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How to Choose Rugs for Living Room

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Often, choosing a rug can be almost an afterthought, after you have already decorated it. However, an area rug can be the main feature if you let it, tying the room together, and setting the base for the decor.

One of the biggest advantages of area rugs is that you can have the elegance of hardwood floors but still have warmth and softness underfoot. An area rug is easier to clean than wall-to-wall carpeting and is better for separating and visually segregating different areas.

With small rugs or a large area rug, you can add personality to a room. They can add elegance or casual comfort. However, knowing where to start is a challenge with all the options out there.

When decorating, you can either pick a dramatic feature rug, and fit the rest of the interior design with elements of the rug, or look for the perfect rug that coordinates your existing design. If your current decor features a few colors, a rug can bring all of them together. When rug shopping, create a mood board of samples of colors and fabrics from the room for comparison.

Get the Right Size Rug

Rug size is critical for your room. Because the area rug ties everything together, if the rug is too small, the room can feel smaller than it is, with a stingy, unwelcoming ambiance, or loose and scattered.

When determining rug size, consider the whole room. The area rug should be large enough that the front legs of the couch can fit on it completely, extending about a foot on each side. The coffee table should fit completely on it. Other furniture in the room should fit at least two legs on the rug. There can be exceptions to this general rule, such as irregularly-shaped rugs.

If all the furniture is on the rug, and no bare floor space is showing, the rug is too big. If you have beautiful hardwood floors, you will definitely want to leave at least a foot of space all around to show it. However, in general, go with the largest rug that fits.

Living Room Rug

Neutral, beige living rooms are currently trending. A neutral-colored rug with highlights works well with this; use a color from the rug pattern for a few accessories to match a cohesive scheme. You can also use a neutral rug like this Just Praying one, for a soothing, overall neutral color palette in the room. The texture helps maintain aesthetic interest.

If you like adding seasonal touches, such as lighter colors for summer and warm oranges and browns for fall, use a large neutral rug as a base and layer a small rug or two that you can change out.

Curves are fashionable right now, from tables to sofas and other features, with circular or wavy edges; round rugs are no exception to this trend. They work especially well with bay windows or similar areas.

Adjoined Dining Room Rug

In an open space home, or if your living room and dining room are adjoined, keeping a similar color scheme makes it harmonious, although you don’t have to have rugs and other elements exactly the same.

Avoid tripping hazards, especially in the dining area. Choose a low-pile rug, or one designed to lay flat. Pick one large enough to go around the table and extend a couple of feet around, so the chairs stay on it, even when pulled out. Match a round dining table with a round rug or a rectangular rug with an oval or rectangular table.

A durable rug is key in this area. Go for colors and patterns like this Old World Rug that won’t show crumbs, is antimicrobial, stain resistant, and easy to clean.

General Tips for Rugs

Avoid rugs that are the same texture as the furniture to avoid blandness.

Try layering rugs. Layering your living room rugs is especially great if you have beautiful but small, vintage rugs that aren’t big enough. Find a larger area rug in the same tones that will complement the smaller rug. You can create a fully layered look, with several rugs, building up from the largest to the smallest, trying different angles for the best effect.

Practical Considerations

A beautiful rug becomes a pain and less beautiful if it’s hard to clean and shows marks with the slightest use. When choosing rugs for high-traffic areas like front rooms, pick either a stain-resistant living room rug or one of the natural fiber rugs that don’t show dirt.

With children and pets, a washable rug is essential. You can use easy-cleaning outdoor rugs or indoor varieties that don’t require professional cleaning, which is more child and pet friendly.

A rug pad is helpful to protect from slipping and prevent dents and damage to the floor. Flat-laying, durable rugs are also helpful.

Patterned Rug

Avoid overwhelming a room; if you have a statement rug, this should be the feature of the room, keeping walls and furniture a solid color. Chevron rugs make a huge impact, while stripes are also dramatic and can fit both modern and traditional styles. You can usually go bolder with a large living room.

If you’re thinking of a bold rug like this Medicine Dark one, keep in mind the pattern direction when laying it.

Abstract art designs are very popular right now. They can bring exciting colors to otherwise muted spaces.

A geometric pattern, like this Cowboy Love rug, can be fun and perfect for a kids’ room. For bedrooms, centering a carpet under the bed is balanced and adds softness for the first steps in the morning. Rugs like this Bristal Mist one in soft, neutral tones, make for soothing bedroom rugs.

Finding a rug that is in the same color palette and fits your vision will ensure that your kitchen is one to remember. 

Find the Right Rug

Southwestern Rugs Depot prides itself on its craftsmanship. Only high-quality durable materials are used. Our area rugs are antimicrobial, easy to clean, and lie flat. They are ethically made, and environmentally friendly, because how we make them is important, too.


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