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The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Perfect Area Rug Size for Your Living Room

Updated: Feb 12, 2023

When it comes to decorating your living room, choosing the right area rug can make or break the look. However, with so many sizes to choose from, it can be difficult to know which one is right for your space. In this article, we'll guide you through selecting the perfect size area rug for your living room, considering your furniture placement, room size, and personal style preferences. So, get ready to elevate your living room with the perfect rug!



3 Factors to Consider When Thinking about a New Rug


1. Room Size When considering a new area rug for your living room, one of the most important factors to consider is proportionality. Your rug should be the right size in relation to the room and its furniture. A good way to determine this is to measure your room and then decide what size rug will fit best. Consider placing all of your furniture on the rug to ensure it fits well. The rug should be large enough to anchor the room and create a sense of coziness but not so large that it takes over the space.

Try to avoid placing a rug under windows or HVAC units. A good rule of thumb is to keep your rug about 12" from walls or doorways. Ideally, a rug should anchor the furniture in the room and help define the space. Another "general rule" is to have the front legs of your furniture sitting on the rug (at least). You should also consider the scale of the room and the furniture. If it's a small room with low furniture or furniture with a lot of space for energy to move around, consider a smaller rug. If it's a huge open room with big heavy furniture, you can go bigger!


2. Furniture Placement The furniture in your living room should be centered around your focal point (How to Find the Focal Point of your Space). Consider setting up "conversation areas"; these allow for comfortable seating for people to face each other and engage in conversation. You also want to make sure your furniture is balanced in the room. Side to side and front to back, the room should feel like each side has the same visual weight. Leave room for traffic flow! A good rule to follow is to leave at least 15" of clear space between furniture pieces.

My NON-NEGTIONABLES for Living Room Furniture - Furniture with backs to entry points (unless they swivel) - Furniture right up against walls - leave AT LEAST 4" if you're in a super small space, but 8-10" is ideal - A home for drinks - every seat should have an option for a place to put a drink (even if it's a window sill!)

3. Style & Color Palette Your area rug should complement your living room's overall design style and color scheme. When choosing an area rug color that complements the room's style and color palette, consider the dominant colors in the room. You can either match the dominant color or choose a complementary color to create contrast. You can also use the area rug to introduce a new accent color to the room. Keep in mind that lighter colors will open up a space, while darker colors will make it feel cozier. It's important to choose a color that not only matches the room's style but also makes you happy and creates the desired mood.



A Guide to Choosing the Right Rug Size

You'll notice some of these are repeated from above, but now it's time to actually put all of your ideas and thoughts into action! Considering your answers and thoughts to the factors above and using this guide, you'll be able to find the perfect area rug for your space!



  1. Determine your room's layout: where are the entry points? is it an open space that needs to be defined? what/where is your focal point?

  2. Furniture placement: using some general rules from above and the space you have to work with get your furniture where you want it! Time to move things around or (my favorite) get some new things!

  3. Traffic flow: make sure between your layout and furniture placement you have a good traffic flow and there's no obstacles

  4. Size: now you get to measure! Considering the factors above (especially around proportions and scale), measure what size rug you can fit in there while keeping AT LEAST the front legs of all the furniture on the rug. Totally feel free to get ALL legs on the rug as well, just make sure you can fit 3-5" of hangover on all sides! The most common and easy-to-find rug sizes are: - 5' x 8' - 8' x 10' - 9' x 12' - 10' x 14' - 6' x 9' You can find custom rugs sizes from places like : Rug Studio & Etsy

  5. Color and Style: Consider the color and style of your living room décor when selecting a rug. A rug can help tie together different elements in the room, so choose a color that complements the room’s style and color palette.

  6. Consider the Material: The material of your rug can also play a role in the overall look and feel of the room. If your living room is a space that gets lots of traffic with shoes, or if there are pets and/or small children in the house you might want to consider a durable and easy-to-clean material like polypropylene or jute.


Choosing the right size area rug for your living room can make all the difference in bringing your space together. By considering the room's dimensions, furniture placement, and desired traffic flow, you can select a rug that is proportionate and adds to the overall aesthetic of the room. Don't forget to also think about the rug's material, as a durable and easy-to-clean option will ensure it lasts for years to come. With these tips in mind, you'll be on your way to finding the perfect area rug to complete your living room design.



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