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How to Match Your Rug and Sofa - 10 Key Tips

For a balanced living room, it is important to ensure that the colours throughout the room flow and this is particularly true of your sofa and rug.

As two of the biggest items in the room, they not only need to match, but also be the right size to ensure interior harmony. We know however that this is easier said than done and the pressure is high to ensure you get the perfect pairing!

Luckily, we’re on hand to relieve the stress as we give you our top 10 key tips to matching your rug and sofa.

Key Takeaways

  • Utilise textures, patterns, colour, and shape to create visual interest and contrast.

  • If in doubt, keep things neutral or tonal.

  • Keep size in mind to avoid your living room from looking disjointed.

How to Choose a Rug for your Living Room Sofa

1. Identify a Common Colour

Probably the simplest option to pair your rug and sofa together is to match up the colour. You’ll want to ensure you get as close a match as possible otherwise the sofa on your rug can look off and create a disjointed finish within your living room.

Image showing a woman, working on an Apple Macbook, sitting on a grey sofa on a hardwood floor. Surrounding the sofa you can see a tan-coloured sisal rug, a brown chest of drawers, grey walls and a wooden coffee table that looks to have been stained.

2. Tonal

For something more delicate, stick to the same tones. Going for a tonal look with colours from the same family will help to create a visually cohesive space that is subtle but without it blending into one.

Image showing a dark living room with a cream sofa, cream sisal rug and two static chairs. This is all placed on a dark wooden coffee table.

3. Size and Scale

Don’t underestimate the importance of size! Your rug needs to be appropriately sized as if the proportions are off it can throw out the balance of the entire living room. It is always safest to go bigger than your sofa. As general guidance, you will want your rug to be placed behind the front legs of the sofa, extending beyond each side by at least 30cm. You will also want a decent border around all sides of your coffee table.

Image showing a modern living room featuring a large, grey, modern rug, a flat-screen TV that has been mounted on the wall and a large cream sofa.

4. Textures

Introducing textures helps to keep your living room interesting, particularly if you use contrasting ones for your rug and sofa. A great way to create this is to use a soft, shaggy rug with a more structured couch material such as tweed.

If you want a more luxurious feel to your living space that still adds texture, use a silk rug. The woven nature of silk rugs adds a gentler contrast than a shaggy one but is also less hardwearing, so probably not suitable for a space with kids or pets!

Image showing a blue, velvet, sofa placed on a blue and white traditional-style rug. Also on the coffee table you can see a white, granite themed circular coffee table. The room is set within cream walls and there are two landscape photographs on the wall.

5. Match Rug and Cushions

It isn’t essential to match the colour of your sofa to your rug to create a harmonious living space. You could introduce tones from your type of rug into other soft furnishings, such as cushions or curtains.

We would recommend selecting a rug first and ensuring that, even if it isn’t a colour match for your sofa, it still works well with it. Then, pick out key colours from the rug to match your cushions.

Image showing a woman, sitting on a white shaggy rug, folding clothes. Alongside the rug you can see a cream sofa with cream cushions placed on it that match the rug. The room is cream and there are panelled walls to add texture to the space.

6. Layers

Layering rugs provides an opportunity to introduce various colours from around your living room as well as that of your couch. Keep a neutral toned, solid colour rug underneath and add a patterned one to the top to play with patterns, but always make sure they both work with your sofa.

Image showing a living room with a kitchen island in the corner of the photo. Within the photo you can see an emerald green velvet sofa, a pale blue and white rug and a circular glass coffee table. A glass of red wine is also seen within the photo.

7. Keep Neutral

When you place your sofa on a rug, you want to know the two will work well together. If you haven’t had a chance to match a settee to your rug, then opt for neutral tones.

A hessian rug is a great example of a neutral rug for a living room. It offers texture and a natural tone that will work well with all shades. You can then introduce colour with accessories and cushions which will make things easier to switch around if you ever fancy a change of scheme!

Image showing a modern living room with neutral colours. You can see a grey sofa, a grey and white patterned rug and a glass circular coffee table. The room also features grey walls and dark blue patterned curtains.

8. Go Bold

Don’t fear injecting some colour into your living room by introducing a rug in a bold shade. Keep your sofa neutral, think greys or beiges, and place a statement rug on the floor for a joyful addition that brings your living space to life. Tie in accessories to ensure the room remains balanced.

9. Patterns

Using a patterned living room rug can be a playful way of injecting colour, depth, and dimension to the space. You should try to pick out the colour of your sofa as a secondary colour in your rug to ensure they work together, with the third colour matching throws, cushions, and blinds or curtains.

10. Shapes

Traditionally, the best rug for a living room, and the go-to shape for many is a large, rectangular shape, which when paired with your sofa will prevent the room from feeling fragmented.

If you want to create a casual, fun space mix things up with a circular rug but make sure it is appropriately sized to your space. Circular shapes are particularly great as small living room rugs because they create the illusion of space.


When it comes to how to choose a rug for your living room, matching it to your sofa is key to a perfectly balanced, well-designed living room. Whilst there are no set rules on the rug you choose, you should consider aspects such as colour, pattern, texture, size, and shape to ensure your space is cohesive and, most importantly, enjoyable to sit in! And if you're worried about getting your sofa dirty, you should check out this fantastic sofa cleaning service.

If you are wondering when to place your furniture on a new rug then read this fantastic blog post!

  • Posted On: 5 December 2022

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