Can you hang art above the TV?

Designers share their advice for incorporating art into the space above and around your TV

living room with art around the tv
(Image credit: Alex Bass)

Working out how to incorporate a TV into a living space is an all-too-common design dilemma, but hanging art above it might just be the easy fix you are looking for. 

When it's done right, using artwork as a distraction technique is one of the most effective ways to make these inevitable black rectangles recede into the background. 

Among the various stylish ways of concealing a TV, we believe hanging art above the TV is one of the easiest to pull off. We turned to interior designers for their advice for hanging art above the TV so that it looks clean, intentional, and balanced.

Can you hang art above the TV?

In many living rooms and family rooms, the TV has come to replace the fireplace as the focal point, yet at the same time, we don't want it to be the star of the show, especially during the day when the TV is turned off.

Hanging art above and around the TV can soften the overall aesthetic and make your home look more expensive. Here's how to do it, and mistakes to avoid.

living room with red chair and gallery wall

(Image credit: Corine Maggio / CM Natural Designs)

It's your home, your rules, and if you choose to arrange artwork above the TV, art curator and interior designer Alex Bass says the key is to choose art that isn't too visually stimulating. She also advises choosing fairly minimalist frames.

'I have so much art that I had to find creative ways to display it all in my apartment, so I did have to create a moment around my TV,' she begins. 'I recommend something that will not distract your eye too much. I opted for framed black and white photographs.'

Alex Bass recommends asking for help from someone with experience designing a gallery wall so that you end up with an arrangement that frames your TV in an aesthetically pleasing way.

'Don't be afraid of creating a gallery wall,' she continues. 'It can be challenging but very rewarding. Don't be afraid that things won't go together if they're different styles or time periods. Play with the framing and lay it out on your floor first.'

Alex Bass
Alex Bass

Alex Bass is an art curator and interior designer. She founded Salon 21 to fill a void in the social experiences available to her demographic interested in arts and culture and access to new talent.

living room with art around the tv

(Image credit: Alex Bass)

‘Ask yourself why you are considering putting artwork above the TV: if you want to make a wall-mounted TV less of a focal point, consider arranging frames on either side to make a triptych,' says Homes & Gardens content editor Zara Stacey. 'Surrounding the screen with artwork definitely makes the TV feel more integrated into your space.

'You could try adding a shelf above the TV so that you can easily swap out artwork and decor pieces as you so wish. Personally, I’d avoid placing one piece of art above the TV but opt for an odd number instead. And step back and consider if things are looking too "busy" – after all, we turn on the TV to relax and switch off,' Zara says. 

'I recommend placing a large houseplant near the TV to make the area feel less "techy" and perhaps opting for a dark-toned TV console to make the black of the TV screen look more intentional.’

Zara Stacey, content editor,
Zara Stacey

Zara joined Homes & Gardens in February 2022 as a Content Editor. After studying English Literature at University, she worked as an Ecommerce Website Editor, Content Writer and Buying Intern at multiple independent businesses within the luxury retail and lifestyle sectors. Her role at Homes & Gardens unites her love, experience and passion for the design world and desire to create inspiring written content

Should you put art behind your TV?

'Why not? If you have a large wall behind your TV, it can look pretty boring and empty without some art,' says Jacky Chou. 'You can either choose one large piece of art that covers most of the wall or several smaller pieces to create visual intrigue. The key is to choose art that complements the color and style of your TV and that doesn't distract from the screen. You can also use mirrors, shelves, plants, or other decorative items to fill in the gaps and add some texture and dimension.'

Principal and Director at Archute
Jacky Chou
Principal and Director at Archute
Jacky Chou

Jacky Chou is the principal and director at Archute, an magazine about architecture, home and garden. Jacky has been referenced by The New York Times, Bustle, House & Home, Bloomberg, and Angi. Jacky also has an online interior design company called Laurel & Wolf.

If your budget allows, consider using a Samsung Frame TV which when put into 'rest' mode, looks exactly like a framed piece of artwork, whether you blend it into a gallery wall or display it on its own.


How high should art be above the TV?

When it comes to how high to hang pictures, it depends on the size and shape of your TV, the height of your ceiling, and your personal preference. 'As a general rule of thumb, I would say that you should hang your art at eye level or slightly lower when you are sitting on your sofa,' suggests Jacky Chou. 'This way, you can enjoy both the TV and the art without straining your neck.

'You also want to make sure that there is enough space between the TV and the art so that they don't look too crowded or cluttered. I would suggest leaving at least 6 inches of space between them.'

Our TVs are getting bigger and bigger, and even those of us who don't spend a ton of time watching TV want to be able to enjoy a clear and high-res display. So working your TV into your scheme thoughtfully with artwork will help to create a space that feels contemporary, practical and beautiful.

Millie Hurst
Section Editor

Millie Hurst is a freelance lifestyle writer with over six years of experience in digital journalism. Having previously worked as Solved Section Editor at Homes & Gardens and Senior SEO Editor at News UK in London and New York, Millie has written for an array of homes brands including Livingetc and Real Homes and was formerly Senior Content Editor at Ideal Home. She has written and edited countless features on home organization, decluttering and interior design and always hopes to inspire readers with new ways to enjoy their homes. She lives in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, and loves to weave nature-inspired decor and nods to time spent in Italy into her own home.