Selecting the Ideal Area Rug for Your Living Room

Selecting the Ideal Area Rug for Your Living Room - Arrant Luxury

An area rug adds character, coziness, and protection to your living space. The right rug can complete your room, giving it a balanced and cohesive look that matches your style. It highlights your hardwood floors, helps organize the space, is easy to clean, and is often more affordable than full carpeting. In this blog, we have highlighted the benefits of choosing an area rug for your living room and why it might be a better choice than wall-to-wall carpeting. 

Area Rug Sizes

When the legs of sofas, chairs, and tables are not fully placed on an area rug, the room can look unfinished or unbalanced. Ideally, all furniture legs should sit on the rug. If that's not possible, keep the front legs of your large, upholstered pieces on the rug while the back legs remain off. 

Standard area rug sizes include: 

- 3 by 5 feet 

- 4 by 6 feet 

- 5 by 7 feet 

- 6 by 9 feet 

- 7 by 9 feet 

- 8 by 10 feet 

- 9 by 12 feet 

- 10 by 14 feet 

- 12 by 15 feet 

- Custom sizes 

Tip: Choosing the Right Rug Size 

The size of your area rug should be influenced by your room's dimensions, shape, and furniture layout. To cover most of the living room, avoid picking up a rug that is too small. There should be a 4- to 12-inch gap between the rug and the walls on all sides. Ideally, all legs of the main furniture pieces should rest on the rug. 


Typically, rectangular or square area rugs are used in living rooms under seating arrangements. However, round, oval, or octagonal rugs can also be great options. 

For a unique touch, choose a round, oval, or octagonal rug to complement a round or oval coffee table. Round rugs are measured by diameter. To find the right size, measure from the center of your living room to the outer edge of your seating area. Double that measurement to get the rug's diameter. For example, if it's 4 feet from the center to the edge of your couch, you'll need an 8-foot diameter rug. 

Tip: Consider having a carpet store add binding to a piece of broadloom for a custom-sized rug. This can be a budget-friendly option. 

Colors and Patterns 

The floor can dramatically affect the look of your living room. Here are some tips for selecting an area rug: 

- Use a patterned rug to add color and interest to a room with neutral furniture and walls. 

- A darker patterned rug can help hide dirt and spills. 

- A solid-colored, neutral rug can blend well with a mix of decor styles. 

- Match one or two colors from your room’s decor with your rug to avoid a cluttered look. 

Materials and Textures 

How do you want the rug to feel underfoot? How much maintenance are you willing to put into your area rug? For example, beautiful silk or leather area rugs offer a luxurious look and feel but can be tough to clean. Here are some pros and cons of common area rug materials and textures: 

Wool: A natural fiber, a wool area rug adds warmth and softness to the look and feel of a room. Wool can resist stains and is durable, bouncing back after compression. However, wool rugs can be pricey and require professional cleaning.

Sisal and Jute: These natural materials are made from durable plant fibers. Sisal might be more durable, while jute is softer underfoot. They are often neutral in color but can be dyed with patterns. Natural fiber rugs need spot cleaning with minimal water.

Cotton: Many flatweave area rugs are made from cotton, offering a casual vibe. They are lighter in feel, ideal for summer, and can be machine-washed depending on the size. Some may not cover large living room spaces due to their smaller sizes. 

Synthetics (Nylon and Polyester): Nylon and polyester rugs share similar traits. Nylon is more durable, but both come in various patterns and colors, resist fading and staining, and are easy to clean and maintain. 

Viscose: Also known as rayon, this synthetic fiber mimics the luster and feel of silk or wool. It's affordable but not as durable or stain-resistant, making it less ideal for areas with heavy foot traffic. 

Acrylic: Faux fur rugs or synthetic hides are typically made from acrylic fibers. For instance, a faux sheepskin rug usually blends acrylic and polyester. These rugs need to be hand-washed or spot-cleaned. 

Hides: Genuine cowhide and sheepskin rugs, though expensive, can make a statement in a living room. They are durable, resist mold and dust, are long-lasting, and require minimal maintenance. Genuine hides are limited in size. 

Layering Rugs 

Enhance your space with layered area rugs. Place an area rug over a wall-to-wall carpet for added depth. Use a seasonal rug on top of your main rug for easy changes. In colder months, combine a large sisal or jute rug with a thick faux fur rug. For warmer months, replace the fur rug with a flatweave rug to achieve a lighter, breezier look.


What is the general rule about area rugs?

The general rule is that all the legs of the furniture should sit on the rug, not off it.

How far should area rugs go under furniture? 

Area rugs should extend completely under furniture. If that's not possible, the rug should at least go under the front legs of all pieces of furniture, with at least a foot of rug extending to the sides of each piece. 

Why should I consider an area rug instead of wall-to-wall carpeting? 

An area rug highlights your hardwood flooring while offering comfort. It's easier to clean and can be a safer option for family members who are prone to falls or are just crawling or learning to walk. An area rug also helps muffle sounds and can be more cost-effective and versatile than wall-to-wall carpeting in a living room.