How to Choose the Best Area Rug for Your Living Room

Area rugs can add character to living rooms, and they are frequently more practical and adaptable than wall-to-wall carpeting.

However, there are a few things about sizing, colors, and patterns that you need to keep in mind if you’re going to choose one or two area rugs for your living room.

Choose an area rug that complements the decor and is proportionate to the size of the room. If you choose the wrong area rug for your space you can end up with a living room that looks incomplete or full of awkwardly contrasting colors and patterns.

Here are some suggestions for selecting the ideal area rug for your living room.

Area Rug Size

When decorating your living room, stay away from selecting an area rug that is too small. The following common sizes are available for area rugs:

  • ⬥ 6×9 feet
  • ⬥ 8×10 feet
  • ⬥ 9×12 feet
  • ⬥ 10×14 feet

Of course, if you need a specific size for your living room, you can always order one. The general rule for placing an area rug in a living room, no matter what size you select, is as follows:

  • ⬥ Each side of an area rug should have 4 to 8 inches of bare floor bordering it. Additionally, the area rug should be supported by each leg of your furniture. It’s acceptable to have the front legs of large upholstered pieces on the rug and the back legs off if this is not possible. 
  • ⬥ An incomplete placement of sofa, chair, and table legs on an area rug can give the room an unfinished or unbalanced appearance.

Tip: To create a custom-sized area rug, you can have a carpet shop add binding to a piece of broadloom for you. This kind of custom-size rug is frequently very cost-effective and accessible.

Color and Pattern

A living room’s overall appearance is significantly influenced by the flooring. When selecting an area rug, it’s helpful to keep the following ideas in mind:

  • ⬥ The ideal way to add color and interest to a space with neutral furniture and walls is by selecting a patterned area rug. 
  • ⬥ Compared to a solid area rug in a lighter color, a patterned area rug in a darker color can better conceal dirt and spills. 
  • ⬥ A neutral area rug in a solid color can complement an eclectic space without competing with the textured, vibrant decor.
  • ⬥ When choosing an area rug, use one or two colors from your decor to create a vibrant and colorful space. This will prevent the colors from competing with one another and creating a visually cluttered space.

Material and Texture

Consider the feel you want the rug to have underfoot and how much upkeep you’re prepared to give your area rug. For a luxurious look and feel, you can find lovely silk or leather area rugs, but they might be difficult to maintain. 

When looking for area rugs, you’ll frequently come across the following materials and textures:

  • Wool: An area rug made of this natural fiber gives a space added coziness and warmth. Wool is a resilient and long-lasting fiber that can resist stains and it bounces back after compression. Wool area rugs can be expensive and require expert cleaning.
  • Sisal and jute: These are examples of natural materials that are made from strong plant fibers and can be cool and smooth on the feet. (Jute is softer on the feet; sisal may be more durable.) Natural fiber area rugs frequently have neutral colors, despite the fact that many of them have patterns dyed on top. Spot cleaning with a little water is necessary for natural fibers.
  • Cotton: Cotton is a common material for flat-woven area rugs, which gives a living room a calming and relaxed atmosphere. Cotton area rugs can be machine-washed depending on size and have a lighter feel and texture, making them perfect for summer living.
  • Synthetic rugs (polyester and nylon): Polyester and nylon area rugs have a lot in common. A nylon area rug will last longer than a polyester one. However, both have a wide range of patterns and colors, are stain- and fade-resistant, and are made of fibers that are simple to care for.
  • Viscose: This man-made fiber, also known as rayon, can be created to resemble silk or wool in terms of luster and appearance. Although it sounds ideal and is unquestionably inexpensive, the fiber isn’t as strong or stain-resistant as you might prefer for a living room with a lot of activity.
  • Acrylic: The likelihood that a synthetic hide or a faux fur area rug is made of acrylic fibers is high. A faux sheepskin area rug, for instance, might be made of acrylic and polyester. Faux fur rugs might need to be hand washed, but acrylic is washable and inexpensive.
  • Hides: You’ve probably seen expensive real cowhide area rugs that look great in living rooms. One of the more resilient area rugs you can buy is one made of hides. Additionally, they don’t require a lot of maintenance or frequent deep cleanings over the generally lengthy lifespan of a cowhide area rug. They also resist mold and dust.

Multiple Rugs

Layering area rugs on top of one another can further define or add interest to your space. You can also use multiple rugs to cover wall-to-wall carpeting. 

Layering is a great way to incorporate more color and pattern into eclectic and boho decor. To change up the look of your room quickly, you can place a seasonal area rug over your primary area rug. 

For instance, in the colder months, layer a thick, fluffy faux fur area rug under a larger sisal or jute area rug. To create a lighter look that is cooler on your feet, swap out the fur and layer a flatweave over the larger natural fiber rug in the warmer months.

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