Choosing the area rug of your dreams to complement a couch can be an interior decorating joy or challenge. Should the area rug be wider than your couch? The size, color, and design elements of an area rug can make or break a space. We researched how best to pair an area rug with a couch.
There are a few rules about pairing an area rug in a space with a couch.
- An area rug should be wider than the couch with a foot of space on either side showing.
- An area rug should have a minimum of 18" of space around where the bare floor shows.
- The front legs of the couch and any accent chairs should be on the rug.
- All legs of a couch and accompanying furniture should be on the rug.
- Larger rooms can embrace combining multiple rugs for multiple seating arrangements.
- Minimize allowing furniture to float around a small centered rug with no legs touching.
The rules of interior design, sizing, and placement of an area rug can be bent or broken when it is successful visually. Continue to learn more about why and how the rules about area rugs work.
Visual Rules to Follow Regarding Area Rugs
An area rug is a major focal point within a living room. How you have your couch and other furniture placed with your rug can pull a room together, create visual interest, or create visual breaks. Typically, a good rule to follow is to make sure your area rug is wider than your couch. Preferably, all legs of your couch and accent chairs should be placed atop a rug, with 18 inches of space surrounding the rug to show off the floor.
You can vary this look by keeping only the front legs of a couch and any chairs on the rug. A room may appear smaller or visually disjointed when furniture is surrounding a small rectangular or circular rug with ample space between the legs and the rug. Create cohesion by keeping some furniture legs on a rug. Use multiple rugs to bring furniture together and emphasize specific uses for an area.
Take care when selecting an area rug to pair with a couch because its size, color, and texture will have significant visual impact. Go too small with an area rug, and you can make a room appear smaller or feel stressful. Choose a rug that is too large, and most furniture placements may still leave a room feeling empty and poorly structured. Opt to strike a balance between elements, create visual movement, and heighten aesthetic appeal using a well-chosen area rug.
Should Area Rug Go Under the Sofa?
If you wish to create a cohesive and cozy vibe for your room, you should place the front legs or all of the legs atop a large area rug. Make sure that the front legs of any accent chairs touch the rug to complement the look. Ideally, all of the legs of a modular sofa should sit atop an area rug. It is okay if the back legs of a couch are not touching an area rug, as long as the front legs are on the rug. The legs of any smaller furniture should be placed on an area rug, especially if paired with a couch that is against a wall with its legs not on the rug.
An area rug should work in tandem with a couch and accompanying furniture to create a nested look that doesn't make any spaces feel cut-off or awkward. Floating an area rug with lots of space between furniture legs should be avoided.
How to Measure Room for an Area Rug?
When measuring a room for an area rug, it is best to allow for a gap of 18 inches minimum between the walls and rug. Typically, an area rug should be about two feet smaller than the room on all sides. An area rug is usually centered in a room but can be placed off to the side to divide a space and designate specific use. You don't want a rug that is too small or too large, and the space surrounding an area rug creates natural pathways and visual interest.
Make sure to use a measuring tape, be accurate, and account for vents, strange bends, corners, or unique attributes to a room that will impact rug placement. Smaller rooms can allow for a gap of 8 inches between the area rug and wall to show off the floor underneath. Use the size and type of furniture and arrangement within a room to help you determine the best area rug size and style. Do not guess about room dimensions and leave no margin of error for your area rug choice.
Does a Rug Make a Room Look Bigger or Smaller?
A poorly chosen area rug can make a room look smaller or increase visual stress and anxiety. Make a room look larger by selecting an area rug that can accommodate placing all of the legs of a couch, accent chairs, and table on top. An area rug that is too small for a room can make it look smaller and feel more cramped than cozy. If you wish, at least place the front legs of a couch atop an area rug. Make the sofa a visual focal point that is accented by its relationship to the area rug, and keep it cradled by a wall with a bold color treatment.
Do be mindful of scale and the size of an area rug that you place in a living room. If a rug is tiny and is better suited for a kitchen or bathroom, put it there instead of a living room. Otherwise, it can the visual balance in a room is thrown off. Remember, an area rug is a connector bringing your furniture together. Usually, you want to allow the floor underneath an area rug to peek through with 18 to 24 inches of space surrounding. Make a room look more substantial with a lighter color rug or choose a darker colored area rug for an intimate feel.
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