How to Place a Rug in Your Living Room

How to Place a Rug in Your Living Room

Whether you have wall-to-wall carpeting in your home or not, an area rug is a must-have accessory for a cozy, comfortable living room, and an area rug can add a pop of color, texture, and pattern as well.

Choosing the right area rug for your living room may seem like an afterthought when it comes to decorating, but in reality, finding the right-sized rug can make or break your space. The wrong sized area rug can make a room look unfinished, and the wrong sized one might look like wall-to-wall carpeting. 

Furthermore, area rugs can be an expensive investment, and returning them can be a hassle, not to mention pricey if you have to incur return shipping costs.

Here are 5 tips for decorating a narrow living room

Have you felt the pressure? In order to help you choose the best area rug for your living room's size, furniture, and more, we've compiled some tips.

Take a measurement of your living room

You might think a six-foot-by-nine-foot area rug will fit in your living room, but is it really large enough? Would a rectangular or square rug work better for you? Measure your living room's dimensions before you shop for an area rug. Rugs for living rooms typically measure eight feet by 10 feet or nine feet by 12 feet, but your space may require a smaller or larger pick.

While you shop, keep these general rules in mind once you've determined your dimensions:

  1. Rug edges should be at least 10 to 18 inches from the wall. In close quarters, it can look like wall-to-wall carpeting. It's okay to move your rug closer to a wall if your sofa is against it; no one will see the edge, and it will conserve space between furniture pieces.
  2. Ideally, your rug should be eight inches wider than your sofa on both ends.
  3. Typically, sofas are placed on the long end of rugs, so make sure your room is big enough.
  4. Try to leave at least 30 to 36 inches of space between larger pieces of furniture, like a couch, coffee table, or armchairs, if your living room is large enough. Avoid stumbling over too-close furniture (and your guests) by doing this. You should aim for 18 to 24 inches between pieces of furniture if your living room is small.

Measure your desired rug size and furniture placement with blue painter's tape if you're having trouble visualizing your new living room set up. It will not damage your flooring or carpet, it is very inexpensive, and it is an easy way to check out your space before you buy.

Save money by layering rugs

Large living room area rugs can be expensive depending on their materials, production, style, size, and age.

Several sources offer large, affordable area rugs, such as online stores, discount home goods stores, and flea markets, but we like to layer a smaller rug over a larger, more affordable rug to effectively cover a larger area. In contrast to an affordable nine foot by 12 foot jute or sisal rug, a Persian rug of five feet by seven feet can add warmth, texture, and interest to your space without costing a lot of money. 

A cowhide or sheepskin rug layered over a jute or sisal rug, layered rugs in complementary patterns, and a boldly patterned rug layered over a neutral rug are also popular combinations.

The smaller rug should be placed in the center of your larger rug. If the rug edges are too close together, it can cause tripping hazards.

Place your furniture according to your needs

You should also consider the placement of your living room furniture before purchasing an area rug. Each living room is unique (and it's okay to bend decorating rules) but here are the most popular arrangements:

Legs on the rug

Put your couch, coffee table, armchairs, and side tables on your area rug if you have a large living room. Allow at least eight inches between the edge of your furniture and the edge of your rug.

Legs on the rug in front

You can maximize the walkway space by placing only the front legs of your sofa and chairs on the area rug. A smaller room will also appear larger this way.

Make your furniture float

In theory, this is a design rule breaker, but as we've said-it's okay to bend decorating rules sometimes. 

Consider placing a smaller rug only under your coffee table if you love it. Keep your sofa edge and rug edge no more than five inches apart.

Are you ready to shop? Adapting your design rules to your taste, budget, and space is okay, but choosing the right-sized area rug for your living room will transform the space from ordinary to extraordinary.

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