Sizing Guide: How Big Should a Living Room Rug Be?

When it comes to decorating your living room, choosing the right size of rug can be a challenge. Not only does a rug add beauty to a space, but it also serves a functional purpose....

When it comes to decorating your living room, choosing the right size of rug can be a challenge. Not only does a rug add beauty to a space, but it also serves a functional purpose. It can anchor the seating arrangement, define the space, and provide comfort underfoot. However, getting the size of the rug wrong can throw off the entire look and feel of the room. In this article, we will provide a sizing guide to help you determine the perfect size for your living room rug.

Get boho Fall living room decor ideas featuring neutral colors like cream, gold, and brown paired with a teal sofa. I find that a 9x12 foot rug or a 9x9 foot rug looks best in our living room. It anchors the space, and all of the front furniture legs can rest on it.

I'm a huge fan of area rugs. They are not only easier to clean compared to wall-to-wall carpet, but you can also swap them out seasonally or whenever you're ready for a change in your home decor. From fluffy shag rugs to wool rugs to bright and colorful accent rugs, I've used them all, and today I'm excited to share my tips and tricks for measuring and choosing the right living room rug.

Measure your Living Room

To start, you need to measure the size of your living room. This will give you an idea of how much space you have to work with. Take the measurements of the length and width of your room and write them down. This will come in handy when you are deciding on the size of the area rug.

I find it helpful to draw out my living room to scale on graph paper or use an online floor planner program like Floor Planner or Sketchup. This allows me to add my furniture pieces with their correct dimensions and play with different area rug sizes before making a purchase. Another visual trick is to use painter's tape to outline the size of the rug you're considering on your living room floor.

How big should your living room rug be? In our vacation rental, we chose an 8x10 foot rug that tucks under all the front legs of our oversized sectional sofa.

Determine the Look You Want

The size of the rug you choose will also depend on the look you want to achieve. The rug can either be the focal point of your living room or complement the other elements in the room.

If you want the rug to be the focal point, go for a larger size that will fill up most of the room. This will give your space a more opulent and cozy look, making it feel larger. On the other hand, if you don't want the rug to outshine the other elements in the room, opt for a smaller rug that will only cover the seating area.

My personal preference is that large rugs almost always look better, but this is a matter of taste. Regardless, a general rule of thumb is to leave at least 24 inches between the edge of the rug and your walls.

Here's a mockup of my living room with a 5x7 foot area rug. This is too small for my 14x20 foot room, and all of the front furniture legs aren't sitting on the rug. Therefore, everything feels disconnected and cold. Here's a mockup of my living room with a 5x7 foot area rug. This is too small for my 14x20 foot room, and all of the front furniture legs aren't sitting on the rug. Therefore, everything feels disconnected and cold.

Here's a mockup of my living room with a 9x12 foot area rug. This rug is a much better size for my living room. All of the front furniture legs are on the rug, and there's a minimum of 2' of bare floor around the rug. This right-sized rug makes my seating arrangement feel cohesive, and the whole space feel cozy and inviting. Here's a mockup of my living room with a 9x12 foot area rug. This rug is a much better size for my living room. All of the front furniture legs are on the rug, and there's a minimum of 2' of bare floor around the rug. This right-sized rug makes my seating arrangement feel cohesive, and the whole space feel cozy and inviting.

Consider the Seating Arrangement

The seating arrangement in your living room is another factor that will determine the size of the rug. The rug should be large enough to anchor the seating arrangement and make it feel cohesive.

Ideally, all the legs of your furniture, including your accent chairs, sofa, loveseat, etc., should be on the rug. However, if you don't have the budget for a larger rug, it's acceptable to have only the front legs of the furniture on the rug.

Choose the Right Shape

Lastly, consider the shape of your living room when choosing your rug. A rectangular rug works best for a rectangular or square living room, while a circular or oval rug is ideal for under a round coffee table or to go underneath curved furniture. However, this isn't set in stone, and you can always mix things up as long as the rug suits the size of your living room. You could even experiment with irregular rug shapes like cowhide rugs.

In our second vacation rental, we could get away with a 6x9 foot rug because the tiny living room is only 10x10 feet. In our second vacation rental, we could get away with a 6x9 foot rug because the tiny living room is only 10x10 feet.

Room Size vs Rug Size Chart

To make your life a little easier, I've created a chart featuring common living room sizes and the most common rug sizes that may look best in your space. Keep in mind that this is a general chart, and there are other elements you will have to consider, such as furniture placement and budget.

I don't recommend anything smaller than a 6x9 foot rug for most living rooms. However, a 5x7 area rug might work for a very small space. It could tuck between the front legs of a couch and a couple of chairs.

Need more rug help?

If you're in need of a new rug, two of my favorite affordable sources are Amazon and Ruggable. They offer a wide range of options for the living room, bedroom, dining room, runners for the kitchen or hallway, and more. You can check out my favorite patterns and choices on their websites.

Want to learn more room measurement rules of thumb?

If you're interested in learning more about room measurement rules of thumb, I have a free home decor measurements cheat sheet available. It includes guides for living rooms, bedrooms, and dining rooms, helping you design gorgeous rooms with the right proportions and tricks to make your home look amazing.

Choosing the right size of rug for your living room can be daunting, but with these tricks, you'll be able to pick the perfect one for your space. I hope you found this sizing guide helpful, and if you buy a rug after reading this article, I'd love to see it. Share your photos on social media and tag me @thediymommy so that I can cheer you on! Happy decorating!

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