Creating a cozy and visually appealing space starts with choosing the right rug size. With this guide, you'll find a rug that is sized perfectly - not too big or small. To help you narrow down your options, we'll walk you through a step-by-step process of accurately measuring your space and finding the ideal living room rug size. We'll cover common rug sizes, share layout ideas, and provide essential tips to ensure your rug matches your style and fits your space like a glove. So, let's jump right in and discover how to choose the perfect rug size for your living room!
1. Rug Sizes for Different Living Room Dimensions
Living Room Size
Coffee Table Width
# of Lounge Chairs
Small (~150 sq ft or 10’x15’)
Medium (~200 sq ft or 12'x18’)
8'x10' / 9'x12'
Large (~300 sq ft or 15’x20’)
For a small living room of around 150 sq. ft., you should use a 6'x9' rug.
For an average-sized living room of around 200 sq. ft., use a 8'x10' or 9'x12' rug.
For a large living room of around 300 sq. ft., use a 9'x12' rug or even larger.
The above recommendations will provide plenty of space for you to place a TV stand in front of the seating area, as well as a open walk path in between the seating area and the TV stand.
If you want all of your furniture to sit on top of the rug completely, you'll need to size up by 1-2 feet on each side. You'll also need to adjust the size of the rug up if you choose to add more lounge chairs to your seating area.
2. Rug Layout Ideas for Your Living Room
When it comes to rug layout, there are several options to consider based on your furniture placement and style preferences. You can experiment with these ideas and find the layout that resonates with you.
Front Legs on the Rug
This is the most popular option for placing your furniture on the rug, and is the standard method among interior designers. As its name implies, you place only the front legs of your sofa and chairs on the rug. This arrangement allows the rug to anchor the space while still showcasing your flooring and creating an open and airy atmosphere.
All Furniture Legs on the Rug
For a classic look, place all your furniture, including sofas, chairs, and coffee tables, entirely on the rug. This layout creates a unified and well-defined seating area, with the rug acting as a focal point that ties the room together.
Layering with a Small Rug
Layering rugs means placing two rugs on top of each other. Although small rugs aren't recommended in the living room, you can layer one on top of a large base rug. The base rug should be a size up from the recommended rug size for your living room. One your coffee table should be above your small layered rug.
Layering with a Rug at an Offset Position
You can layer a rug away from the center where your coffee table is. This lets you "extend" your larger base rug. The layered rug should be placed at an offset on one of the edges of the base rug. Although smaller than the base rug, the layered rug should still be pretty large since at least one lounge chair should be on top of it.
Small Floating Rug
In this layout, the rug serves as a centerpiece under the coffee table, with the legs of all seating furniture positioned off the rug. This method is not normally recommended since a small rug looks quite awkward as a base for your living room furniture, but it can work if the rug has a rich artwork or pattern. A floating rug typically suffices in a smaller room.
Layering with a Large Rug
If you want to layer rugs while also keeping them centered, you should make sure to have front legs of your couch and lounge chairs on the top layer rug and the back legs on the base rug. The top rug should be exactly 2 sizes down relative to the base rug (ex., a 6'x9' top layer rug should be paired with a 9'x12' base rug instead of an 8'x10' base rug).
3. Key Rules for Choosing Your Living Room Rug Size
Living room rugs should typically be 8'x10' or 9'x12'. 6'x9' rugs are often used for smaller living rooms. 5'x8' rugs are often only used for layering on top of a base rug and rarely used as the main living room rug.
The rug should be at least 8”-10” wider than the sofa on both sides. If you plan to place a side table on one or both sides of the sofa, you should consider a rug that is 16” wider than the sofa on both sides.
The coffee table should be ⅖ to ⅗ the width of your rug. That way your coffee table won't look too small or big relative to your rug, and will provide even table space in front of the couch.
Size up your rug if you plan to include more lounge chairs or loveseat in addition to the main sofa. For example, for a medium-sized living room, get a 9'x12' rug instead of 8'x10' rug if you include 2 lounge chairs.
When in doubt, choose a bigger rug. It's always better for a rug to be bigger than a rug that's too small.
Leave at least 24" of space between your furniture. This gives you enough space to comfortably walk around your couch, coffee table, and accent chairs.
4. Common Rug Sizes for the Living Room
For larger seating areas, the 8'x10' and 9'x12' sizes make a bold statement while providing generous coverage. They elevate the style of your room and offer a cozy spot to unwind. In smaller apartments or with compact seating arrangements, the 6'x9' size adds comfort and style without overwhelming the space.
To ensure the right fit, remember to choose a rug that is at least 6 inches wider (preferably 8 inches) than your sofa on both sides. For a cohesive feel consider running the rug the length of your sofa to anchor the seating area.
While 5'x8' rugs have their charm, they are better suited for areas like under a small dining table or a twin-sized bed. In larger living rooms, opt for the sizes mentioned above to achieve the desired impact.
5. How to Choose the Perfect Living Room Rug
To help you find the best rug for your needs, here are some key factors to consider in addition to living room rug size:
Choose the right material:Consider your lifestyle and specific needs. If durability is a priority, opt for materials like wool or nylon. If you prefer a softer feel, look for rugs made from plush materials like shag or silk. Additionally, consider the ease of maintenance required for the rug.
Consider foot traffic:Evaluate the amount of foot traffic in your living room. If it's a high-traffic area, choose a rug that can withstand daily use and is easy to clean. Low-pile or flat-weave rugs are often a good option for busy living rooms.
Coordinate with the style and color scheme:Take into account the overall style and color scheme of your living room. Choose a rug that harmonizes with the existing decor, whether it's a neutral tone to complement a minimalist aesthetic or a bold pattern to add visual interest.
6. How to Tell If Your Living Room Rug is Too Large
A rug that is too large can overwhelm the room and disrupt the overall balance. Here are a few signs that indicate a rug might be too large for your space:
Limited clearance space:If the rug extends too close to the walls or furniture, leaving minimal clearance, it may overpower the room and make it feel cramped.
Too much coverage:If the rug covers a significant portion of the floor, concealing the flooring entirely and not leaving enough space for other design elements, you may need a smaller rug.
7. How to Tell If Your Living Room Rug is Too Small
A rug that is too small can make the room feel disjointed and underwhelming. To determine if a rug is too small for your living room, consider the following indicators:
Insufficient coverage: When the rug fails to define the seating area and doesn't extend beyond the coffee table or main furniture pieces, you might want to buy a bigger rug.
Imbalanced proportions: If the rug appears dwarfed by the surrounding furniture and leaves too much bare floor space, it may be too small for the room's proportions.
8. Measuring Techniques When Rug Sizing
Accurate measuring techniques are crucial when choosing between different rug sizes for your living room. Here’s how to get started:
Measure the dimensions of your living room: Use a tape measure to determine the length and width of your room. If your room is not a perfect rectangle, measure the longest and widest points to get accurate dimensions.
Consider furniture placement:Take note of the furniture you plan to place on the rug, such as sofas, chairs, and coffee tables. Measure the width and length of your furniture to understand how it will fit within the rug dimensions.
Determine rug placement:Decide on the rug placement in your living room. Common options include placing the rug entirely under the furniture or having the front legs of the furniture on the rug while the back legs are off. This choice will affect the size of the rug you need.
Allow for clearance space:Ensure there’s enough clearance space between the rug and the walls or other furniture pieces. A good rule of thumb is to leave at least 18 inches of bare floor between the edge of the rug and the surrounding walls.
9. Tips for Shopping for a Rug Online
Ready to embark on a virtual rug-shopping adventure? These expert tips and tricks can help you shop online like a pro.
Understanding product descriptions:Pay attention to the rug dimensions provided in the product descriptions. Measure your space beforehand and compare it with the dimensions mentioned to ensure accurate sizing. Additionally, familiarize yourself with terms like pile height, materials, and construction methods to make an informed decision.
Use visualization tools: Take advantage of online platforms or apps that offer visualization tools. These tools allow you to upload a picture of your living room and virtually preview how different rug sizes and styles will look in your space.
Look for detailed images:A reputable online retailer should provide high-quality photos of the rug from different angles. Take a closer look and zoom in on those intricate details. This way, you can make an informed decision and avoid buyer's remorse.
Check the return policy: Since you won't be able to see and feel the rug in person before purchasing, having a good return policy gives you peace of mind. Ensure that the retailer offers a reasonable return period and covers return shipping costs, if applicable.
10. Pay Attention to the Pattern of Your Rug
In addition to the size of the rug, make sure you consider the design and artwork of your rug as well. How the pattern printed on the rug meshes with the aesthetic of the sofa, floorboard/carpet, wall color, and every other decor element can make your room look more expansive or smaller. A rug with more intricate artwork (such as what you normally see on oriental rugs) will draw more attention to your seating area and make it feel a bit concentrated. By contrast, a rug with a simpler pattern and more subtle colors will make your seating area more expansive.
Here are some of our favorite rugs with patterns and artwork that work both ways (prices for 8'x10' size):
Choosing the right rug size for your living room is a crucial step in creating a visually balanced space. By following the steps in this guide, you can accurately measure your room, explore common rug sizes, and discover layout ideas that suit your style. Shop our selection of rugs on FROY and begin your living room transformation today!
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