We’ve all been there—you’ve curated the perfect furniture, perhaps even finally collected the exact wall art and home decor to suit your style, but you look around your living room and something’s still missing. A rug, you decide—that’s the key to pull it all together. But now you have a new problem: What size rug for living rooms is ideal?

Wonder no more with the help of this living room rug size guide. We’ve rolled out the different factors and tips to consider when choosing the perfect rug size for living rooms, taking into consideration various sizes and layouts. You’ll soon be able to find the perfect fit area rug for any room size.

Factors to Consider For Living Room Rug Size

Living room woth a colorful rug

We don’t know about you, but nothing sounds more hair-pulling to us than ordering a breathtaking round rug to your house—just to roll it out and find that it isn’t the right size.

Save yourself (and your hair) the trouble by taking into account the size of the room and optimizing your furniture arrangement beforehand. This will ensure your rug won’t sink or swim in your living room layout.

The Living Room Size

“What size rug is right for my living room? is a common question among those looking to update their space with a new rug. Before even looking at rug sizes, measure the size of the living room you’re working with.

  • Medium to Large Rooms – When it comes to large rooms, you will want a larger rug or area rug that can anchor the space and create a focal point. According to design experts, the right size living room rug should generally cover around 70% of the floor space. For smaller rooms or a small living room, you can get away with a lower percentage and still achieve that cozy cove.
  • Petite to Medium Rooms – Smaller rooms aren’t going to follow this 70% rule, as a larger rug that reaches towards the wall can further shrink a small living room. A rug or a few small rugs under the coffee table will do the trick.

The Furniture Arrangement

Before you determine your rug size for living room, make sure that you’re content with the furniture arrangement. Here are some general pointers to guide you:

  1. Start by considering the focal point of the living room, such as a fireplace, television, or large window, and arrange your furniture around it.
  2. Keep in mind the traffic flow of the room and leave enough space for people to move around comfortably without leaving too much empty space.
  3. Avoid pushing all of your furniture up against the walls, as this can make the room feel cold and uninviting.
  4. Instead, create cozy conversation areas by grouping furniture together in a way that encourages socializing and relaxation. If you’re tight on space, make sure to leave a few inches between any couch and the wall.

Consideration of Rug Pattern and Color

When choosing the ideal rug size for your living room, it’s not just about the measurements; it’s also about the visual dynamics of pattern and color. The pattern and color of the rug can have a significant impact on the room’s ambiance and perceived size.

  • Bold Colors and Patterns: Employing a smaller rug with vivid colors or bold patterns can serve as an accent piece, complementing your furniture placement without overwhelming the space.
  • Neutral Tones for Spaciousness: A more extensive, neutrally colored rug can subtly define the area, optimizing rug placement to enhance the room’s dimensions and blend seamlessly with multiple rugs if used.

The Most Common Rug Sizes for Living Rooms

Living room with a rug

Now that your living room is in tip-top shape, let’s crunch some numbers for the perfect rug size. Although there will always be the occasional outlier, here are some of the most common rug dimensions along with their typical use to give you a taste of standard rug sizes you’ll encounter:

  • 2′ x 3′ – Small accent rug you can use to layer with other rugs
  • 4′ x 6′ – Small rugs suitable for a smaller living room
  • 5′ x 8′ – A versatile size for medium-sized living rooms
  • 8′ x 10′ – Ideal for a medium to large living room
  • 9′ x 12′ – Suitable for large, spacious living rooms
  • 12′ x 15′ – Large enough to cover most of the floor space in a grand living room

If you’re decorating a medium to large living room, start with 8′ x 10′ rugs, if not larger. If your living room is leaning towards petite, you likely don’t need to go any larger than 8′ x 10′.

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How to Visualize the Right Rug Size

For all you visual thinkers out there, we know it’s nerve-wracking to purchase a hefty rug without actually seeing how it lies in your space. Does the idea of learning how to decorate a living room intimidate you? Luckily, there are a few ingenious methods to see how different rug dimensions will interact with your furniture—no rug needed:

  • Tape it out – If you’re puzzling over what size rug to choose for your living room, whether it’s a small rug, a large area rug size, or something in between, use painter’s tape to mark out potential dimensions on your floor. This trick is particularly helpful when deciding between runner rugs for hallways or the perfect rectangular rug for your living space.
  • Try a tapestry – Another way to visualize how a rug will fit in your space is to grab a tapestry or bed sheet. Fold it to mimic various rug sizes or even the specific rug sizing you have in mind, and position it beneath your furniture. This method gives a tangible sense of how an area rug size will look.
  • Rearrange the furniture – A rug’s dimension isn’t always the culprit. If you’re already stuck with a rug that you’ve ordered but something feels off, take to flirting with the furniture placement before you attempt a rug return. Move the furniture legs fully on, partially off, or completely off the rug, tweak the angles, or even add some smaller pieces like a side table.

5 Key Ways to Find the Perfect Rug for Your Living Room

Living Room with a rug

Although we’re all for the occasional breaking of the status quo, there are a few must-dos when it comes to selecting and rolling out your rug. Rugs are living room essentials, so it’s important to get it right. If you want to make your rug search as seamless as possible, we encourage you to follow them.

  1. Choose a Rug Wider than Your Sofa: Select a rug that’s wider than your sofa to maintain a cohesive look in your large room, avoiding a sense of imbalance. For rooms tight on space, choose a round rug at least a foot wider than the coffee table to optimize space.
  2. Maintain Space Between Rug and Walls:  Maintain a minimum of 18 inches of space between the rug and the room’s walls. This ensures your floor space is visible, contributing to a proportionate and balanced room. Always measure your room’s floor space when considering a large rug to fill the area.
  3. Be Cautious with Overlapping Rugs: Be mindful of not overcrowding your room with overlapping rugs. To add depth without clutter, layer rugs of varying textures and tones, ensuring the smaller rug leaves enough space around it, ideally a foot of free space on each side.
  4. Consider Rug Maintenance: Consider how often you’d like to clean your rug. Living room rugs with darker tones or patterns and a lower pile are more durable and easier to maintain, showing less dirt over time.
  5. Furniture Leg Placement on the Rug: In a large living room, place at least the front legs of your furniture on the rug to tie the seating area together. With extra large rugs, you have the flexibility to place all your furniture on the rug, which can be especially effective in very large living rooms, creating a sense of visual harmony.

Popular Rug Styles for Living Rooms

Living Room with a rug

Now that we know what size area rug for living room it’s time for the fun part—how to choose a rug for living room. With your dimensions down pat, take a gander at this breakdown of a few rug styles we think are all the rage:

  • The printed area rug – The advantageous area rug can create a cozy and inviting atmosphere in any living room. From minimalist art prints to a solid, bright color, area rugs are the chameleons of the rug world.
  • The Persian rug – Persian rugs are timeless and elegant, and they can add a touch of eclectic sophistication to a large room. Look for rugs with intricate designs and bold colors, and you have yourself a stunning centerpiece in your living room.
  • The shag rug – Shag rugs are perfect for gathering spaces, as they add a plush and comfortable feel to the room. Opt for a shag rug with a thick pile to create a luxurious and inviting atmosphere.

Revitalize Your Space with Society6

The right rug can truly be the foundation for a beautiful, inviting space that you’ll love for years to come. Knowing what size rug to use for the living room is the difference between a living room that’s haphazardly thrown together and one designed with careful style. With all of this rug formation in your back pocket, you’re sure to effortlessly select one or several rugs that speak to your style, making your living room hum with harmony.

At Society6, our rug collection offers a wide array of rugs that defy the norm. And with each purchase supporting the work of international independent artists, there’s no better way to find a rug that not only fits in your space but is one-of-a-kind. Find the perfect rug size and style today.