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Tips for Choosing the Right Living Room Rug Size, Color, and Placement

Tips for Choosing the Right Living Room Rug Size, Color, and Placement

Which rug size should I get for my living room? It's one of the many questions people have when they move to a new home, purchase new furniture, or redecorate. The size of living room rugs can have a significant impact on the overall feel of a room. A small rug can make your living room feel cold, while a large rug can, paradoxically, make it feel smaller.

Choosing the appropriate size for your living room rug will add balance and warmth, making it the perfect finishing touch. It also serves as the foundation for your living room, provides comfort underfoot, and aids in floor protection. Once you've determined what size rug is best for your living room, we'll look at how different colors and arrangements can help you make the most of your space.


How Big Should a Living Room Rug Be?


A living room rug is a focal point in the room, so it should look and feel good. While there are no hard and fast rules for living room rug placement or area rug size, there are a few rug guidelines to help you find the look and feel you want for your home. It's also worth noting how an area rug can transform living room carpets (while saving you money).

Bigger is better, and a few inches can mean the difference between a rug that pulls the space together and one that feels disjointed. As a result, investing in a larger-sized rug will always be worthwhile. We recommend choosing a rug size ranging from 8x10 to 9x12 feet and making sure it is at least six to eight inches wider on all sides than your sofa.

If your space allows, run the rug the length of the largest sofa piece and leave 30 to 36 inches of space between the larger furniture pieces. If you have a small living room, leave at least 18 to 24 inches of space. That should help you make an informed decision about rug size.


How Should a Rug Be Placed in a Living Room?

To ensure that the space looks comfortable and connected, the rug size and orientation should be dictated by the shape, size, and furniture of your living room. To ground your conversation space, your living room rug should generally cover the size of your seating area. Furthermore, to avoid an awkward look in your room, purchase a rug that is at least six to eight inches wider than your sofa piece on either side.

Always start by reading the room: When selecting the size and orientation of your living room rug, make sure it is proportionate to your space (large rooms require large rugs).

Orient the rug to match the shape of the living room: Place the rug to match the dimensions of the room (position the rug lengthwise for long living rooms). It helps if you have larger furniture (such as a sectional), if your space is unusually shaped, or if your furniture is not against a wall. This will help to enlarge the room and create a visual flow.

Picture the final layout: Before you buy a rug for your living room, use painter's tape to mock it up. It allows you to see how your rug will look from every angle in the room. Experiment with different area rug sizes to find the best fit for your space and budget, as well as to get a sense of how the rug will feel.


1. All Legs On


Allow about eight inches between the edge of the furniture and the rug if you have enough living room space and want to fit all of your conversational furniture pieces (such as sofas, accent chairs, and coffee tables) on your rug.

Also, allow ten to eighteen inches between the rug and the wall (or more if you have room). Going too close to the wall creates the appearance of an awkward "almost" wall-to-wall carpet. The only exception is if you have your sofa up against a wall or a few inches away from one, or if your space is limited.


2. Only the Front Legs


For several reasons, the front-legs-only layout is the preferred go-to living room rug placement. It better fits a small room, is more cost-effective, and can make a small space appear larger. Only the front legs of your furniture (sofas and chairs) should be on the rug, while the back legs should be on the bare floor.

The rule is that the rug should only cover about one-third of the width of each piece of furniture. It unifies the seating area and creates a unified look without the added cost of a room-sized rug.


3. The Floating Design (All Legs Off)


You only put your coffee table or a central piece of furniture on your rug, not your seating. The layout can look cool if done correctly. To get the proportions right, base the rug's size on the interior dimensions of your seating area.

When done correctly, the rug will appear intentional and well-styled, filling the negative space created by your furniture grouping. This layout calls for a smaller rug size, such as a 5x7 rug.


4. Place Two Rugs on Top of Each Other


Do you have a 5x8 vintage rug that matches your living room decor but feels a little small? Not to worry, because you can layer this rug on top of a larger one. This layout can look fantastic if you find the right pairing. Choose a natural jute rug as your large base and layer a smaller rug on top, preferably of a different color and material.


Choosing Colors for Living Room Rugs


Living room rugs anchor the room, so the color, style, and fabric of your rug can set the mood. Lighter colors make small rooms appear larger, whereas darker, richer colors help define more intimate spaces. Warm colors such as yellow, red, or orange add warmth, while cool colors create a calm environment. Choose rug colors that complement your primary furniture, such as a sofa. If the color is solid, choose a patterned rug, and vice versa.


Now It's Your Turn

Hopefully, you now feel confident and well-equipped to choose the right living room rug and layout for you. The above rules are only guidelines; only you can determine what living room rug placement works best for you. Take your time making a decision and shopping for the best living room and area rugs.