Can You Place An Area Rug Under The Coffee Table Only?

Can you place an area rug under just your coffee table? While traditional decor often features rugs extending under all furniture, what if you have a smaller rug you adore?

Luxurious contemporary living room with huge windows, gray sofa, and two wooden chairs, Can You Place An Area Rug Under The Coffee Table Only?

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Opinions on this are mixed.

Some experts say an area rug should at least cover the front legs of your sofa; however, many stylish designs feature just the coffee table on a smaller rug, showcasing some flexibility in modern decorating.

In this post, we’ll explore different rug layouts, discuss the role of living room rugs, and help determine the best rug size for your space. Keep reading for more insights!

Placing An Area Rug Under Your Coffee Table Only

This is a surprisingly controversial issue for some design aficionados. Some are horrified at the thought of a tiny rug centered under your coffee table, but others have no problem with it.

The naysayers feel it looks disproportional. But those who like the look have found ways to make it work. We’ve got some examples for you here.

Avoid A Trip Hazard

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Shaggy rug under a coffee table

Maybe you don’t want to worry about tripping on an area rug, and you like the look of a fun, shaggy rug. Placing it only under the coffee table gives you the look you want without worrying about the trip danger.

Fuzzy shag rugs are fun and soft, but they can be a trip hazard if not placed correctly. This one is the right size for going beneath a coffee table at 2 x 4 feet.

One Of A Kind Rugs

Heirloom rug under a coffee table

Perhaps you have a gorgeous antique rug that’s been passed down through your family for generations. You want it in the living room, but it won’t work as a full-area rug. This is another example of when this can work. 

Layered Rugs

Coffee table on a faux cowhide rug and woven carpet

Another thought is layering. If you have carpet rather than hardwoods, you could have a small rug beneath your coffee table.

Or you could have a larger area rug in a neutral color with something bright and cheery below your coffee table. In this case, an oddly shaped animal skin rug sits directly below the coffee table on top of another area rug.

This faux cowhide rug is an excellent piece for layering on top of a larger area rug. Its unique shape will highlight a beautiful coffee table.

Only The Coffee Table Sits On It

Large woven area rug with coffee table seating in the center

In this room, though the area rug is larger than the coffee table, the coffee table is the only furniture piece that sits on the rug.

This is an example of a slightly larger area rug used similarly. We find it very appealing, and this room looks beautiful.

This 3′ x 5′ jute rug is similar to the one in the room above. This is about the right size if you want something to house only your coffee table but extend out around it.

Why Have A Living Room Rug?

Modern luxurious contemporary living room with white painted walls, wooden flooring, and a light gray colored sectional sofa

Rugs serve a variety of purposes. They can dampen sound in a noisy space and add color to drab interiors. They can also add some cushion under bare feet.

In the living room, they can work for all these reasons. But they can also be used to define space. A rug in front of your couches signifies the seating arrangement.

But probably the main reason to have a living room rug is that they look beautiful. A living room rug can showcase your style and add depth to your design.

Should Couch Legs Rest On An Area Rug?

Luxurious contemporary living room with huge windows, gray sofa, and two wooden chairs, Can You Place An Area Rug Under The Coffee Table Only?

There is a common preconception that all furniture legs should rest on the area rug. But just like anything in design, this rule is made to be broken.

Though some people will rest all four couch legs on the area rug, you can also get away with only putting two legs on the area rug.

Interior of a gorgeous white themed living room with white curtains, beige colored sectional couch, and wooden laminated flooring

With this sectional, the rug only extends slightly beneath the pieces. It is not entirely under the sofa or the ottoman piece, and it works beautifully.

Modern dark interior of a contemporary living room with a dark leather sofa and a dark abstract sofa

If you have an unusually shaped rug like the rug in this living room, you may not have it under any of the larger furniture pieces, and that’s okay, too.

The thing about design is it is in the eye of the beholder. If it works for you, then it works!

Do Area Rugs Have Standard Sizes?

There are many standard sizes for rugs. Let’s take a look at them.

Runner Sizes

Runner rugs are long, narrow rugs that are perfect for use in high-traffic hallways. They are also great if you have a passageway behind your sofa.

The typical sizes for runner rugs are two to three feet wide and anywhere from six to fourteen feet long.

Small Area Rugs

Small area rugs can be used in kitchens, bathrooms, and compact apartments. These sizes may work anywhere you need a bit of cover but don’t have space for a vast rug.

4′ x 4′ square rugs are popular, as are 4′ round rugs. You can also choose a 3′ x 5′ rectangle or a kidney-shaped rug for the doorway.

Living Room Rug Sizes

The most common sizes of rug for living room arrangements are as follows: 5′ x 7′, 8′ x 10′, 10′ x 14′.

Each size is standard and easy to find in various online shopping. Here is a link to one-of-a-kind rugs at

How Do I Choose The Right Size Rug For My Room?

When choosing rugs, your preferences and budget are key. For the living room, if you’re saving money with a smaller rug, aim for it to be at least as long as your sofa.

Decide whether you want all furniture legs on the rug, which will determine the size you need.

If you’re looking for cost-saving in the bedroom, you may simply put runners on either side of the bed instead of a larger area rug that extends under it.

Otherwise, you’ll want a rug that extends about 3-4 feet from either side of the bed, depending on the bed size.

For dining rooms, ensure your rug is large enough for chairs to have full clearance; chairs that are half on and half off the rug can feel unstable.

The Right Rug Can Make Your Room Shine

As you’ve figured out, the design is very much in your control. You can choose to follow conventional rules or decide to buck trends when it comes to your coffee table placement on your area rug.

If you’ve enjoyed this post here at, we do hope you’ll check out a few of our other posts we think you’ll love.

How Much Space Between Couch And Coffee Table

Do Coffee Tables And End Tables Have To Match?

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