What is the right size area rug for a living room?

What is the right size area rug for a living room?

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For me, determining the right size area rug for any room definitely involves taking out a measuring tape and maybe even creating some outlines with blue painters tape on the floor. Hey, it’s not a one size fits all type of scenario and I take decor very seriously!

Besides, since your rug will be covering a large area in your living room, it deserves a lot of attention as it could make or break your design.

This is especially true if you have an open floor plan concept as it can assists you in defining spaces in your home. 

Fortunately, for us, area rugs come in many standard sizes.  Among those sizes, we’ll be able to find the right size area rug for pretty much every room of your home, but for this post, we’ll be focusing on just your living room.  

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Common Sizes Of Area Rugs Used In Living Rooms

Here’s a quick overview of rug sizes and how they are generally used. Don’t’ worry; I’ll be diving into different design styles in detail to provide you with a guide on how to find the right rug size for your living room.

Living Room Rug Orientation

The shape of your living room, as well as the furniture, should be the deciding factor when choosing the orientation of the rug.  This will allow for better flow and for the space to appear larger.

Designing According To Scale

It’s essential when decorating to make sure to keep things to scale. The right rug should be scaled to both the sitting area and room. Therefore, we will consider the furniture, the “sitting area” as a collective group, and the size of the room

To accomplish this, you could tuck the rug just a few inches under the front feet of the sofa and accent chairs. The appropriate amount of carpet to tuck underneath the furniture is around 6″ inches.  That defines the sitting area. 

To scale the rug to the room, you would want to leave some bare floor showing between the edge of the carpet and the room’s walls.  

In general, the larger the room, the more bare floor should be left showing.

Using an area rug to define living room

Is a Bigger Living Room Rug Better?

One of the biggest decor mistakes you can make is getting a rug that is too small. 

If you’re torn between two different sizes, lean towards the more significant option. You could always tuck more of the rug underneath the furniture or place the furniture entirely on top of the carpet.

Having an area rug in your living room, that is even a few inches too small will appear you misjudged your measurements. The right size rug will pull the room together instead of making it seem lacking.

How To Find a Good Rug?

Of course, you would want to purchase the best quality rug you can afford, but are there any guidelines? Yes, you can use the cost of your furniture, mainly your sofa, as a reference for how much you should spend on your living room rug.

When shopping look for natural quality materials such as wool or silk, the higher the quality of the material, the better they tend to wear.

Over time as wool becomes expose to sunlight, air, and foot traffic, it will develop some character. This is one of the many reasons some opt to pony up for those vintage area rugs. Some people have even purchased a high-plush rug and flipped it over to imitate a vintage-inspired look.

Grass, jute, and sisal rugs are usually less expensive choices and blend very well for most decors. However, due to their solid color and being difficult to clean, they tend not to last as long.

Below are examples of natural fiber rugs from one of my favorite retailers, Hayneedle.

Tips To Make Your Rug Look More Expensive

  1. If the area rug you purchased appears thin or flat, place a nonslip thick rug pad underneath. This will provide more substance to a carpet, giving it a more luxurious appearance.
    • A good rule to follow for choosing the right size rug pad is leaving 1″ of rug overhanging on all sides of the rug pad. 
  2. Large vintage rugs can be pretty pricey. An affordable alternative can be to layer a smaller vintage rug over a  natural fiber rug. A typical size for the top layer rug would be  4′ x 6,’ or 5′ x 8′.

Is There a Right Way To Clean a Rug?

Most rugs will have a care label attached, which should be your go-to instructions. You should vacuum your living room rug regularly and spot-clean when necessary.  

For Synthetic Fiber or Cotton Area Rugs

For small rugs, toss in your washing machine on a cold water delicate cycle, and then let it air-dry. If the carpet is too big for the washing machine, wait for a sunny day and go at it by hand. Yep, it’s a JOB!

Sisal and Jute Area Rugs

Sorry, guys, but water weakens the fibers, so it’s suggested not too deep clean these types of rugs. The suggestion is to use a mix of warm water and a little bit of delicate laundry detergent.

Use a blotting method to gently get the stain out. Unfortunately, these rugs are a bit unforgiving in the stain department. 

Antique Area Rugs

Don’t even risk ruining your living room rug! Call a professional for the peace of mind it will be cleaned correctly.

In Conclusion

Although you may be a bit anxious to find that perfect rug, this is not a purchase you want to rush into. Trust me; I get it – I’m not the most patient person either, but you’ll regret getting this wrong. If you need some convincing on why rushing into purchasing items is never a good idea, you’ll benefit from my post on How To Avoid Decorating Mistakes.

The right size living room area rug will elevate your design and bring some style into your space…when done correctly. For more home styling tips and tricks drop by anytime. Hey, we’re always up for company.

Find the right area rug
How to find the right rug size
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Right area rug for your space

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This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. I never thought of using a rug pad to make a rug look thicker! That is a brilliant idea. Thank you for sharing!

  2. My husband and I are looking for a rug to put in our living room since we have never tried it with the style of the room before. We love how you talked about how to find a good rug and how the higher quality of material usually lasts longer. We will keep these tips in mind as we search for a professional that we can buy from soon.

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