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How To Choose The Perfect Living Room Rugs

How To Choose The Perfect Living Room Rugs

An area rug in your living room adds a real dash of personality. As bright or as elegant as you choose, a living room rug is a perfect opportunity to express yourself through interior design. All the alluring it is, a living room area rug is also an incredibly practical addition to your living room.

Rugs for living room truly define the term,’ multi-purpose’. Not only are they a way to express yourself, but also add to the color and texture of the room. Not to mention the warmth and the comfort that a rug can add to an otherwise hard-tiled floor.

An aspect of living room rugs that is often ignored is their impact on one’s health. Firstly, the rugs ensure that the floor is lighter upon your feet. They also absorb sound (including echoes), hence warranting that the sounds are kinder on your ears and much more pleasant too. Certain fibers also curtail allergies. All in all, you have a decorative accessory that does more for your health than a lot of other equipment.

Most importantly though, a rug brings your furniture together and defines seating areas. It can delineate different parts of the room, and you may decide you need more than one area rug to help achieve this. Plus - it has to cope with the daily demands of your household in the room that’s the center of the home.

The unique demands of living room rugs

Your area rug is going to be busy! Before you start to choose your living room rug, you’ll need to think about what functions it needs to fulfill, and whereabouts in the space it needs to sit.

As we’ve already briefly mentioned, one of your new rug’s main functions is to separate areas in your living space. An area rug naturally creates a cozy space, especially if the rest of the floor is un-carpeted.

Therefore, we use the rug to mark out the sociable seating area where we want people to congregate. 

As well as creating “islands” in a larger room, rugs and hallway runners can also be used to direct traffic – which routes do you want people to take around your room? Both family and guests will automatically walk around rugs rather than across them, so you can define pathways in the most convenient places.

And let’s be honest – a living room area rug has to look great. This is the room that most of your guests will see. While style is one metrics that require consideration, size is another. This is not the room for cutting corners. Besides, as it’s a lively and active place, a bargain rug may not be up to the job

As well as setting the style standard for your home, a living room area rug has to be durable. If you have kids and pets, your rug will definitely take a pounding!

So living room area rugs need to add personality, define areas of the room, add warmth, and cope with the daily rigors of dogs and kids... That’s a big ask for any piece of soft furnishing.

Here’s our guide to making sure you choose a living room area rug that ticks all those boxes.

What style of a living room area rug should I go for?

This is a personal choice. Great area rugs for living room are an investment that will last for years, so it’s important that you really love the rug you buy. However, before you dive in and make a purchase, take some time to think about what design of rug you’d really like.

What sort of living room do you have? Think about what else is going on with your interior style. One way to look at it is to aim at creating a contrast. Typically a brightly colored rug tends to suite a dull room. Hence if your living room has calm and restful tones, you could choose a contrasting design and go for a bold pattern – or alternatively, go for a corresponding light and subtle rug.

On the contrary, if you have bold wallpaper or your couch is upholstered in a lavishly patterned fabric, then an intricately designed rug may seem a bit too much.

We’ll look at how color influences your rug choice in a moment.

A classic or contemporary area rug?

You need to ask yourself a couple of question. Firstly, is your signature style classic or contemporary? An antique Sootri rug would look just right in a traditionally styled room – imagine how its rich colors and detailed patterning would look in front of the fire.

Large living room rugs are perfect on polished wooden floors (but remember your rug pad! See our article on securing your rug). 

If you are a contemporary person, geometric design is a good option. The tribal pattern of this Kilim rug is a great choice for a modern room. Try one of our Ikat rugs, which have soft, abstract designs and come in muted modern shades.

Moving on, does your preferred rug style do justice to its surroundings? Using a modern rug alongside colorful surroundings is as absurd an idea as I have heard all year. If you are one of those individuals, prefer hiring a professional or get help from a friend.

But don’t feel too restricted, oriental rugs tend to suit both traditional and contemporary spaces. And god they do an exceedingly good job! Oriental rugs also add warmth and coziness to surroundings and are literally flawless.

Which item will take center stage?

Another important design question to ask is - do you want your rug to be a statement piece? What’s the star of your room at the moment? A grand piano? The fireplace? A painting? An architectural feature such as the window? Or, will the rug itself need to become a focal point for your room?

The answer to this question will influence your decision. If it’s not the main feature, it mustn’t be so bold that it will detract from the room’s A-listers. If it is to be a hero piece, then go for it!

A rectangular or round rug?

Imagine having bought a rug after through selection. Now, how to place rugs in the living room? This question merits quite a few factors-a few of which would be discussed later. One such factor is your focal point- do you want your rug to be a statement piece? What’s the star of your room at the moment? A grand piano? The fireplace? A painting? An architectural feature such as the window? Or, will the rug itself need to become a focal point for your room?

The answer to this question will influence your decision. If it’s not the main feature, it mustn’t be so bold that it will detract from the room’s A-listers. If it is to be a hero piece, then go for it!

What color area rug is right for my living room?

Most area rugs are patterned, so when we talk about the color of a rug, we’re focusing on the most dominant shade. This could be the background color or a shade that features prominently in the pattern.

Do you already have an accent color in your living room? For example, your main color scheme may be restful green tones, and your curtains or scatter cushions are in a brighter accent shade such as cerise.

In that case, cerise would be a great choice of color for your area rug (or choice of dominant color if your rug is a patterned one). Something like this overdyed pink rug would look amazing in this instance.

If you want to create a new accent color and aren’t sure which shade to go for, remember that opposites attract. For example, splashes of yellow or orange in an otherwise blue room make a great contrasting highlight.

If you’re not sure which colors work well as accents, use a color wheel and choose combinations of colors that are opposite each other.

A calm and neutral approach 

You may want your rugs for the living room to be more discreet, and in that case an accent color is not the right choice for you. If the area rug is mainly to provide warmth and comfort, go for neutral colors, or choose a color that blends well with your permanent floor or walls.

Another advantage of a more neutral rug is that it has a longer life if you decide to change the other colors in your room. If the rug has to outlive the other items, make sure it’s a versatile design.

A lovely, subtly shaded rug like this Beige and Ivory Peshawar Ziegler rug would add a touch of discreet luxury to your living room without taking over. If you have boldly-hued furniture such as a scarlet couch, or a statement item like a grand piano, a pale rug like this would set the piece off beautifully.

If your room is a blank canvas at the moment, why not let the rug call the shots? Simply choose the area rug that you love the most, and make it a focal point of your living room. 

Or, choose a rug of many colors and keep your options open! A patchwork rug gives you all sorts of gorgeously vivid colors that can inspire the design choices for the rest of your room.

What size of area rug will suit my living room?

The rug size depends upon the size of the room. So, how large should an area rug be in a living room? I don’t intend to generalize, but just remember a simple rule of hand. Always buy a rug that anchors all of or some parts of your furniture. This is concerned with proportionality and aesthetics. We’ve discussed this in further detail in our blog post about rug sizes. However, we’ll summarize the main points here, as there are some stylistic rules that apply whatever size space you’re looking at.

Should the furniture sit on the area rug?

When we talked of how to place area rugs in the living room, this is what we meant.  One of the most important decisions you’ll need to make when choosing a living room rug is whether the furniture will sit on it. The rug anchors your furniture by drawing certain items together, so the relationship between furniture and rug is a really crucial one.

There are four classic ways to position your furniture with your area rug:

  1. All your furniture – the couch, chairs, and any small tables – goes on the rug. You’ll need a generous sized rug for this – a 9” x 12” – these are one of the large living room rugs available in the market
  2. Some of the furniture goes on the rug. The couch is on the rug, but the side tables are on the floor. Go slightly smaller at 8” by 10”
  3. The furniture goes half on and half off the rug. The front legs of the couch and chairs are on the rug, and the back legs are off it. Just make sure that the colors and patterns don’t clash. Again, an 8” x 10” rug would suit this approach
  4. None of the furniture goes on the rug. A small rug is at the center of a grouping of furniture. Great for making the rug a focal point, or if you have a more compact space. Try a small but perfectly formed 4” x 6” rug

    Thinking about the room border

    If you are looking for a rug that covers most of the floor area, it’s important to get the proportions right with the border of the room. A border of 12” to 18” is considered a pleasing-sized gap between the rug and the skirting.

    However, if you have furniture placed around the walls (a sideboard or bureau) do you want these to be completely off the rug, or half on and half off? It’s worth thinking about this before you invest in a large rug.

    Rug – or rugs...?

    You may need more than one rug. If you are using area rugs to divide up a large space, there could be one in the seating area and another under a table, desk or grand piano, for example. You may also want to add a runner or two to direct the flow of movement through your space.

    A good way to create a really cozy area in your living room is to layer rugs. A smaller rug (possibly in a contrasting color or a different shape) on top of a large rug gives you a really luxurious finish. If you want to get this opulent look, choose the larger rug first to ensure that its border isn’t partially covered by the second rug.

    Trying it out for size

    A top tip for getting the size of area rug that feels right for you is to find an old bed sheet. Simply fold or pin it into various rug sizes, and lay it down on your living room floor. This will give you a great visual guide to how certain sizes of rug work with your furniture.

    If your floor allows, you can mark out areas with tape, and see how well the shape and size of your potential rug works. Leave the tape down for a day or two (if this won’t damage any floor finishes!) and “live with” the rug’s shape.

    Of course, you may already have an old rug lying around the house that you think is the right size – roll it up, pick it up, and try it out for size in the living room.

    Making sure your living room rug is durable

    And when I wrote of the ‘Unique Demands of Living rugs’, here is what I meant. While almost any rug works in your bedroom-even the robust ones- you need to be extra careful while buying one for your living room. Living room area rugs better are durable given the footfalls They also need to be dark in color, so as to avoid frequent cleaning. This problem resonates with the presence of children and pets. So, which carpet is best for a living room? You should be looking for a hard-wearing, aesthetically pleasing and a darkling heirloom and this brings us too:

    Hand-knotted rugs

    So, choose your rug based on its tough character as well as its delicate design. A hand-knotted rug is made by skilled artisans – but rather than making it more fragile because of its carefully-crafted manufacture, this process produces durable rugs. A hand-knotted rug is made on a specialized loom, with each knot tied by hand.

    When you think that a good quality rug can have 200 knots per square inch, you can appreciate the amount of care that went into its manufacture. Because of this, these individually-made rugs are of exceptional quality and can last for generations.

    Machine-made rugs can look good – but they simply don’t wear as well. In short, you get what you pay for. It’s false economy to buy a bargain only to have to replace it twelve months later.

    Looking after your living room area rug 

    Of course, even the best-made area rug can have problems if it’s not treated well. When you’re planning your rug purchase, think about the environment it’s going to live in.

    Sun can fade the vivid colors; so if your windows aren’t coated in UV protection or you don’t have low-e glass, think about the rug’s position in relation to daylight. Rotating the rug can at least ensure that any fading is more even.

    Also - watch out for the potential for spillages. Maybe don’t have a pale area rug under the table small kids eat at! Have a look at our Rug Care articles to find out more about dealing with stains and cleaning.

    If you have chewing puppies or scratching cats, the answer is training. It’s a shame to keep your four-legged friends away from this cozy corner of the room, so plan your pet behavior strategy before introducing this interesting new feature. 

    If it’s looked after, your children and maybe even their children will be gathering around your hand-knotted rug for years to come. It’s worth that investment.

    Choosing a living room rug based on your budget

    So, speaking of investment, is a hand-knotted rug much more expensive than a machine-made one? Rugs, like everything else you buy for your home, come in a range of prices.

    And, like all your other household items, the price changes depending on the quality. With a hand-knotted rug, you are paying for craftsmanship, care – and exceptional quality.

    So yes, you will pay a little more for a top-quality area rug; however, having made that initial investment, you shouldn’t have to replace your rug for a very long time, if at all in your lifetime.

    When a change isn’t as good as a rest

    Regularly changing a living room rug is a real hassle. You’ve chosen a rug, arranged your furnishings around it, and possibly even chosen your couch and chairs to complement it.

    You may have used one of its colors to inform your choices of paints and wallpapers. You’ve committed to this rug, and you’re not ready to change it for a while. If your rug doesn’t take the strain of everyday life, you won’t be happy... A poor quality rug can be false economy.

    If your budget is tight but you still want a long-lasting rug, check out some of our smaller pieces that come in at under $100.

    To summarize buying your living room area rug.

    We hope this guide has given you a few things to think about when ti comes to choosing the ideal rug for your living room or lounge. To summarize, before you buy your new area rug, ask yourself:

    • What is the style of your room? Is it classic or contemporary?
    • Do you have any statement pieces in your living room already, or is the rug to become a focal point?
    • What shape of area rug would work with your space?
    • What about color? Do you want your rug to pick up an accent color, be a bold style-setter, or provide a calm and neutral floor covering?
    • How much of your floor do you want to cover?
    • Is your furniture going to sit on the rug?
    • Do you think you need more than one rug to create the desired effect?
    • Do you want your rug to last?
    • What could cause damage to your rug and how can you mitigate these risks?
    • What is your budget for a new rug?

    But perhaps most importantly – choose a rug you love. After all, you spend a lot of time in your living room, and any area rug you choose needs to be just right for you and your family (including those four-legged friends!).

    Where to buy living room rugs?

    You can head to a local market store or you can but it online. With the former, you may need to choose from selective options and address the problem of moving the rug to your place. We would prefer buying the rug online.

    Yup, you guessed it right! Rugknots features one of the best collections of rugs suitable for your living room.  Most of our exquisite collection is up for grasp at discounts and we also offer a really flexible return policy.

    Our team is standing by to help you select the perfect Oriental rug from our collection - or to help you create a custom or monogrammed rug for your living room.

    To get started right now, feel free to browse our online shop for living room rugs, or  us about creating a bespoke rug to meet your precise requirements.



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