How to Buy and Position the Perfect Rug for your Living Room

A room with blue couches and a rug.

A rug is a vital style tool for making a statement or accentuating space in your living room. It adds warmth and personality. Look into the color, texture, and feel of the rug, because it may serve as the key to making your living room visually cohesive. Not only is it important to choose wisely but one must know the best ways to position a newly purchased rug. The living room rug position is essential for function and comfort. Choosing the right size will also make a significant difference to your living space. 

Choose a modern rug that complements the furnishings of the living room. Don’t mind that your furniture does not entirely fit on or off the rug. What is essential is that it looks and feels right for you. Open floor plans can make your furniture appear like it is floating. A carefully positioned rug will bring in space and create a defined area for relaxing and entertaining in your living room.

Before getting started, the first thing one should do is measure the living room, then decide what theme best works for you. Living rooms are the most utilized spaces in a home and acquire a layout that promotes a good flow. Take into consideration the amount of foot traffic your living room receives, if you own pets and love to entertain friends and family. Look into the type of furniture you will place over your rug.

Will it be partially covered by a sofa or a table? The layout of the room and the furniture used for seating will dictate the shape and size of the rug you’ll need. The placement of your living room rug must also be balanced with the arrangement of your furniture to be able to reach the full potential of your space.

Here we list a few tips on how to buy and position a rug for your living space.

A round rug in a living room.
A vibrant green, circular rug accentuating the ambiance of a cozy living room, with a sleek grey sofa elegantly positioned in the background.

Be familiar with the material

The material you choose for your rug relies on where it will rest and what purpose it will serve. Is your room functional or more for luxury? After noting the colors of your wall, sofa and the size of your space, it is beneficial to work on achieving a relaxing and harmonious ambiance by working with a rug that can meet all your needs.

Durable materials like modern rugs in wool, wool-silk and natural fibers such as sisal can take a beating if your living room attracts a lot of foot traffic during the day. Choosing a rug in a muted color palette works well for most furniture designs, but if you prefer something warmer, select a rug that showcases deeper, richer tones with texture.  A dark rug will make the living room feel cozy and intimate, while a rug in a lighter hue will not look as heavy or imposing.

Size and shape matters

The ideal sized living room rug should have a shape that best fits the style of your space. From round, rectangular to square, the traditional rule of thumb permits roughly 18 inches of uncovered floor space around the border of a living room rug. But the overall size and layout of the room should also be taken into consideration.  Consider the size of the furniture, doorways, and the amount of sun exposure the living room receives during the day. Select a rug that’s large enough to outline the perimeter of your space

Back legs off, front legs on the rug

This technique is practical and effective. Experiment with keeping the front legs of your furniture on the rug while the others are off. The rug will pull in the furniture together and give a sense of proportion.

Some front legs on

One can also explore using only the front legs of the sofa to sit on the rug, while the position of the chairs leaves all the four legs securely on the rug. Always take into consideration the size of the room and the tones and contrasts of the rug and how it goes against your floor.

No legs on

If you purchase a small rug with a strong and playful pattern the best approach is to have none of your furniture touching the rug. This will allow your rug to be a statement piece and a good conversation starter.

All legs on

A room can look more cohesive and pulled together if all the furniture legs are firmly positioned on the rug. This all depends on the size of the rug that you purchased and how it can work with your furniture in the living room.

18 inches of bare floor

This has been a standard rule of proportion that most interior designers can count on. This is when there are 18 inches of the bare floor between the rugs edge and the perimeter of the walls of the living room.  This rule works in a small room if the 18 inches of bare floor exposed around the rug are minimized to about eight inches. For a more modern approach, the rug can run just a few inches off the wall around the entire room. These kinds of design ideas are popular in Reading, PA. Make sure you check the design ideas including carpets in Reading.

Mix-match rugs

Combining and layering rugs of different patterns and textures can be very effective in a large room or with more than one seating plan.

Scroll to Top