How to Choose a Living Room Rug - The Ultimate Guide

How to Choose a Living Room Rug - The Ultimate Guide

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Living room rugs are an excellent way to add colour, texture, and pattern to a bare floor, but the choice available can also be a bit overwhelming, making it difficult to narrow down your choice. Nonetheless, with a little searching and tips from this article, you can find a living room area rug that will perfectly complement your existing decor.

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Here is my ultimate guide and top tips for how to choose a living room rug.

Consider the Shape of Your Living Room


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When it comes to living room rug ideas and choosing a statement rug to match your decor, the shape is a pivotal consideration.

The right area rug can tie a room together, be a focal point in your living room and make it feel complete. The wrong one can be a major eyesore. Keep the overall shape of the room, the furniture, and the style in mind to direct you in choosing the right one.

There are a few other things to keep in mind when choosing the ideal rug shape for your floor space. First, consider the overall shape of the room. A rectangular rug will work best if it's a long and narrow space, for example, whereas a round or square rug will be a better fit if the room is square.

Next, think about the furniture in the living room. If you have a lot of small pieces such as side tables and a coffee table, a smaller rug will work better. If you have furniture that occupies a larger amount of space, like a couch or dining table, you'll need a large rug to balance it out.

Finally, take the overall style of the living room into account. A traditional living room rug shape like a rectangle or oval will be a good choice if it's a more formal living space. You can choose a unique shape if the room is more casual.

No matter what shape you choose, ensure it's the right size for the space. An area rug that's too small will get lost in the room, and one that's too big will overpower it.

When in doubt, err on the side of a larger area rug. You can always trim it down if it's too big.

Consider the Size of Your Living Room


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Taking the correct measurements is one of the most significant first steps in picking the perfect living room rug and the size of both together is very important for several reasons:

Area rug sizes can vary so much from one to another, so first you want to make sure the rug size is proportionate to the living room, especially if you have a narrow or long room.

Small living room rug ideas in a large room can look lost and out of place, while a larger rug in a small space can look overwhelming and can make the room feel cramped and awkward.

You want to make sure the area rug is the correct size to accommodate the furniture in the room. You don't want the rug to be so small that it looks lost against the furniture, or so big that the furniture looks dwarfed by a large area rug.

living room rugs were never designed to go from wall to another wall, but if it is too small, it will not make as much of a visual impact. A rug should be at the very bottom of all the layers of decoration and therefore needs to ground the space. Extending the area rug under some of the furniture elements of the room will help to define the space and anchor the pieces of furniture involved.

When in doubt, go for the largest rug that will fit the space. If funds allow, you can also have a custom area rug made specifically to fit your needs.

Be Mindful of Foot Traffic


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When considering living room rug ideas it is important to think about where your area rug is situated, and how much footfall it may have to endure.

Ideally for high foot traffic areas you want to go with a rug made from Jute, polypropylene or any other low pile rugs. These are going to be far more hard-wearing or easier to clean, depending on which you choose.

If the footfall is going to be low, or you want more of a soft luxury feel on foot, go with a high pile rug, like shag or natural wool. Just bear in mind that these will likely get dirty and lose their volume if foot traffic is high.

Also think about the colour that you choose, as a plain cream rug will show any mud and dirt and constantly require cleaning, whereas a dark patterned rug will be far more forgiving.

Choose a Colour To Complement Your Decor


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Choosing the right living room rug can make a big difference in your space's overall look because it forms an important part of any home decor colour scheme.

You don't want the area rug to clash with the rest of the living room, but you also don't necessarily want to be boring and stick with a plain rug that doesn't show off your personality or taste. So choosing a colour that works well with the other elements in the space is important.

The colour or colours of your rug will set the tone for the rest of your room. If you want a bold and dynamic look, choose a vibrant rug with bright colours, but make sure that it will work in harmony with the other colours surrounding it. The most important thing to be wary of is not allowing them to clash.

For a more subdued and relaxing feel to your living space, go with a neutral rug in earth tones or soft pastels.


Consider the Style of Your Living Room


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Area rugs can make or break a living room design. The wrong rug can clash with your furniture and make the space feel disjointed. The perfect rug, however, can tie a room together and make it feel polished and well-thought-out.

When choosing from any living room rug ideas, it's crucial to consider the style of your living room. A bohemian room, for example, would benefit from a relaxed, natural-fibre rug, whereas a more formal area would do better with a wool or silk rug with a classic traditional pattern.

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Sitting Room Decor Ideas

A contemporary living room space might be the perfect place to experiment with a bold, graphic print and more wacky designs. This would work especially well against hardwood floors, breaking up vast areas of wood.

If you have a more traditional home of course, you'll want to choose a traditional rug that has a much more traditional design style and is more suited to its period.

Area rugs can come in handy when you are trying to change the look and feel of your living room. The resources found on Rug Source recommend looking into the various rug categories and designs available (i.e., modern, hand-knotted, Turkish).

Regardless of your homes style, there's sure to be a rug that will complement your living room perfectly.

Think about the Rug Material


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When choosing a neutral or bold rug to match your living room decor and work within the theme of the room, the material is an important consideration.

For example, a wool rug might be a great choice for a cosy living room, but probably not be the best choice for a bathroom.

Some materials are simply better suited to certain rooms, such as the ones described below.

Wool Rugs


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Wool rugs are a classic choice for any living room, and they're especially well-suited for high-traffic areas like entryways and living rooms. Wool is naturally stain-resistant and durable, and it's easy to clean.

If you have pets or kids, a wool rug is a good choice because it can handle a lot of wear and tear. And if you have allergies, wool is a hypoallergenic material that won't aggravate your symptoms. They are also perfect for those colder months when you need a bit of extra warmth underfoot.

Buy Wool Rugs on Amazon

Cotton Rugs


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When assessing various living room rug ideas, cotton rugs are another popular and recommended option to consider, and they offer a similar level of durability and easy care.

Cotton is also hypoallergenic and stain-resistant. If you are looking forward to having a custom rug made, we suggest that you choose cotton as your base material. It’s perfect for intricate designs and details.

Buy Cotton Rugs on Amazon

Polypropylene Rugs


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Polypropylene rugs are perfect for areas where you need a rug that can stand up to heavy foot traffic and spills. You may not have heard of Polypropylene before, it is a synthetic fibre resistant to mould, mildew, and water damage. It's also a very affordable option to consider.

However, because it is combustible and will not self-extinguish, we do not recommend that you place a rug made of this material near an open fire.

Buy Polypropylene Rugs on Amazon

Jute Rugs


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Jute rugs are made from natural fibre and have a casual, earthy look. Jute is a durable material, but it's not as resistant to spills and stains as wool or polypropylene.

When it comes time to choose the living room rug ideas that you are going to go with, it's essential to consider the material as well as the colour or pattern. A rug can make a big difference in the look and feel of a room, but only if it's made from a hard-wearing and durable material that can withstand heavy foot traffic and spills.

Buy Jute Rugs on Amazon

Consider the Texture and Pattern


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There is without doubt more to choosing the perfect rug than just picking a colour and size. You also need to think about the texture and pattern that would suit your space and needs the best.

The right texture can add cosiness to a room, while the wrong one can make it feel cold and unwelcoming.

Pattern is another important consideration. A busy patterned rug print might be perfect for a playroom, nursery or kids' bedroom, but it may be too overwhelming for an adult bedroom or bathroom. In this instance, you could opt for a more subtle neutral striped rug.

Research, Research, Research

Since any living room rug ideas can come in a huge variety of patterns and designs, it's best to do plenty of research before choosing one. While some rugs have designs in the form of floral or geometric patterns, others may have detailed pictures of historical monuments and buildings weaved into the carpet itself, which can add interest to your space.

Texture and pattern are just as important as colour when it comes to choosing a rug for your living room, as they all work hand in hand to create the final look and feel.

Utilise a Rug Pad


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If you have not heard of a rug pad before, it lays flat between the rug itself and the floor to prevent the rug from sliding and moving about. If this happens it can be frustrating and cause the rug to look unsightly when it starts to ruck.

There are also cushioned rug pads available to enhance the comfort underfoot, akin to underlay under a carpet.

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Consider the Rugs Price

It's all well and good to come up with numerous living room rug ideas to choose from, but you'll want to find a perfect rug that fits within your budget.

Rugs can range widely in price from very affordable to very expensive, so it's crucial to set a budget before you start shopping. But as with many things, when it comes to choosing a rug, the price is not as important as the quality.

You want to ensure that you pick a high-quality rug that is made from high-quality materials so that it will last for many years.

Living room rugs are usually a feature of a home that's intended to last a very long time, so consider that before you buy a cheap one just to save a few pennies. The money you spend today will save you from having to spend again in the future.

My Hand-picked Living Room Rugs

Doughty Enzo Black Rug

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Check Latest Price on Wayfair

Kellan Hand-Tufted Red Rug

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Check Latest Price on Wayfair

Rosalind Dark Grey/Ivory Rug

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Check Latest Price on Wayfair

My Final Thoughts

I hope that this article guiding you on how to choose a living room rug has helped you along your journey to find a new rug that suits your living room decor and space, and if you follow the tips given I'm sure you will succeed.

To help your search, take a swatch of fabric or a paint swatch from your living room when you go rug shopping. This will help you narrow down your choices and make sure the rug works in the space.

Finally, and just as important, take the time to think about what you want your rug to achieve, how you want it to feel and what rug designs will bring a smile to your face. I'm sure you will have no problem finding an area rug that will align perfectly with your living room decor.

Good Luck!

Author: Matthew Chiappini

Author Bio: Matthew studied art and design at Stamford college, including interior design and colour theory. He still has a great love for art, home decor and interior design and is a keen DIYer, having worked as a carpenter after leaving school. Matthew has been writing home and home decor articles since 2020.

Find him on: LinkedIn or Facebook