Area Rug Rules for Living Rooms

Well the great thing about area rug rules is that you can break them! Really, it does come down to personal preference for both size and style but I want to address some common size options that you have. 

Although it is personal preference, I do believe there are times when a room can look odd if the area rug is placed wrong or if it isn't the correct size. Let's look at the main living area of the home such as the living room or family room. 

Option 1:

The rug comes up to the front edge of all furniture. In this option none of the furniture actually sits on the rug except the coffee table but it comes right up to the sofa and chairs.

I like this option, it pulls the room together by defining the space and making it feel cozy. It is a great option for extremely large rooms when buying a larger rug may be cost prohibitive or the rug will intrude into traffic areas. 

 

Area Rug to front of legs

 

 

Option 2:

The rug is an accent only piece, perhaps an eclectic rug that is a statement piece all on it's own. You see this a lot with animal skin (real or faux) rugs. I like this look when it is an irregular funky rug.

 

Accent rug

 

I do not care for this look of a small accent rug when it is an ordinary rectangle rug. To me this room below looks odd and not balanced because the rug is too small. It not only makes the room itself look smaller but are you suppose to walk on the rug, around it, have your feet on it when you sit or not? 

 

Area rug too small

 

Option 3: 

The rug encompasses the entire room, showing only a border of 6"-18" around the perimeter of the room. I have to be honest…..this isn't my favorite option. Not only is it extremely expensive to buy a rug large enough to fill the entire room, but if you have hard wood floors why would you want to cover most of them up? 

Now if it is a small room I can see why it works or is needed….I am just not a fan when the room is large. 

 

Area rug around entire room

 

 

Option 4:

The rug comes under the front legs of all pieces of the furniture by 3"-6" but the back legs are off the rug. This is my favorite of all the options. To me this pulls all the furniture together making it one cozy conversation area yet still showing off the stunning floors underneath.

From a practical standpoint the furniture helps anchor the rug to keep it from being a tripping hazard. In addition  it keeps the chairs from sliding when you sit down in them.  If they are sitting directly on the hardwood with felt pads they can be slippery and slide back when you sit down 

 

  DSC_0123

 

As you can see there are many options for the size of area rugs and really it does come down to your personal taste and preference. I of course have my opinions on the subject 🙂 but hopefully by sharing them it can help you determine what size area rug is best for your room. 

 

 

Shar Sitter, owner Rooms With Style Home Staging and Redesign Minneapolis MN.
CHSE and APSD Home Stager Pro Trainer
www.RoomsWithStyle.com
952-567-1124

Written By

Shar is an award winning Designer and Home Stager and the owner of 'Rooms With Style' and the 'Certified Staging and Redesign Acadamy.' She has been in the design industry for over 25 years and her background includes studies in Interior Design as well as Horticulture to assist with your home’s curb appeal. Shar has a talent for taking simple things; placing them in their best light and making them shine. Another Sharlene from North Dakota, Shar and Sharlene knew they were destined to work together when they first met! She has been blogging here and helping bring out the best in the homes of Sharlene's sellers since 2011.

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