What size rug should I get for my living room? It’s one of the many questions people ask every time they move to a new home, buy new furniture, or redecorate. The size of living room rugs can dramatically alter the overall feel of a space. A small rug can make your living room feel uninviting, while one that is too large can, paradoxically, make it feel smaller.
Choosing the right-size living room rug will bring balance and warmth, creating the perfect finishing touch. It also provides the foundation for your living room, provides comfort underfoot, and helps protect your floors. Once you understand what rug size works best for your living room, we’ll explore how different colors and arrangements can help you get the most out of your space.
How Big Should a Rug Be in a Living Room?
A living room rug is a central piece in the space, so it needs to look right and feel comfortable. While there are no set-in-stone rules for living room rug placement and area rug size, there are a few rug guidelines to help you find the right look and feel for your home.
Bigger is better, and a few inches make all the difference between your rug pulling the space together or making it feel disjointed. Therefore, opting for a larger-size rug will always prove it’s worth the extra expense. We suggest picking a rug size from 8×10 feet to 9×12 feet and ensuring that the rug you buy is at least six to eight inches wider than your sofa on all sides.
Run the rug the length of the biggest sofa piece and give 30 to 36 inches of walkway between the larger furniture pieces if your space allows for it. If your living room is small, leave at least 18 to 24 inches of space. That should help you inform your decision when choosing rug size.
How Do You Place a Rug in a Living Room?
Your living room shape, size, and furniture should dictate the rug size and orientation to ensure the space looks comfortable and feels connected. Generally, your living room rug should cover the size of your seating area to ground your conversation space. What’s more, to avoid having your room look awkward, buy a rug that is at least six to eight inches wider than your sofa piece on either side.
- Always read the room first: When choosing your living room size rug and orientation, ensure that it’s well-proportioned relative to your space (large rooms require large rugs).
- Orient the rug with the living room shape: Place the rug to echo the room’s dimensions (position the rug lengthwise for long living rooms). It helps if you have larger furniture (such as a sectional), if your space has an odd shape, or if you have not placed your furniture against a wall. This will help make the room appear larger and create a visual flow.
- Visualize the final layout: Use painter’s tape to mock your living room rug placement before you buy. It allows you to see how your rug will fit into the room from every vantage point. Try different area rug sizes to see the best fit for your space and budget, and get a sense of how the rug will feel.
Below are five area rug ideas to try in your living room.
1. All Legs On
If you have enough living room space and wish to fit all your conversational furniture pieces on your rug (such as sofas, accent chairs, and coffee table), give yourself around eight inches between the edge of the furniture and the rug.
Also, leave around ten to 18 inches of space from rug to wall (or more if you have room). Going too close to the wall gives the impression of an awkward “almost” wall to wall carpet. The exception here is if you have placed your sofa up against the wall or a few inches off one, or if your space is small.
2. Front Legs Only
The front-legs-only layout is the preferred go-to living room rug placement for several reasons. It better accommodates a small-sized room, is a more budget-friendly size, and can make a small space appear larger. Here, you only place your furniture’s front legs (sofas and chairs) to rest on the rug while the back legs rest on the bare floor.
The rule is to have the rug only go under each furniture piece about one-third of its width. It keeps the seating area unified and creates a cohesive look without the increased cost of a room-sized rug.
3. The Floating Layout (All Legs Off)
Here, you only place your coffee table or a central furniture piece on your rug but not your seating. The layout can look cool, but only if done right. Base the size of the rug on your seating area’s interior dimensions to get the proportions correct.
When done right, the rug will look intentional and well-styled and fill the negative space that your furniture grouping creates. A smaller rug size, such as a 5×7 rug, is perfect for this layout.
4. Layer Two Rugs atop Each Other
Do you have a 5×8 vintage rug that goes perfectly with your living room decor, only it feels a little small? Worry not, as you can layer this rug on top of a larger one. If you find the right pairing, this layout can look fantastic. One best-practice is to choose a natural jute rug as your large base and place a smaller rug on top, preferably with a different color and material.
5. Rounded Arrangement
Choose a large round living room rug placement to distinguish your sitting area. Opt for a large enough but standard-sized rug to accommodate all your furniture with some inches to spare. You can also get a rug large enough to accommodate at least the front legs of each piece.
Choosing Living Room Rug Colors and Fabrics
Living room rugs serve to anchor the room, so your rug’s color, style, and fabric can establish the mood. Lighter colors make smaller rooms appear larger, while dark, rich colors help define more intimate spaces. Warm hues like yellow, red, or orange add warmth, while cool ones create a calm atmosphere. Pick rug colors based on your primary furniture, like a sofa. If it’s a solid color, then select a patterned rug and vice versa.
Consider the following for living room rug fabrics:
- Tough and durable rug fabrics can stand up against spaces with high foot traffic. Suitable rug fabrics include jute and seagrass. They are also ideal for outdoor use.
- Soft and cozy fabrics offer comfort and are perfect for lounging. Pick cotton and wool rugs because they are soft, easy to clean, and provide insulating properties against the cold.
- Synthetic rugs offer a balance between cozy and strong rugs and are cheaper than natural fabrics like wool.
Over to You
Hopefully, you now feel confident enough and well equipped to pick out your living room rug and layout to suit your desire. The rules above merely act as guidelines because only you can determine what living room rug placement works best for you. Take your time to decide and shop around for the best living room and area rugs.