When it comes to styling a living room rug during home décor projects, there is a lot of information online, and it can become quite confusing for people to find the answers they are looking for. We here at Land of Rugs aim to change that with this post, the ultimate guide on how to style a living room rug!

In this blog post, we will talk through some of the main ways to style a living room rug, what materials should you consider and the pros and cons of each material.

So, sit back, relax and grab yourself a cup of tea or other drink of choice! You're going to learn some really useful information in this post!

Quick Tip: If you have a small living space, there are plenty of things you can do to make the space feel a little bigger! Karen Post, from Home Frosting, has some brilliant ideas on this topic which you can find on her blog post, how to make a small space feel larger.

Ways to Position a Living Room Rug

Depending on your design preferences, the shape of your living room and the furniture you have placed in the room already, there will be a number of different ways to position a rug in the living room.

What is also going to come into play is the size of rug you are looking at! Are you looking at an area rug to cover almost the entire room? Or maybe you're looking for a smaller rug to compliment furniture in your room already! Whatever you need, there's a design style to cover it here!

Style Number 1: Expansive

large cream rug placed in a living room, with a corner sofa, coffee table and footstool placed on top of the rug
Image Credit: The Spruce

Easily one of the most popular styles when it comes to placing a living room rug on the floor of your home, especially for those with hardwood flooring like the stunning home shown in the image above. The expansive style creates the look and feel of a carpeted floor and adds a much needed layer of comfort to the home!

Whether you're looking to really hone in on the feeling of a carpeted floor to replace the hardwood flooring in your living room, or you are looking to use a shaggy area rug to add comfort and warmth to your living room, this style is going to be perfect for you.

There are a few rules you need to consider when it comes to using this style though, with the 'golden rule' being you need to ensure the rug you purchase is large enough to leave a significant border around the furniture in your living room to really ensure the style suits. No one likes the feeling of a rug looking cramped in a room!

Style Number 2: Statement

large, shaggy grey, charcoal and cream rug placed as a statement rug in a living room with hardwood flooring

Again, this is another really popular style people love to use when styling a living room rug in their space! Using the statement method makes sure that the rug used in the space, whatever style, material or size it is, is used as the centrepiece of the room it is placed in!

For example, some people may choose to use a circular rug in the middle of their chairs. Some people may choose to use a smaller rectangular rug in between the sofa and armchair they have in their space. Another, admittedly this is an out there suggestion, some people may choose to hang a rug on the wall to really make a statement with their interior design! But you don't need to do this, and it is rare to see.

When it comes to the rules of the statement style, there really isn't much to speak about. Apart from the 'unwritten rules' of ensuring the colour isn't too garish for your existing living room décor, and choosing a rug material that will hold up to its use, you really cannot go wrong with this style.

The one thing to mention here is to ensure nothing is placed on the rug itself. Remember, the rug is being used as the statement piece of the design and not being used to accent any pieces of furniture. We will come back to this a little later in the article.

Style Number 3: Accent

cream and black small moroccan rug with tassels placed on hardwood flooring in a living room.
Image Credit: Real Homes

Another way to style a rug in your living room is using the accent style. One of the main reasons someone would use the accent style to style a living room would be if they have a particular piece of furniture they want the rug to accent!

For example, many people use sofas as the statement piece in their living room, whether they are looking to make a statement of a standard 2-seater sofa or a beautiful corner sofa in their room, rugs can be used as the perfect accent to this!

The main rule of this style is to ensure the rug is around 10-15% smaller than the piece of furniture you are trying to make a statement of. This is to ensure that the rug doesn't take the place of the furniture you are accompanying! If you are looking to purchase a rug as a statement piece, the above style (statement) is perfect for you and you should absolutely give this piece a read if you haven't already!

Style Number 4: Cohesion

small sparkly rug placed on hardwood flooring in a living room with a coffee table placed in the centre, a red armchair and taupe corner sofa placed on either side.
Image Credit: Homes and Gardens

Quite possibly the least known style on this list, but then again, quite possibly the design style that is used the most in homes, especially homes in the UK! The cohesion design style allows you to use a living room rug to bring all of your existing furniture and décor together. Often, a rug is used in the centre of a space, with furniture placed both on and around the rug!

Imagine a 'traditional living room' design, you most likely have a rug in the centre of a room, a coffee table placed on top of the rug in the very centre of a space, with sofas and armchairs placed around the rug. This is why we say cohesion is probably the most used style of them all when it comes to placing a rug in your living room. This is the cohesion style in the truest sense of the word.

The rules for using this style are subject to a lot of interpretation! For example, you can choose to place the front legs of a sofa onto the rug, or you can choose to leave all 4 legs of the sofa off the rug.

This really depends on what you are looking for with the overall style of your living room, and what you are prepared to tolerate with your rug as placing furniture legs on your rug could cause some small areas of damage in the long term. Therefore, it's not recommended to place designer rugs underneath chair legs such as Katherine Carnaby rugs, Louis de Poortere rugs or Calvin Klein rugs.

Choosing the Best Material for your Living Room Rug

When it comes to choosing the material for your living room rug, you have a number of different options available to you. You can choose from a wide array of natural materials such as wool, bamboo, sisal, jute or sheepskin. You could also choose between some popular synthetic materials such as polypropylene, polyester, viscose or nylon.

The material you should choose for your living room rug will all depend on certain things like how the rug is going to be used, what look and feel you desire and the quality of the rug you are looking for. Of course, you also need to ensure the budget suits you too.

In this next section of the guide, we will go through some of the above things you need to consider in more detail.

Where will your Living Room Rug be Placed?

cream patterned rug placed in a living room on a hardwood floor with a white corner sofa and gold coffee table placed on the rug
Image Credit: Emily Henderson

Where you place your living room rug is one of the most crucial elements in deciding which material of rug is going to be best suited to you.

Is it going to be placed in an entry where it will receive a lot of foot traffic? Will it be used as a statement piece in your living room and receive very little foot traffic? Is it going to be placed on the floor or on a wall? And the final question, is there going to be any furniture placed on the rug?

If you are expecting a lot of foot traffic on a rug, or there is going to be furniture with a heavy weight placed on the rug at regular times, it's always best to choose a synthetic fibre for this such as polypropylene or polyester as these are less prone to damage with use. Avoid viscose though as this can shed fibres more easily with heavy wear.

If the rug is going to receive very little use and is going to be used as more of a statement piece then it is more than acceptable, even encouraged, to go with a more natural fibre such as wool for your floor such as wool!

However, if you really love the look and feel of a natural material rug for your living room but you are looking for the rug to be placed in a high traffic area, bamboo is always a good option as it is less prone to damage with regular use, but be wary, it will not be as comfortable as a wool rug.

What Look and Feel do you Need?

multi-coloured Persian designed rug placed in a carpeted living room with a coffee table and corner sofa placed on the rug
Image Credit: Chicago Tribune

The next thing to think about when it comes to deciding on the material you need for your living room rug. Typically, you can break this down into a few different use cases:

  • If you are looking for a rug to add a lot of style and substance into your home, but the area gets a lot of foot traffic, you are going to be best suited with a synthetic material such as polypropylene or polyester.
  • If you are looking for a rug to add style to your room and the room does not get a lot of foot traffic, then you are more than welcome to go with a natural material such as wool or silk!
  • If you really want a natural look and feel in your room, and the area gets a high amount of foot traffic then you would be best choosing a material such as sisal, jute or bamboo.
  • If you really want a natural look and feel in your room and the area gets a relatively low amount of foot traffic, then wool can still be used in this scenario.

Quality and Budget

To end this blog post, we're going to talk about possibly the easiest thing to decide when it comes to styling a rug in your living room! The quality you are after and the budget you are working with.

Generally, synthetic fibre rugs will always be cheaper than the natural fibre options. for example, a shaggy polyester rug is going to cost less than a shaggy wool rug! So if you are working to a tight budget, then it is best to choose a synthetic fibre rug. Likewise, if you have a larger budget to spend, you definitely want to consider a natural fibre rug as the quality of these is unmatched.

When you are interested in quality over budget, natural fibre rugs will be the way to go for you. As high-quality synthetic rugs are common nowadays, nothing will ever beat the look and feel of a natural fibre wool rugs. Although these will come at a higher expense, it is worth it in the end!

So there you have it, the ultimate guide on how to style a living room rug! I hope you enjoyed the read, and please feel free to give us a call on 01332 294 787 to discuss the article or speak to a team member about our fantastic array of living room rugs for sale!