Choosing the Right Rug for Your Living Room

modern living roomAre you shopping for a new rug for your living room but are unsure of how to start? Here is what you need to know about rug placement, size, fabric, color, and design—so you’ll be sure to select the right rug every time.


Before considering anything else, think about where you’re going to be placing your area rug. Do you see it fitting completely under your coffee table and living room set with room to spare along the edges, or do you see the rug as more of a space definer, with the back edges of your living room furniture lined up with the rug edges? Either of these rug placements works well in a living room, though the latter option is typically more practical, as few living rooms offer enough space for an entire room set situated on one large rug. The only rug placement you shouldn’t consider is having a rug solely under a coffee table; this small of a rug will likely be swallowed up in the overall space.


Size should be at the forefront of your mind when shopping for a rug for your living room. It should be large enough to accommodate more than just your coffee table, including the surrounding sofa, end tables, and accent chairs. This means you’ll likely want to opt for special ordering a larger size than, say, 5’ by 8’. Let the size of your furniture and the spacing between it help you decide.


Area rugs come in a variety of fabrics such as wool, cotton, silk, jute, bamboo, sheepskin, and synthetic mixes. The fabric you choose will come as a result of personal preference, overall room style, and how much “warmth” you want to bring into a room. Materials like jute and bamboo, for example, give off a particularly summery vibe, while sheepskin adds warmth. Wool, cotton, and synthetic rugs are especially popular and versatile options.


The options are truly endless here as well and will largely be dictated by personal preference. Brightly colored rugs can be great for bolder spaces, but a rug featuring one neutral color might also pair well if the goal is to tone down the space. Lighter colors tend to create more openness, while darker ones make an area feel more cozy. You might even consider having different colored rugs for different seasons.


Rugs come in single colors and in complex, intricate, and buy designs. Let the rest of the room clue you in on which direction you should follow. If you’re looking to tie an already-busy room together, go for a single-colored or simple monochromatic rug. But if you’re looking to breathe life into a room, a busier design might be exactly what you need.