There’s perhaps no more intimate spot for your treasured artworks and keepsakes than in your bedroom. When it comes to wall art above the bed, indulge your desires, and don’t be afraid to get personal: Guests will rarely see this private sanctuary, which means you could decorate with artworks you love that you might not normally display in areas of your home where there’s more foot traffic.
Whatever you choose, take care to keep in mind what your bedroom should be for: A calm, peaceful place to unwind and relax. Sleep experts say one of the best ways to make sure you’re getting those recommended seven to eight hours per night is to prepare your environment. Your bedroom (and its walls) should not be overly busy or cluttered.
Instead, this intimate room should function primarily as a stress-free zone designed to help you unwind and relax, not a place where your mind whirls over time with worry or to-do lists. Try to keep your bedroom as tech-free as possible, make sure your mattress, pillows, and sheets are comfortable for you, and select a soothing color palette that harmonizes with any wall art you choose.
Could your bedroom walls use a refresh? View our list below for dreamy ideas to get started.
Do’s and don’ts for wall art above bed
- Choose one large focal piece: If you were looking for the perfect excuse to invest in or commission an oversized, one-of-a-kind statement piece you’ll love looking at every day, consider this your invitation to go wild. Try one focal piece, and go big or go home — especially if you don’t have a headboard, a large piece of wall art above the bed will act as a focal point for the room.
- …or a pair that match: Two artworks of the same size hung side by side will give a pleasing feeling of symmetry and are perfectly on-theme if you’re partnered. Celebrate your connection by going double or nothing.
- Try some hot text: For a graphic moment that literally makes a statement, a cheeky banner, word art or even a neon sign is a fun and flashy way to showcase your sense of humor and style. Pick your favorite quote or mark your initials in unexpected lettering, including from reclaimed signs.
- Bring in texture: Adorn the space above your bed with upcycled architectural elements. A small collection of woven baskets adds an element of natural texture in a neutral palette. Other options for 3D art above the bed includes richly woven tapestries, rugs, macrame wall hangings or a dreamcatcher. For rustic homes, a pair of antlers or a wreath that swaps out with the seasons brings the outdoors in.
- Select a busy color palette: Interior designers recommend avoiding bold colors like oranges and reds in rooms where you want to unwind since those shades are often associated with high energy. Keep the color scheme soft and soothing to invite yourself to drift off to dreamland.
- Make arrangements that are too cluttered: Keep groupings, like gallery walls or large collections of similar prints, to a minimum. Too many pieces of wall art above the bed could contribute to a feeling of chaos and clutter rather than the serene atmosphere you want to create.
- Pick objects that are sharp or heavy: Mirrors and 3D sculptures are all lovely to look at, but you must consider whether they’re liable to land on people while they’re asleep. Similarly, shelving where you prop various options or framed prints may not hold your artworks securely enough to keep them from falling. Keep reading for more ways to maintain style while taking necessary precautions.
How to hang wall art above bed
For safety, it’s essential to nail the artwork selection (pardon the pun) above your bed — especially if you live in an earthquake zone. You’ll want to consider factors from the weight of the artwork to the frame to how securely you can mount it to the wall.
Opt for lightweight pieces, like canvas and woven wall hangings, over heavier artworks or sculptures that could cause injury if they fall. Whatever you choose, consider ditching glass. Plastic can be less expensive while still achieving the same look.
Does the frame have sharp corners or edges, and is it made of metal or heavy wood? Above the bed may not be the best place. Keep your artwork unframed, select a safer (and likely cheaper) material, or choose a frame with rounded corners.
Size matters, too. With the average queen bed at 60” wide and a king at 76”, keep the magic formula in mind for choosing the correct canvas size and aim for a width between 0.66 and 0.75 of your bed size. However, we’ve seen artwork that’s sweet and petite work in this area, as well, so long as it is hung at the correct height.
The same rule of hanging artwork at eye level applies, even if you won’t be standing in front of the piece because it is displayed over your bed. Also, remember to hang artwork approximately 5” to 9” above the headboard if you have one to avoid having your art “float” too high on the wall.
This might be the perfect occasion to have your artwork professionally installed. If you go the DIY route, be sure to use picture mounts or nails and screws with weight limits that can adequately secure your piece.
- Your bedroom is a place to get personal. Select artworks that speak to you and consider spending more on an investment or custom piece.
- Art in the bedroom should be soothing and contribute to a feeling of calm rather than clutter or chaos.
- Along with traditional artworks, there are many options for wall art above the bed, including woven wall hangings, baskets, and other upcycled or reclaimed natural elements that add texture.
- For wall art above the bed, put safety first: Avoid objects or framed artworks that are sharp or heavy, forgo the glass, and make sure your precious pieces are securely installed.
- Some measurements to consider include selecting wall art that is of a width between 0.66 and 0.75 of your bed size, hanging artworks at least 5 inches and no more than 10 inches above your headboard, and placing artworks at eye level.
Editorial director and writer Allison Stice covers art, design and culture. Her work has been published in The Bitter Southerner, Garden & Gun, Savannah Magazine and more.