An area rug in your living room adds a real dash of personality but finding the right one can be tricky. Read this guide on how to choose Living Room Rugs for perfect look.
The right one can make your space look flawless, while the wrong one can make a room feel clumsy or incomplete. As bright or as elegant as you choose, a living room rug is a perfect opportunity to express yourself through interior design.
All the alluring it is, an area rug is also an incredibly practical addition to your living room.
Rugs for the living room truly define the term,' multi-purpose.' Not only are they a way to express yourself, but they also add to the color and texture of the room.
Not to mention the warmth and the comfort that a rug can add to an otherwise hard-tiled floor.
An aspect of living room rugs that is often ignored is their impact on one's health. Firstly, the rugs ensure that the floor is lighter upon your feet.
They also absorb sound (including echoes), hence warranting that the sounds are kinder on your ears and much more pleasant too.
Individual fibers also curtail allergies. All in all, you have a decorative accessory that does more for your health than a lot of other equipment.
Most importantly, though, a rug brings your furniture together and defines seating areas.
It can delineate different parts of the room, and you may decide you need more than one area rug to help achieve this.
Plus - it has to cope with the daily demands of your household in the room that's the center of the home decor.
Making Living Room Rug Durable
Above all else, there's the more specialized side of the rug you need to focus the most on – fibers. With regards to finding the best area rugs for the living room, tissues are a significant factor to think about.
While almost any rug works in your bedroom-even robust ones- you need to be extra careful while buying one for your living room.
Living room area rugs better are durable, given the footfalls.
They also need to be dark in color to avoid frequent cleaning. This problem resonates with the presence of children and pets.
Which Rug Material is Best For A Living Room?
These rugs are solid and warm, so are great in case you need an area rug to help protect a dining room in winter.
Wool is commonly very simple to clean and is fire safety in case you're searching for floor lamps covering to put before a fire.
But one drawback of wool is that it doesn't roll very well against corrosive spills like wine and juice.
Stains like these can completely ruin the rug. Another drawback to this material is that it is expensive and inclined to shedding.
2. Wool Mix
Mixing wool with a human-made fiber can lessen shedding and help the rug keep its shape since wool can twist its form.
It's very sturdy and is useful for family room floor coverings exposed to substantial footfall.
Blending wool with fibers, for example, with nylon, polyester, or polypropylene makes a less expensive option in contrast to a wool rug.
But they will, in general, decrease the life expectancy as wool is usually remarkably enduring while the human-made fibers aren't to such an extent.
This is a human-made fiber, and for that reason is the most impervious to staining.
It's incredibly intense and is stricter material than others. But it is highly combustible, so it's a bestseller to stay away from investing in this rug material if you plan on putting it near a fireplace.
Also, another drawback to this is that it's not so good at holding its shape after having furniture set on top, and hauling furniture over it can cause irreversible harm.
Polyester is impervious to fading and is extremely simple and speedy to dry.
It also acts as a tremendous resistant to water-based stains as it has such a low degree of absorbency.
Removing oil stains can be a difficult task. It is artificial and generally mixed with another fiber, yet is the nearest to wolf in appearance and feel.
Natural fiber carpets, for example, Jute rugs can be a decent investment, and function nicely in rural styled living rooms.
It is moderately cheap and will, in general, come in neutral shades.
Sisal is another ordinary fiber. Sisal is hard-wearing with regards to high-traffic areas and heaps of footfall.
The biggest drawback would be that it stains easily even from water, and is very hard to clean.
7. Hand-knotted Rugs
So, choose your rug based on its tough character as well as its delicate design.
Skilled artisans make a hand-knotted rug – but rather than making it more fragile because of its carefully-crafted manufacture, this process produces durable rugs.
A handmade rug is made on a specialized loom, with each knot tied by hand.
When you think that a good quality rug can have 200 knots per square inch, you can appreciate the amount of care that went into its manufacture.
Because of this, these individually-made rugs are of exceptional quality and can last for generations.
Machine-made rugs can look good – but they don't wear as well. In short, you get what you pay for.
It's a false economy to buy a bargain only to have to replace it twelve months later.
Determining The Right Rug Size
Choosing the correct rug size for your living room can be troublesome, as well.
Not only because you need to be sure about your room's measurements and furniture decisions, but it requires some time to find the area rug that you love.
Moreover, when you finally do find the perfect rug, and it varies from the size you had imagined, what do you do?
The rug size depends upon the size of the room.
How Large Should an Area Rug in The Living Room?
I don't intend to generalize, but remember a simple rule of hand. Always buy a rug that anchors all of or some parts of your furniture.
This is concerned with proportionality and aesthetics. We have sorted some stylistic rules that apply whatever size space you're looking at.
Pick a size that either covers the walkway or leaves the floor uncovered where people walk by.
After you've done that, you need to look into how far the rug should extend. A typical method to estimate that is to guarantee that it comes underneath all the four feet of your furniture.
A top tip for getting the size of the area rug that feels right for you is to find an old bedsheet.
Fold or pin it into various rug sizes, and lay it down on your living room floor.
This will give you a great visual guide to how specific dimensions of rug work with your furniture.
If your floor allows, you can mark out areas with tape, and see how well the shape and size of your potential rug works.
Leave the tape down for a day or two (if this won't damage any floor finishes!) and "live with" the rug's shape.
Of course, you may already have an old rug lying around the house that you think is the right size – roll it up, pick it up, and try it out for size in the living room.
Should The Furniture Sit on Rug?
When we talked about how to place area rugs in the living room, this is what we meant!
One of the most important decisions you'll need to make when choosing a living room rug is whether the furniture will sit on it.
The rug anchors your furniture by drawing certain items together. The relationship between furniture and rug is a crucial one.
There are four classic ways to position your furniture with your area rug.
- All your furniture:
The couch, chairs, and any small coffee tables – go on the rug. You'll need a generous sized rug for this – a 9x12 living room rugs – these are one of the larger rugs available in the market.
- Some of the furniture goes on the rug:
The couch is on the rug, but the side tables are on the floor. Go slightly smaller at 5x8 living room rugs.
- The furniture goes half on and half off the rug:
The front legs of the couch and chairs are on the rug, and the back legs are off it. Just make sure that the colors and patterns don't clash. Again, a 5x8 or 5 x 7 living room rug would suit this approach.
- None of the furniture goes on the rug:
A small rug is at the center of a grouping of furniture. Great for making the rug a focal point, or if you have a more compact space. Try a small but perfectly formed 4" x 6" rug.
Thinking About the Room Border
If you are looking for a rug that covers most of the floor area, it's essential to get the proportions right with the edge of the room.
A limit of 12" to 18" is considered a pleasing-sized gap between the rug and the skirting.
However, if you have furniture placed around the walls (a sideboard or bureau), do you want these to be ultimate of the rug or half on and half off? It's worth thinking about this before you invest in a large rug.
Choosing The Right Color for Rug
With regards to picking area rugs for the living room, take some time to consider the shading and pattern.
Choosing a designed rug can be an extraordinary method to add shading and liveliness to a living room with neutral-colored furnishings.
Similarly, a neutral-colored rug in an otherwise eclectic room can give the ambiance a soothing effect.
Remember that a rug with different patterns will be better for concealing soil and spills while a neutral shade is bound to show stains.
Most area rugs are patterned, so when we talk about the color of the rug, we're focusing on the most dominant shade.
This could be the background color or a shade that features prominently in the pattern.
Do You Already Have an Accent Color in Your Living Room?
Your main color scheme may be restful green tones, and your curtains or scatter cushions are in a brighter accent shade, such as cerise.
In that case, cerise would be a great choice of color for your area rug (or choice of dominant color if your rug is a patterned one).
Something like this overdyed pink rug would look amazing in this instance.
If you have a colorful room but still decide on getting a rug that is colorful as well, you need to choose something that will unite the room together.
Ensure that whatever rug you select doesn't make the room look scattered, else you'll end up with a jumbled up space.
Keep in mind that the rug affects the general look of the room, so pick something you won't get tired of too quickly.
If you want to create a new accent color and aren't sure which shade to go for, remember that opposites attract. For example, splashes of yellow or orange in an otherwise blue room make a great contrasting highlight.
If you're not sure which colors work well as accents, use a color wheel and choose combinations of colors that are opposite each other.
Warm and Analogues
When choosing the right color for your living room rug, you should make use of the color wheel and select colors that are next to each other.
These colors will complement each other and create an adjusted shading plan for your living room.
For example, red living room rugs will complement different warm tones that exist next to red on the color wheel.
If you're looking for a softer look for your living room, you can choose a lighter shade like yellow.
Yellow living room rugs will brighten up the atmosphere of the room and give it a more delicate feel.
You can also choose a rug with a pattern that has both red and yellow blended in it.
The good thing about the color blue is that it will work with any room you're trying to decorate.
This fresh color has different shades, and each shade brings out a completely different look of the room.
When choosing blues for both the furniture and rugs, pick shades that will contrast each other.
For instance, pick a sky blue carpet to offset a furniture piece that is navy blue or in any darker shade of blue.
Blue living room rugs also bring out a sophisticated look of the room if used correctly.
Rustic Area Rugs
If you want your living room to give out the feeling of a rural retreat, you can catch the look with a cabin-inspired rug.
Brown living room rugs can have different tones like soft brown, delicate beige, and caramel, which will add profoundness to your room.
For a bolder look, find darker versions of the color on the gradient palette.
If you're looking for a more relaxed underfoot feel, pick a rug with a luxurious shag or tufted heap in grainy tones that give the warm feeling of cabin hideaway.
When it comes to choosing darker shades for your living room rug, black is what comes to mind.
Black living room rugs emit a chic and luxurious vibe.
When selecting a black area rug, it is essential to consider the material as well as the texture.
You can also choose a rug with a different pattern.
However, that would only work if the model utilizes different shades of black.
For a black rug to work, you need to combine it with minimalistic décor to create a stylish look for your living room.
A Calm and Neutral Approach
You may want your rugs for the living room to be more discreet, and in that case, the accent color is not the right choice for you.
If the area rug is mainly to provide warmth and comfort, go for neutral colors, or choose a color that blends well with your permanent floor or walls to the entryway.
Another advantage of a more neutral rug is that it has a longer life if you decide to change the other colors in your room.
If the rug has to outlive the other items, make sure it's a versatile design.
A lovely, subtly shaded rug like this Beige and Ivory Peshawar Ziegler rug would add a touch of discreet luxury to your living room without taking over.
If you have boldly-hued furniture such as a scarlet couch, or a statement item like a grand piano, a pale rug like this would set the piece off beautifully.
If your room is a blank canvas at the moment, why not let the rug call the shots?
Choose the area rug that you love the most and make it a focal point of your living room.
Or, choose a rug of many colors and keep your options open! A patchwork rug gives you all sorts of gorgeously vivid colors that can inspire the design choices for the rest of your room.
Style of a Living Room Area Rug
We’ve discussed this in further detail in our blog post about rug sizes.
However, we’ll summarize the main points here, as there are some stylistic rules that apply whatever size space you’re looking at.
This is a personal choice. Great area rugs for the living room are an investment that will last for years, so it's essential that you love the rug you buy.
Before you dive in and make a purchase, take some time to think about what design of rug you'd like.
What Sort of Living Room Do You Have?
Think about what else is going on with your interior style. One way to look at it is to aim at creating a contrast.
Typically a brightly colored rug tends to suite a dull room.
Hence if your living room has calm and restful tones, you could choose a different design and go for a bold pattern – or go for a corresponding light and subtle rug.
On the contrary, if you have bold wallpaper or your couch is upholstered in a richly patterned fabric, then an intricately designed rug may seem a bit too much.
We'll look at how color influences your rug choice in a moment.
A Classic or Contemporary Area Rug?
When buying a rug, you need to be clear about the following. Your signature style: is it contemporary or classic?
Contemporary area rugs represent modern era designs that can be both "delicate" or "hard," depending upon its patterns and hues.
They have more of a western look and are most appropriate for new arrivals and informal homes.
Large living room rugs are perfect on polished wooden floors (but remember your rug pad! See our article on securing your rug.
If you are a contemporary person, geometric design is a good option. The tribal pattern of this Kilim rug is a great choice for a modern room.
Try one of our Ikat rugs, which have soft, abstract designs and come in muted modern shades.
For the most part, they are described by their distinct contrasts, but contemporary floor coverings also favor abstract styled patterns.
Contrary to traditional rugs, this cutting edge style is exceptionally different! It offers its customers a ton of variety.
Such rugs typically fuse intense shadings and unorthodox designs.
Contemporary area rugs can also be modest and fit entirely with the furniture and the décor of the room.
Moving on, does your preferred rug style do justice to its surroundings?
Using a modern rug alongside colorful surroundings isn't an excellent idea.
If you're looking to add a bit of class and complexity, conventional rugs might be the perfect choice for you.
Traditional area rugs more often than not allude to either common Oriental or Persian patterns and standard European or Victorian patterns.
With designs that go back hundreds of years, they are depicted as ravishing, fancy, and unpredictable in patterns and hues.
This style is noble and is generally made in a pre-characterized shading range.
Most classic rugs have nearly all the same undertones, mostly ranging from maroon to red, brown, black, navy blue, green, and white.
Conventional area rugs contain specific components like florals, multifaceted patterns, fringes, and emblems in different shapes like diamonds, etc.
With their perceived magnificence, it is no big surprise that they are known for the extravagance they add to any room they're placed in.
An antique Sootri rug would look just right in a traditionally styled room – imagine how its vibrant colors and detailed patterning would look in front of the fire.
But don't feel too restricted; oriental rugs tend to suit both traditional and contemporary spaces.!
Oriental rugs also add warmth and coziness to surroundings and are flawless.
Which Item Will Take Center Stage?
Some other important design questions to ask.
- Do you want your rug to be a statement piece?
- What's the star of your room at the moment?
- A grand piano?
- The fireplace?
- A painting?
- An architectural feature such as the window?
- Will the rug itself needs to become a focal point for your room?
The answer to this question will influence your decision. If it's not the main feature, it mustn't be so bold that it will detract from the room's A-listers.
If it is to be a hero piece, then go for it!
A Rectangular or Round Rug?
Furniture and the walls of most rooms typically have right angles.
So for some people, square or rectangular shaped area rug feels like a more safe, uncomplicated option.
But in some cases, a room could genuinely sing with the existence of a round rug.
Round area rugs work perfectly for smaller spaces and spaces where you're looking to add an increasingly energetic, comfortable, and a more relaxing vibe.
If you're looking to make a small room feel bigger, round-shaped rugs are the way to go.
Pair a round area rug with similarly shaped furnishings.
A rectangular carpet is best suited for spaces with large open floors, for example, living rooms, workplaces, and seating areas.
They also add a traditional feel to the room and can also assume the job of a kitchen rug or a foyer in your house.
Rectangular carpets will convey a classic look and make the area look longer and bigger while round shaped rugs add enthusiasm to the floor as well as warmth and comfort.
You may go for bright colored area rugs, coordinated with accents or a light furniture piece in the same place or possibly a round-shaped table.
Use One or More?
No rule says you need to restrict yourself to just one area rug for your living room. Some people utilize various rugs in bigger rooms to characterize different areas.
So how would you know whether one or more is ideal for your living room?
If you are using area rugs to divide up an ample space, there could be one in the seating area and another under a table, desk, or grand piano, for example.
You may also want to add a runner or two to direct the flow of movement through your space.
An excellent way to create a cozy area in your living room is to layer rugs.
A smaller rug (possibly in a contrasting color or a different shape) on top of a large rug gives you a luxurious finish.
If you want to get this opulent look, choose the larger rug first to ensure that the second rug doesn't partially cover its border.
Demands of Living Room Rugs
Your area rug is going to be busy!
Before you start to choose your living room rug, you'll need to think about what functions it needs to fulfill, and whereabouts in the space it needs to sit.
As we've already briefly mentioned, one of your new rug's primary functions is to separate areas in your living space.
An area rug naturally creates a cozy space, especially if the rest of the floor is left bare.
Therefore, we use the rug to mark out the sociable seating area where we want people to assemble.
As well as creating "islands" in a larger room, rugs and hallway runners can also be used to direct traffic.
Which routes do you want people to take around your room?
Both family and guests will automatically walk around rugs rather than across them so that you can define pathways in the most convenient places.
And let's be honest – a living room area rug has to look great. This is the room that most of your guests will see.
While style is one metrics that require consideration, size is another.
This is not the room for cutting corners. Besides, as it's a lively and active place, a bargain rug may not be up to the job!
As well as setting the style standard for your home, a living room area rug has to be durable.
If you have kids and pets, your rug will take a pounding!
So living room area rugs need to add personality, define areas of the room, add warmth, and cope with the daily rigors of dogs and kids.
That's a big ask for any piece of soft furnishings.
Here's our guide to making sure you choose a living room area rug that ticks all those boxes.
Looking After Living Room Rug
Of course, even the best-made area rug can have problems if it's not treated well.
When you're planning your rug purchase, think about the environment it's going to live in.
Sun can fade the vivid colors, so if your windows aren't coated in UV protection, think about the rug's position concerning daylight.
Rotating the rug can at least ensure that any fading is evener.
Also - watch out for the potential for spillages. Maybe don't have a pale outdoor area rug under the table small kids eat at!
Have a look at our Rug Care details to find out more about dealing with stains and cleaning.
If you have chewing puppies or scratching cats, the answer is training. It's a shame to keep your four-legged friends away from this cozy corner of the room.
So plan your pet behavior strategy before introducing this exciting new arrival feature.
If it's looked after, your children and maybe even their children will be gathering around your hand-knotted rug for years to come. It's worth that investment!
Choosing A Living Room Rug Based on Your Budget
So, speaking of investment,
Is a hand-knotted rug much more expensive than a machine-made one?
Rugs, like everything else you buy for your home, come in a range of prices. And, like all your other household items, the price changes depending on the quality.
With a hand-knotted rug, you are paying for craftsmanship, care – and exceptional quality.
So yes, you will pay a little more for a top-quality area rug.
However, having made that initial investment, you shouldn't have to replace your rug for a very long time, if at all in your lifetime.
Regularly changing a living room rug is a real hassle. You've chosen a rug, arranged your furnishings around it, and possibly even picked your couch and chairs to complement it.
You may have used one of its colors to inform your choices of paints and wallpapers.
You've committed to this rug, and you're not ready to change it for a while. If your rug doesn't take the strain of everyday life, it's not worth it.
If your budget is tight, but you still want a long-lasting rug, check out some of our smaller pieces that come in at under $100.
Summarizing Living Room Area Rugs
We hope this guide has given you a few things to think about when it comes to choosing the ideal rug for your living room or lounge. To summarize, before you buy your new area rug, ask yourself:
- What is the style of your room? Is it classic or contemporary?
- Do you have any statement pieces in your living room already, or is the rug to become a focal point?
- What shape of area rug would work with your space?
- What about color? Do you want your rug to pick up an accent color, be a bold style-setter, or provide a calm and neutral floor covering?
- How much of your level do you want to include?
- Is your furniture going to sit on the rug?
- Do you think you need more than one rug to create the desired effect?
- Do you want your rug to last?
- What could cause damage to your rug, and how can you mitigate these risks?
- What is your budget for a sisal new rug?
But perhaps most importantly – choose a rug you love.
After all, you spend a lot of time in your living room, and any area rug you want needs to be just right for you and your family (including those four-legged friends!) you can use a credit card once you need to buy area rugs.