Your rug’s size can make or break your living room. The right rug will help define the area and make it feel more refined and cohesive. It can also improve the acoustics of the space. On the flip side, a rug that is too small or ill-proportioned to the room can detract from everything else and make the space feel smaller or look imbalanced.
Consider Your Living Room Layout First
When looking for a living room rug, consider your furniture and take note of the various layout options there. We all like to rearrange our furniture every so often so take that into consideration. Whether your living area is in an open plan or in a defined space also makes a difference in the rug size.
A living room rug would look great in any defined space. But in an open plan, the rug could play an even bigger role. When walls don’t define an area, a rug will.
When to Use an 8’x10’ Rug
An 8’x10’ rug works best in an open floor plan, or any room that is at least 3 feet larger than the rug on both the length and width (11’x13’ room or slightly larger). This leaves a comfortable border around the rug.
If you have a smaller living area, the best layout leaves at least a 12- to 18-inch border of flooring around your rug.
This rug size can handle a 6- to 7-foot sofa, leaving 18 inches of visible rug on either side of the sofa for your side tables.
Styling Tip: To unify the area, you’d want the front legs of your sofa and lounge chairs to sit on the rug and overlap it by a minimum of 8 to 12 inches, more is better. The TV console could sit off of the rug on the other side of the room.
When to Use a 6’x9′ Rug
A 6’x9’ rug works best in an 11’x13’ or smaller living room. This leaves about 2 feet of flooring bordering the rug on each side.
This rug size would sit under the coffee table, covering the area between the sofa and adjacent living room seating, or in front of a fireplace with a couple of comfy chairs sitting completely on the rug.
Styling Tip: A greater contrast between the flooring and the rug will focus the eye on the rug, creating a more intimate feel.
When to Use a 5’x7′ Rug
A 5’x7’ rug works best in a small living room, in a room that measures 8’x10’ or slightly smaller. This rug size will just fit underneath the coffee table, as well as in front of a fireplace with two comfy chairs sitting almost completely on the rug.
Styling Tip: For a layout like this, it’s best to coordinate the rug color to the flooring to make the space look bigger. If you decide to use pattern as the counterpoint in this case, stay in the same tone as the flooring for a softer contrast. Also, a glass coffee table lets you see and enjoy the patterned rug, especially traditional designs with center medallions.
When to Use a 3×5 Rug
A 3’x5’ rug would be a nice accent to any landing place in the living room, by the fireplace, or in an entryway or foyer situated right next to the living room.
When to Use Runner Rugs
A runner rug can be used just about anywhere you have a long stretch of floor. It’s also meant to protect flooring in high-traffic areas like the hallways.
Your runner rug can be bordered by either furniture or walls, such as in front of a fireplace, along a wall of shelves or bookcases, or in an open space passageway from the living area to an adjacent space.
Styling Tip: Typically you want to anchor the runner to a wall or built-in or large piece of furniture rather than float it in the middle of an open area.
READERS: Do you have any other tips? Share them with us in the comments section below.