $69 for two huge frames ($76 for the two minus 10% [$7] = $69) - that's the cost of one frame at the store! Squeee! Here are my frames before I fixed them up:

I used a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser and some Windex to spruce them up (you can see some of the black scuffs in the top left-hand corners above).  Worked like a charm.  So now what to put in the frames?  I didn't want photos.  I thought about framing some pretty printed paper from Paper-Source like this one or this one, but that idea didn't wow me.  I wanted something soft and pretty but I also felt like the art in each frame needed to be different, but relate to each other.  So I went to Etsy.  Ding Ding Ding Jackpot!  I found a shop there with the prettiest prints: papermoth.  And because it was Cyber Monday, he had a great sale on all of his prints!  I ended up ordering these two, which cost me about $25 including shipping:


I loved how they were both very soft and had pretty pops of blue and gold but were different and still would work together.   I couldn't be happier with how this turned out - wanna see? 

Yay!  And now I am inspired to keep on going and hang more pictures in that room and around the house.  I am glad I went with some blues ... the room was feeling a little too stale with just gold and cream and white.  

This room is coming right along.  We actually use it a lot for reading, which is really nice.  I definitely want to create a wall of "built-ins" (aka, Billy bookcases from IKEA trimmed out with trim to look like built-ins).  I'm on the hunt for a new rug, too.  This one, at 7x9, is just too small.  It will move up to the guest room.

I could use your advice here!  I'm feeling pretty out of sorts with how the room is coming together.  Initially, I wanted to do all cream-gold-silver-white-beige: a very soft color palette.  But the room feels too boring or something.  Or maybe I just need to give it more time, continue to add pieces (bookshelves, new rug, bamboo blinds, art) and then decide if I should change my vision.  Do you have any tips? Something's not working for me and I'm not sure if it's because it's still very unfinished or something more.  I am afraid that maybe the wall color is the issue?  I love it ... so it pains me to say it.  Help dear bloggie friends!  You won't hurt my feelings.  Spill your true thoughts! 

See you swoon,


  1. May I quote you? "You can never have too much white". Ha ha! Joking aside, I love the serenity of that room. I would add too much color, but just do pops here and there. I love the artwork, so that's a great starts. I think bamboo blinds (you know I'm a HUGE fan) would add tons of texture. Also, isn't that the room where you plan to recover that green chair? I would pick a nice fabric with some great pops of color for that as well. When you do the shelves you can also add colorful accessories.

  2. Very pretty! Nice job on the frames and the prints! I've been looking for some pretty artwork as well without much success.

  3. I love the pictures you chose! They compliment the look of your room so perfectly!

  4. What a great find Shanna! They look great. The whole room looks so cosy and lovely :)

    Abbey x

  5. I definitely prefer the darker color. But have you looked a gray or colored stain - those are very cool looking too.

  6. I have a neutral living room as well so I know how you feel. I like having the ability to colorful pieces in and out. That said, a white wall is the hardest to get looking finished in my opinion so I would totally suggest painting it if you are willing. The thing with neutral rooms is that you have to add a lot of texture and layers to get them to look finished. So I might suggest you add some more pattern (in the same color family) and vary the textures in here to see how you like it.

  7. May I suggest moving the frame closer together - within just a few inches? Otherwise, love it!

  8. Would also replace a few of the grey pillows with soft yellow / aqua pillows and maybe choose lamps with some height to balance things out. Just a thought!

  9. Thanks for the comments! I'm planning a bit of a dramatic shift in this room , so yes, the pillows will change and the art will probably have to move a bit. Thats a great idea to move them closer together. Thanks!

  10. Your sofa really caught my eyes... aside from its nice color, the design looks good too... Grats blogger !

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