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Angelica rug in a living room

Choosing the Right Living Room Rug for Your Lifestyle

Living rooms and family rooms didn’t get their names by coincidence. The living room is a gathering place. Whether you are entertaining friends or cozying up with family for a Netflix binge, you want your living room to be comfortable and inviting. The fastest and easiest way to do this is by rolling out a beautiful living room rug. Finding the right rug for you means considering budget, space, style, and how you want to use the room.

Living Room Rug Sizing

“What size rug do I need?” is one of the first questions everyone asks when decorating a new space. Rugs are a great investment at any size but choosing the right one will really elevate your style.

Living room rug floating layout
Living room layout with medium rug

Normally, you’d want to get a rug that fills the room. However, this doesn’t always make sense in open floor plans. We recommend sizing your rug to your sitting area. In a dedicated living room, this will likely stretch wall-to-wall. In an open floor plan, you can visually divide the space and think of the sitting area as its own room. Once you know how big your space is, you can figure what size rug you need. A larger rug will make the room appear larger, so a general rule is to buy the largest rug that will fit in your space, leaving 18-20 inches around the perimeter. However, if a large rug is out of your price range, it’s also acceptable to get one just big enough to extend under the front legs of all your furniture. For most living rooms, this tends to be in the 8’ x 10’ to 9’ x 12’ range.

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Living Room Rug Styles

Unlike with sizing, there are no hard-and-fast rules when it comes to the style of rug you should buy for your living room. What you choose will ultimately be up to your individual taste and the aesthetic you are aiming for. When it comes to pile height, for example, you must balance comfort with traffic levels. High-pile and shag rugs tend to be more comfortable and luxurious, but low- or medium-pile rugs are better for higher traffic living room spaces.

Eden rug in a living room

When it comes to designs and materials, don’t be afraid of contrast. Displaying an ornate traditional rug alongside minimalist modern furniture creates an interesting visual depth to the entire room. Similarly, you can play textures off each other. Pairing a leather couch with a thick shag rug, for example, can create a striking and sophisticated look.

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Layering Rugs

Another way to create contrast is by layering rugs. Usually, this means layering a relatively ornate or visually interesting smaller rug on top of an oversized natural fiber rug made of jute, sisal, or seagrass. You can layer a tribal rug on a sisal base for compelling global look or use the natural rug to ground the formal patterns of a traditional rug to create a more casual feeling.

Example of layered rugs in living room

This technique can also be great for your wallet. While large area rugs, especially hand-knotted rugs, can be expensive, even very large natural fiber rugs tend to be affordable. By layering rugs, you can still get that interesting smaller rug you’ve been eyeing and still easily fill the space with a natural rug underneath.

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Find Your Perfect Living Room Rug

When it comes down to it, the best living room rug is the one that works for you. While these guidelines can give you a place to start, don’t be afraid to break the rules! Experiment with different styles, sizes, and placements and build your own personal oasis in your living room. When you’re ready to start your search, check out the collections on Rugs.com. We have thousands of rugs in stock in every size and style, so you’re sure to find the perfect rug for you.

And if you’re looking for rugs for other rooms, make sure to check out our room guide which will tell you everything you need to know about buy rugs for every room of your house.

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