Tips and Ideas for Living Room Rugs and How to Use Them

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A rug can be one of the most important factors when decorating your living room. The right rug can determine the colors and accents, shades and tones, style of furniture and overall aesthetics of your living room layout. It can be the centerpiece, the main factor that ties the entire living room together. Selecting the perfect rug for your living room floor may seem like a daunting task, so here are a few tips and ideas to help with the decision making process.

Shopping Tips

Before you set out in search for a living room rug, determine what you plan on using it for. Do you want the rug to be the focal point of your living room, or do you want to use the rug to accentuate your living room furniture? Once you've determined the purpose for your rug, measure the dimensions of your living room for reference. You should also bring pictures, fabrics and materials you plan on using in your living room to help you choose the rug you really want.


When shopping for a rug, it is important to determine how much you are willing to spend in accordance to your decorating budget. It may seem a bit impractical to have an exquisite, Persian rug in a home void of any furniture. The furniture you already own, or plan to purchase, can help determine how much you should spend on a rug. Typically, the rug selected for your living room should be similar to the price of your main sofa.

Size and Arrangement

Once you have determined how much you are willing to spend on a rug for your living room, the next step is to determine the size of your rug and how you would like to arrange it. If you want to make your rug the focal point of the room, select a large rug arranged in the center of the living room layout. This works best for living rooms furnished and arranged for one function like an entertainment room or conversation area. The rug should be large enough to allow at least one-third of the front end of your furniture to rest on.

You can also try dividing a living room with a larger space into sections by using several rugs that are smaller in size and arranging them in specific areas. This would enable you to designate areas for various functions like an area for entertaining guests, one for studying, a conversation area or even multiple conversation areas. When using multiple rugs in the living room, try and link them by color, style and material. The rugs do not need to be an exact match, just similar enough to give the living room a unified look. Like living rooms with a single, large rug, make sure there is enough space on each rug to allow at least one-third of the front end of your furniture to rest on.

Living Room Rugs Living Room Rugs


Selecting the appropriate color for your rug is an important part of your living room design because it can set the mood of the room while displaying your style and creative tastes. Rich, dark colored rugs can give off a feeling of warmth and a sense of coziness, while more vibrant colors can be used to liven up your living room. Whatever color or colors you decide on, keep in mind that the color of your rug can be used as either a focal point, with a color that contrasts with your furniture, or can tie the room together, with a color that matches with your furniture. One of the great things about rugs is they can be easily changed if you ever decide to go with a different color scheme for your living room.

Design and Pattern

The design and pattern of your rug is just as important as the color. Traditional and classical patterns and designs, like Oriental rugs, are suitable for conservative furniture. Contemporary and modern patterns and designs are more abstract, typically influenced by contemporary art. They usually contain geometrical shapes, and are better matched with contemporary and modern furniture. Rugs with floral patterns match well with furniture using similar patterns, typically found in bright living rooms with a garden view.

Other Ways to Use Rugs

A rug in the living room does not necessarily have to be on the floor. Smaller rugs are great decorations when hung on the wall as art. If you decide to use a rug as a piece of wall-art, use tacks or construction staples along the outer edge of the rug, or anything that isn't easily seen and won't ruin the pattern and design of the rug. Rugs can also be used as upholstery or throws for your sofa, especially Moroccan rugs, which are soft and durable. Kilim rugs are flat and interwoven making them suitable for table covers.

Last Updated: July 21, 2011
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About Matthew Cenzon Matthew Cenzon has been writing for numerous publications since 2003, covering topics ranging from health and nutrition to the real estate industry. He is one of the contributing writers for, and is a college graduate of the University of California, Riverside, with degrees in English and Asian literature. Matthew’s interest in interior design and home improvement stem from his background working in the residential real estate appraisal business for over five years, where he witnessed many of the Do's and Don'ts of home decor.

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