A good rug can really tie a living room together nicely. It gives the place warmth and some character, and it sets the underlying tone of the whole place. But choosing the right rug for your living room can be an intimidating prospect, especially if you are picking between rugs that are relatively expensive.
Another aspect of successfully incorporating a rug into a room is its placement. How to place a rug in a living room to make it look more natural?
The role of a rug might be more important than you might think. It gives the living room warmth and homeliness, and it makes even the most sterile environment a bit friendlier. In addition, a rug can give the room some color, make the room more toned-down, and divide larger spaces. That’s why the placement of a rug plays a vital role.
Whether you want to make a statement or just make your living room a bit warmer, knowing how to place a rug in a living room can prove to be tough. That’s what we’ll be taking a look at in this article.
Rug Placement: The Rules
Image source: J. Stephens Interiors
There are some cardinal rules that you should always try to obey when it comes to rugs. They can often be the difference between a layout that feels just fine, and a layout that feels slightly off. In some cases, there’s just something off, and you can’t specifically put a finger on it.
It turns out that a layout of a living room can be just as important as the design. A rug should be the tying factor between the décor and the layout of the living room. It allows the décor to make sense.
So it all starts with choosing the right rug in the first place. Color and materials do matter, but we too often forget about the size and shape of the rug. A good rug will invigorate the whole living room while also be capable of displaying its own beauty.
Where to Start?
Image source: dSPACE Studio Ltd, AIA
The first and most obvious step is to make measurements of the room. That way, you’ll be able to decide what kind of rug you can choose.
Then, you’ll want to decide on some stylistic choices. Do you want a patterned rug or a solid-color rug? The material of the rug is also at question, as well as its qualities. Will you want to sit on it, or you want it to be covered by a table?
Getting the balance is the first step, and that’s why the placement matters a lot. The rug size should complement the sizes of the furnishings, which will make the whole place more balanced.
Now, onto the rules…
Rule #1: Front Legs on the Rug, Back Legs Off
Image source: Bruce Johnson & Associates Interior Design
This is the number one most popular type of settings when it comes to rugs in living rooms. We usually place two legs of the sofa on the rug, while the other two sit off the rug. It completes the décor while also giving it a sense of proportion.
This décor example will work in most situations; it will connect furniture pieces together while also giving the room a sense of proportion.
Rule #2: Some Front Legs on the Rug
Image source: DANIELLA VILLAMIL INTERIORS
This is the hybrid of the two approaches: some of the legs of the sofas will find themselves on the rug, while others will be off the rug. In this case, this approach works better than having just the front legs on the rug, as it ties together with the room better, and it creates a better sense of proportionality.
Rule #3: All Legs on the Rug
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Now this type of design is made specifically for those who have larger rugs in their living rooms. All of the legs will be placed on the rug, and it will create a more tied-together feeling. You can accommodate a large rug without losing the feeling of “togetherness” in a living room.
Rule #4: No Legs on the Rug
Image source: kimberly peck architect
The opposite type of décor when it comes to living room rugs is having no legs on the rug. We must note that this arrangement is better for living rooms where there is a smaller rug in place. It’s also possibly the best arrangement for those who want to showcase their rug a little bit more and show off its features and design.
Rule #5: 18 Inches of Floor Around the Rug
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You can go even a step further and leave some bare floor around the rug. To be more exact, there will be 18 inches between the rug and the wall, creating a feeling of a more enclosed living room that is separate from other rooms. If you have a smaller living room, then you can easily reduce the space around the rug – 8 inches would work best, for example.
Tips & Tricks on How to Place a Rug in a Living Room
Here are some tips and tricks of how to place a rug in a living room that will make your décor decisions much easier.
Don’t Go Too Small
Image source: Creative Feng Shui
To start with, we have to talk about choosing the rug for your living room. If you choose a small rug for your living room just because of the price, you will likely regret this decision later on. If the rug is too small, you’ll find yourself spending additional money on a larger rug, and you could be paying twice the amount of the small rug in the end.
Instead, make a sensible decision and buy a slightly larger rug. This will make sure the rug will last you longer, and it’s still cheaper than carpet, for example.
Leave Space Around the Rug
Image source: Decus Interiors
The main idea is to have the rug in the center of the living room. This means leaving some additional space around the rug, which should be 24 inches or more in most cases. However, if you want to create a more enclosed environment, 18 inches will do just fine. In smaller rooms, you can get away with 8 inches around the rug.
About Sectional Sofas
Image source: Marie Burgos Design
If you have a sectional sofa or more in your living room, then you should carefully choose the right rug for the sofa. This means that the rug should easily fit under the sofa’s front legs, and it should extend three feet or more beyond the coffee table. Choosing the right rug for sectional sofas will allow you to avoid wrinkles and create a smoother, more satisfying design.
If You Have Two Sofas
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Having two sofas brings additional questions about rug placement. For starters, you need to pick the right spot to position your rug. This includes placing it evenly between the two sofas so that there is an equal distance. Symmetry is of the essence in this case.
Image source: Oak Furnitureland
In the smaller spaces, you have significantly less wiggle room to place your rug. In this case, the rug should leave some space between the rug and the sofa. For starters, this will make the rug stand out. Also, you will leave enough space between the sofa and the side tables, and it will give the room a more spacious look without it feeling too claustrophobic.
With a small living room, there is significantly less space to manipulate with, and you’ll likely do better with a smaller rug here. Every decision counts here.
For Big Rooms
Image source: Catherine Wilman Interiors
On the other hand, making the right choices for open-plain, big rooms is also crucial. If you leave too much space, it can easily make it seem like the objects are floating in the air, and it will feel much less homely.
Area rugs can easily tie the room together nicely. For example, designs that tie together dining and living rooms are perfect in this case. Open floor plans are hard to nail on, especially because it’s hard to distinguish between the two in most cases.
Firstly, choosing the rug that will complement the furniture is of the essence. Attaining that cohesive look should be your goal, and make the whole room warmer and homely.
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