Your living room rug can make or break the space. The right rug size will help define the area and make your living room look and feel more refined and cohesive. It can also improve the acoustics of the space. On the flip side, a living room 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.
Before You Buy Your Living Room Rug
When looking for a living room rug, consider the size of your space, the size of your furniture, and the various layout options here. We all like to rearrange our furniture every so often so take that into consideration, too. Whether your living area is in an open plan or in a defined space also makes a difference in the rug size.
For starters, measure your current space and place your furniture in the area you wish to lay your living room rug on. Once your furniture is arranged, mark the area that you’d like your rug to cover with an easy-to-remove tape. You can use different-colored tape to mark the different-sized rug possibilities. This step is easy, quick, and makes visualizing and measuring more accurate.
For Larger Living Rooms
Needless to say, large rooms need larger area rugs. Large rugs offer more floor coverage, tying all the elements of your room together. For best results, leave at least 12 to 18 inches of visible floor space between your large rug and wall.
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. For open floor spaces, a greater contrast between the flooring and the rug will focus the eye on the rug, defining your space and creating a more intimate feel.
When to Use a 9’x12’ Rug in the Living Room
A 9’x12’ rug works best in an open floor plan, or any room that is at least 3 feet larger than the rug in both length and width, like an 11’x13′, 12’x18′ or 15’x20′ living room space. This leaves a comfortable border around the rug. A 9’x12′ rug also works best under a sectional sofa.
A 9’x12′ rug should have enough surface area to have most of your main furniture sit on top of it for a more cohesive look.
When to Use an 8’x10’ Rug in the Living Room
Like a 9’x12′, an 8’x10’ rug works best in an open floor plan, or any room that is at least 3 feet larger than the rug in both length and width. If you have a smaller living area, the best layout leaves at least a 12 to 18-inch border of flooring around your rug.
An 8’x10′ area rug can handle a 6 to 7-foot sofa, leaving at least 18 inches of visible rug on either side of the sofa for your side tables.
For Smaller Living Rooms
Smaller area rugs, like a 6’x9’ or 5’x7′, works best in an 11’x13’ or smaller living room. These rug sizes leave about 2 feet of flooring bordering the rug on each side.
Styling Tip: There are a couple of ways to style your rug in small living spaces. You can either sync your living room’s color palette to your rug for a monochromatic look, or use the rug to create a playful and bold contrast. To make a small living room look brighter and more spacious, opt for lighter-colored rugs or rug colors that are as close to the color of your floor as possible.
When to Use a 6’x9′ Rug in the Living Room
A 6’x9’ rug works best in an 11’x13’ room or smaller. In small to medium-size living rooms, a 6’x9′ rug 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.
When to Use a 5’x7′ Rug in the Living Room
A 5’x7’ rug works best 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. Depending on your floor space, your sofa’s legs may or may not sit on the 5’x7′ 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, 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 in the Living Room
A 3’x5’ rug would be a nice accent to any landing place in the living room: by the fireplace, a corner with a small sitting area or accent chair, or in an entryway or foyer situated right next to the living room.
When to Use Runner Rugs in the Living Room
A runner rug can be used just about anywhere you have a long stretch of floor in the living room. 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.