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8 Best Ways to Position a Rug in a Living Room

  • Area rugs
  • Living Room Ideas
  • Rugs
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Ed Hawes
patterned rugs

Adding personality, colour, style and warmth, rugs can help tie your whole living room together. But, it’s not as easy as just rolling it out on the floor and giving yourself a pat on the back for a job well done. It needs to be positioned in the right way to really make a positive impact.

So, if you’ve recently bought a rug for your living room and are struggling to position it correctly, we’ve compiled a list of eight ideas to help inspire you.

1. Only the Front Sofa Legs On the Rug

Corners of two grey armchairs with front legs on rug

Having just the front legs of your sofa or armchair placed on the rug is one of the most common rug positioning methods for the living room. This is because the rug connects multiple pieces of furniture together, creating a sense of good proportion and giving the room a complete look.

2. All Sofa Legs On the Rug

If you’ve got quite a large-sized rug, having all the sofa legs placed on the rug can be very effective in creating a put-together look for your living room. With ottomans and coffee tables also placed on the rug it’ll easily turn your space into a cosy haven.

3. No Sofa Legs On the Rug

Grey sofa in front of large grey rug

Of course, if you’ve bought a smaller rug to add some extra texture, a unique pattern or as a quick and easy way to add colour into your home, place it in line with your sofa and armchair with no legs or furniture touching it. This will really allow your rug to create a statement and stand out rather than blending in with your existing decor.

4. Leave 18 Inches of Floor Around the Rug

Leaving 18 inches of floor space around the rug has been a long-standing rule in the interior design industry. But, it’s important to remember that this rule may need to change depending on the shape and size of your room. The idea is to create traditional, equal proportions for a neat and symmetrical style.

5. Small Rugs for a Large Corner Sofa

Positioning a rug around a corner sofa can be a tricky task and we’d recommend choosing a smaller size rug to make it easier. Ideally, you want to centre your rug within the ‘L’ shape of your sofa, making sure there’s an even amount of space on each side of the rug and the sofa. However, you also have the opportunity to play around with it and create a more asymmetrical look or a visual square with other pieces of furniture.

6. Round Rugs for a Sectional Sofa

Room with winding staircase and two blue sofas with round grey rug and wooden coffee table

If you’re looking to do something a little different, round-shaped rugs can also work extremely well with sectional sofas - especially if you have a round coffee table too which can be placed on top of the rug. Round rugs work as they help break up the straight lines which can end up looking dull if overdone and add an interesting visual point to your room.

7. Combine Different Rugs

If you have quite a large space and more than one seating area in the same room, combining different rugs can be very effective in tying the room together. Or, if you’re a fan of the boho and maximalist look, why not try layering different rugs (providing they’re thin enough) for a truly distinct look.

8. Cover all Walking Areas

Living room with grey sofa and rug in front of window

Lastly, yet possibly the most important rule to remember, make sure your rug covers all the high-traffic walking areas. This is for both safety and comfort. If you have a lot of guests over you don’t want someone to trip or to be standing half on the rug and half off. Not only will this be uncomfortable for them but it can also cause some unusual wear patterns on the rug and your flooring too.

Looking for more decor style advice and inspiration? Read our guide on how to make a rented house feel like a home without annoying or upsetting your landlord.

Browse our range of contemporary, flat-packed sofas designed to suit every space.
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