How to Place a Rug Under a Sectional Sofa

Having a sectional sofa gives you so many options in your decor. Unlike a traditional sofa and loveseat combination, a sectional (which consists of several moveable pieces) gives you loads of configuration options.  That flexibility comes with challenges as you work to figure out how you want to organize your space. One of these more challenging decisions is how to place your rug under a sectional sofa.
How to Place a Rug Under a Sectional Sofa
In general, area rugs are used to define space. In the case of a sectional, they are often used to highlight the area within the sofa where a coffee table sits. But there are still decisions. Should your rug extend under the sectional? And if so, from what side? Should it be centered or is asymmetrical okay? We’re going to look at the answers to these questions as we put a spotlight on some sectional and rug combinations below.

Centering The Rug In The ‘L’ Of Your Sectional Sofa

One rule of thumb when placing an area rug is to have an even amount of space around it. Depending on the size of your rug, you may not have the option of it extending beneath your sectional pieces, and you may want to center it beneath your coffee table instead. Think of centering it there, with an even amount of space on each side of the rug and sectional.

Rectangular Rug To Match The Short End Of The Sectional

In the chic living room below, the designer has opted to match up the size of the short end of the rug with the short end of the sectional. An end table to match the coffee table helps balance out the extra length of rug that extends beyond the sectional, creating an uninterrupted flow.

White corner sofa in living room interior with lamp above coffee table

Rug Centered In The Room

This apartment living room uses a bold geometric rug to great effect. And rather than center it with the sectional, it is centered with the central part of the room. The coffee table anchors the rug and the space creating balance and symmetry that works perfectly.

Modern living room with grey sofa, decorative pillows and small round table

Creating A Visual Square

When your rug doesn’t extend beneath your sectional, you can use other furniture pieces to draw the eye and create the idea of space. Here planters line up at either end of the sectional with the corners of the rug. The eye then ‘sees’ a completed space making a beautiful living area in a larger overall room.

Modern living room interior with dark grey sofa, purple walls and parquet flooring

We found this handy guide on furniture dimensions that should help with sizing your space as you decide what size sectional and other furniture pieces you may need.

Should My Area Rug Go Under My Couch?

Designer Kylie M. follows a general rule that area rugs should be of sufficient size to be weighted down by two pieces of furniture. This is easy with a sectional as there is often a coffee table in play as well. But remember, it’s just one rule of thumb, and we have more information below.

Going Large With The Rug Beneath Your Sectional Sofa

If you count your sectional as one piece of furniture and your coffee table as the second, then this rug complies with the weighted by two pieces of furniture rule. It also nicely frames the space creating a visual square as well as a cozy place for lounging.

Modern living room interior with grey sofa, dark cozy rug and black coffee table

Defining Your Sectional Space With Your Area Rug

This smaller rug accomplishes much the same goal as our image above. It is weighted by the sectional and the coffee table and emphasizes the space created by the interior ‘L’ of the couches. Because the rug is smaller, it doesn’t extend beneath the couch quite as far as our example above, but still works to create the same cozy mood.

Spacious modern bright living room interior with pillows on dark grey corner couch, rugs and coffee table

What Size Rug Do You Put Under A Sectional?

Ultimately, there are no rules when deciding on the size of your rug. There are guidelines and suggestions and ideas for framing space, but like you are as an individual, so is your home decor. A smaller rug in a larger room may look a bit lost, and a large rug in a smaller room may overwhelm the space, but there are ways to make things work. We have some different examples below.

Asymmetrical Placement Of An Area Rug Below A Small Sectional

This room makes great use of smaller furniture pieces with a smaller rug. The bold geometric pattern is like a piece of artwork for your floor and is placed as such. It is turned so the short side extends beneath the long side of the sectional, thus drawing the eye to the sitting area. The petite coffee table sits at its edge, creating perfect balance within its imbalance.

Modern living room interior design with parquet flooring, grey corner sofa and outside view window

Filling The Room With A Centered Rug

One way to work with your sectional is to measure the room space the sofa occupies. Then find a rug that will fit with a perfect symmetry of space around it. This serene rose and pink room uses a soft grey area rug to anchor the space.

Modern interior with large grey corner sofa and armchair decorated with pillows and blankets in a bright cosy living room

Center Your Coffee Table Within The Framework Of Your Sofa

Another way to look at which size rug to buy is to think about both filling the space inside the ‘L’ of your sectional and perfectly centering your coffee table. In this bright space, a lively white shag carpet creates a soft landing for the glass and metal coffee table. They perfectly accentuate the seating area created by the sectional sofa. The pop of color, in contrast to the white textured rug, is fantastic.

Contemporary living room with a modern corner sofa, modern coffee glass table with tulips and an abstract painting on the wall

Going Diagonal With Your Sectional Sofa Rug

You’re not a rule follower, and you don’t want a rectangle lined up with a rectangle. That’s okay. In this great image below, the rug acts as an arrow pointing to both the corner of the room and the meeting point of the sectional sofa sections. Additional large ottomans create a broad lounging area that spills over onto the diagonally placed carpet. The diamond pattern of the rug enhances the placement choice.

Loft interior space of modern home with staging of large beige, neutral white couches and throw rugs with pillows

Round Rugs and Sectional Sofas

All these rectangles are so dull. You want a round rug. Remember when we said there are no rules with rug choices and placement. This is true for shapes as well. Round rugs add a bit of whimsy to a room and work perfectly placed under a round coffee table. They also work to break up straight lines and create a counterbalance to your straight lined sectional sofa. In this delicious patio set, the round rug is circled by ottomans on the other side, creating a central visual point to the design scheme.

Black and white pouf in the middle of a bright garden terrace with a rattan corner sofa, hanging chair and round rug

If you want more information on different rug shapes and sizes, here’s a handy guide to choosing the rug shape right for you.

Hopefully, you’re now armed with the confidence and inspiration to place your rug and your sectional in the perfect location for your space. Remember, there are no exact rules, but you do want the room to seem balanced. Not too tiny and not too large, but pretty much any rug size in between will work perfectly.

If you’d like some more inspiration, check out these other great posts here at Home Decor Bliss.

How to Arrange Throw Pillows on a Corner Sofa or Sectional Couch?

How Can I Make My Living Room Look Warmer and Cozier?

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