Living Room

How to Choose the Right Size Rug for Your Living Room

Choosing the right size rug for your living room can significantly enhance the aesthetics and comfort of the space. The rug serves not only as a foundation for your furniture but also defines the area, adds warmth, and helps layer the room’s decor. Here are some essential tips on selecting the perfect rug size, considering the room’s dimensions, measuring tips, and whether your furniture legs need to be on the rug.

Understanding the Room’s Size

The first step in selecting the right rug size is understanding the dimensions of your living room. A rug that is too small can make the room look disjointed, while a rug that is too large might overwhelm the space. The size of your living room will dictate the maximum and minimum dimensions for your rug, ensuring it complements rather than dominates the space.

Measuring the Room

Before you start shopping, measure your living room. Note the dimensions and consider how the space is used. Is it a high-traffic area? Do you have a clear seating arrangement? This information will help you determine the ideal rug size. As a rule of thumb, you want to select a rug that mirrors the room’s shape. For rectangular rooms, choose a rectangular rug. For square rooms, a square or round rug might work best.

Tips for Choosing the Right Size of Rug for a Living Room

Here are a few useful tips that should help when choosing the right size rug for a living room:

  • Measure your living room, width and length. This will give a good starting point for choosing the right size rug.
  • Consider your furniture layout. For example, if you have a large sectional sofa, you’ll need a fairly large rug to fit underneath it and all the other furniture in the room. On the flip side, if you have a smaller living room, chances are, this means you have less furniture. In this situation, you can use a smaller rug.
  • Another good rule of thumb is to keep 18″ to 24″ of floor space between the rug and the walls in the living room.

Here is some common living room dimensions and recommended rug sizes:

Living Room DimensionsRecommended Rug Size
12 x 12 feet8 x 10 feet
15 x 18 feet9 x 12 feet
16 x 20 feet12 x 15 feet

Keep in mind that these are only guidelines. The best way to determine the best size rug is to experiment with different sizes to see which one works best. One trick we’ve used before is to put strips of painter’s tape on the floor in your living room to represent the size of the rug you are considering. This will give a good visual representation of how that rug size will look in the room.

In our current living room, we have a large sectional, a coffee table, and two accent chairs. This furniture setup takes up most of the space. I initially tried a smaller rug. But after we put it down, I could tell right away that it was too small. Thankfully, I was able to take it back and get a larger one that was big enough to go under the legs of the furniture and of course the coffee table. It looked so much better and helped make the space more cohesive. 

Furniture Leg Placement

The decision on whether the furniture legs should be on the rug depends on the look you want to achieve and the room’s size.

  • All Legs on the Rug: This is a traditional approach that works well in large living rooms. It creates a luxurious, unified look and defines the seating area clearly.
  • Front Legs Only: For a transitional look that bridges traditional and modern styles, placing just the front legs of your furniture on the rug is an excellent choice. It offers flexibility in rug size selection and is ideal for medium-sized rooms.
  • No Legs on the Rug: In smaller living rooms, placing a rug in front of your sofa with no legs on it can help the space feel larger. This approach allows the rug to define the seating area without taking up too much space.

Making a Small Rug Work in a Large Living Room

But what if you have a rug that is too small for your living room, but you really want to use it? You can always try the layered look.

When layering rugs, it’s important to consider the colors, patterns, and textures of the rugs you are using. For example, if your small rug has a lot going on in its pattern, you may want to choose a properly sized neutral-colored jute rug as the base layer. This will allow the smaller rug to be the star of the show, while the jute rug provides a subtle and understated backdrop.

Where to Purchase Living Room Rugs

When it comes to purchasing rugs, several retailers stand out for their quality, selection, and style. For those who prefer classic and high-quality options, Pottery Barn is an excellent choice. They offer a wide range of rugs that cater to traditional and contemporary tastes, ensuring durability and a timeless aesthetic for any living space.

If you’re in search of more reasonably priced rugs without compromising on style, Target and Wayfair are fantastic alternatives. These retailers provide an extensive selection of affordable rugs in various designs, sizes, and materials, making it easier to find a perfect match for your home decor while staying within budget. Whether you’re looking for a statement piece or a subtle addition to your room, these stores offer options that can satisfy different preferences and financial plans.

Final Thoughts

Selecting the right size rug for your living room involves understanding your room’s dimensions, carefully measuring the space, and considering how your furniture will interact with the rug. By following these guidelines, you can choose a rug that not only fits your space perfectly but also enhances the overall look and feel of your living room. Whether your style is traditional, modern, or somewhere in between, the right rug can tie your living space together beautifully.

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