Choosing and placing the correct size area rug in your living room can be tricky.

After all, there are tons of standard sizes, shapes, pile heights, patterns, and colors, and then you must figure out where exactly to place it. All these options can be overwhelming, but I am here to help.

In this guide, you will learn how to place a rug in a living room like a professional. You will have all of the tools to select the perfect rug to make your design look cohesive and cozy.

How to place a rug in your living room like a pro.
Photo via Upsplash

How to Find the Correct Size Rug

What is the Size of Your Room?

An area rug acts as a frame for your living space. If done correctly, rugs can pull together your look or make everything feel just a little off.

Before you can start, you must measure the overall size of your room. The edge of your rug should not come within 12” of your walls, or your layout will look cramped. The ideal distance from the wall is 18”-24″, but do not go closer than 12″.

Which Direction is Your Couch Located?

As a rule of thumb, it is best to have the long length of your rug running in the same direction as your couch. By running your two focal points parallel, you will help to make the room feel harmonious.

The Best Rug Placement Layouts

All Legs On

All the legs of your furniture will sit directly on top of the rug. This layout is a good option for extra-large rooms or very open floor plans, where you want to define the space.

For this option, it is necessary to keep all furniture pieces about 8 inches or more from the outside edge of the rug. Furniture closer to the edge than this will make the layout look like an accident. You do not want your furniture looking like it is about to fall over the edge.

How to place a rug in your living room with all furniture legs on the rug.

Only Front Legs On

By keeping only the front legs of your furniture on the rug, you will define your living space but also allow your furniture to be the star. It is hard to go wrong with this layout, and it will pretty much work in any room.

When your couch is against the wall, this is a great option. This layout will help your furniture to shine and will not make your room look overcrowded. You also get to use a smaller rug than in the previous option, so it is a bit of a budget helper as well.

How to place a rug in your living room with only the front legs on the rug.

Only the Coffee Table On

Sometimes you have the perfect vintage rug, or you need to stay within a tight budget.

If you need to make a small rug work, place it under the coffee table and center it between your seating. This layout will not frame the room as much as the previous two options, but it will work in a pinch.

How to place a rug in your living room with only the coffee table on the rug.

Layered Rugs

Layering rugs on top of each other adds an instant chic factor to your living room.

Choose a larger neutral color rug and place a second bold rug on top. This way, you can go bold, but not TOO crazy.

You can also opt to change the smaller rug throughout the year to give your room a whole new look with minimal effort.

How to place a rug in your living room by layering rugs.

Sculptural Rug

Rugs do not always have to be a rectangle! Shaped rugs are a fun way to add some drama to your living room. Whether a circle, an amorphous shape, or a natural hide rug, you can make a fun statement.

Either layer your sculpture rug on top with a more neutral option or let it float between your seating on its own.

How to Choose a Rug Size

It is necessary to take all of the factors in your room and select the best size for your space.

I get it – rugs are expensive. You look at the price tag and think maybe you can get away with the smaller option.

Unfortunately, choosing the incorrect size rug can cause balance issues for your entire space. Too small of a rug can look ungrounded and unfinished, and too large can make your room feel overcrowded and just plain awkward.

What are Standard Rug Sizes?

Common rug sizes used in a living room are 3’x5’, 5’x7’, 6’x9’, 8’x10’, and 9’x12’. The most common rug sizes that fit most living rooms are 8’x10’, and 9’x12’.

An 8’x10’ will fit well in a room that is 11’x13’ or larger. You can also use this size rug in an open floor plan where you are trying to define a specific living area.

A 9’x12’ rug will work in a space that is about 12’x18’ or larger.

For smaller living rooms and apartments, a 5’x8’ or 6’x9’ rug will work best.

Is Your Room an Unusual Shape?

If your room is very large or has an unusual shape, it can be even more challenging to figure out your overall layout. Use the above rug layout options to define a specific part within your room. You might even create two or smaller living sections within one larger space.

If you decide to place two rugs close together, make sure they have compatible color schemes. It is often a good idea to choose one neutral and one more bold rug in this example. Instead of choosing too many prominent colors or patterns instead, opt for a mixture of textures.

Photo via Upsplash

What Type of Rug is Best for Your Room?

What Is Rug Pile?

The pile of a rug is the height of the fibers on the top surface. Often, the longer the pile, the softer the rug, but also the harder to clean.

High Pile Rugs

High pile rugs have long fibers and are best for low-traffic areas. They look the softest and most cozy but are also the hardest to vacuum. For this reason, they are not the best option for a living room but would be better in a reading nook or guest room.

Low Pile Rugs

For high-traffic areas, low pile rugs are the best option. This is the best choice for your living room, especially if you have children or pets.

Learn how to place a rug in a living room and your space will shine.
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Summary

You can easily master these tips and know how to place a rug in a living room. A well placed rug will make your living room feel like home and a place you want to spend time with friends and family.

Use these tips to bring your living room to the next level.

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