Area rugs are a great way to add some color and texture to a room but they serve a more functional purpose, too.
If you have high-traffic areas in your living room, installing a large rug can remove a great deal of stress from your carpet and help it last longer.
For anyone with wooden flooring in the living room, you’ll know it looks great but it can feel cold and hard. Why not get the best of both worlds and break things up with an area rug?
When you’re looking for a rug, in many ways it’s the easiest buying decision in the world. It can also turn into a nightmare if you have no idea where to start looking.
To that end, we’ll kick off today by getting your creative juices flowing with some inspiration for rugs…
Table of Contents
I. Our Top 5 Picks for Living Room Area Rugs
II. Ideas for Area Rugs for Living Room
Use color to great effect with rugs. A blue rug can inject a feeling of calm and the vibe of coastal living. Pink, on the other hand, lends a touch of vibrancy and boho chic.
You can choose area rugs that blend in or patterned rugs that grab your attention and draw you in. Neutral and understated rugs can be devastatingly effective when used correctly. Don’t assume you need to look for something excessive.
How about if you’ve got an open plan living room/dining room? Well, rugs make a neat way of tying the spaces together while ensuring they retain their own identity. You can use small patterned rugs to unify the space wonderfully.
Rugs in the living room make perfect sense for renters. You’ll get the chance to bring your personality to bear on your living space with two key advantages… You won’t need to spend too much and you won’t be making any permanent changes, either. When it’s time to move on, just take your rug with you.
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Shaggy wool rugs can be a dramatic way to soften up starker retro rooms. Fur can also work wonderfully to create an area of comfort and luxe in your living room. Softer materials like this serve as a highly effective contrast to bare flooring. That way, you won’t need to compromise aesthetics in pursuit of comfort. Enjoy your expanse of wood while still feeling fabric beneath your feet.
Geometric patterns can sit nicely alongside a variety of décor so let your imagination run riot.
Introducing materials like seagrass and silk is a nice way to veer away from the usual rug fabrics. Don’t be afraid to be adventurous and seek out something different for your living room.
You can find many rugs referencing the ocean in shades of blue and wave patterns. Bring that beach house to the city.
This Pinterest board has some great inspiration for area rugs for living rooms. It’s a nice way to get some visual assistance to back up the technical knowledge you need to get the best rug the easy way.
We’ll take a closer look now at how to choose a rug that’s correctly sized before we examine what else you should look for on the buying trail.
III. How To Choose a Rug Size for Living Room
While most people shop for rugs based on appearance, you shouldn’t underestimate the importance of size.
A rug can change the dynamic of a living space and the sizing is all-important here. You might be surprised to know that a larger rug generally makes a room look bigger rather than smaller. You still need to respect boundaries, though. Leave a distance of at least 1’ from the wall to keep things tied in.
Use some masking tape and mark out where you’d like your rug to sit. You can then measure up remembering to leave at least 18 inches of floor exposed by the edges of the rug.
You should aim for a rug that’s large enough to slip under all the furniture in your living room.
How about if your budget doesn’t stretch to a rug quite so substantial?
Well, you could also shoot for a rug sized to fit at least partially under the furniture.
Recommended Rug Sizes
While there are no hard and fast rules, here’s a selection of common room sizes with a recommended rug size to match:
- Room size 5’ x 7’: 3’ x 5’ rug
- Room size 7 x 10: 5 x 8 rug
- Room size 10’ x 12’: 8’ x 10’ rug
- Room size 11’ x 14’: 9’ x 12’ rug
- Room size 14’ x 17’: 12’ x 15’ rug
A 5’ x 8’ rug will typically sit under the coffee table with the rest of the furniture off the rug.
With an 8’ x 10’ rug, more furniture can be placed on the rug.
If you’re looking to have all the furniture in a room positioned under a rug, look for a 9’ x 12’ model. By using a larger room, you’ll create the illusion of more space.
Sizing set to one side, what else do you need to consider when you’re buying an area rug?
IV. Things To Consider
Durability should be uppermost in your mind when you’re looking at rug materials. This need is magnified if you have kids or pets at home.
You not only want the rug to be hardwearing but also easy to clean.
The other key area where materials count is comfort. If you plan to spend a lot of time barefoot or you like snuggling up on the rug in front of the TV, you should look for a soft and luxurious fabric to suit.
If you suffer from any kind of allergies or sensitivities, you should consider an all-natural rug made from seagrass or jute.
There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to materials so think closely about your personal circumstances and household and buy in line with this.
Pile is a term used to express how long carpet fibers are.
Rugs are described as low, medium or high pile. Occasionally, pile depth is also expressed in inches.
If you’re looking for a low-maintenance rug, go for low pile. Dirt has far fewer places to hide with low pile rugs. Flatwoven and jute rugs both fall under this umbrella.
When comfort is your prime concern, go for a medium or high pile rug and you’ll get a more luxurious and cushioned feel. The sacrifice will be a rug that’s a little harder to clean and look after.
As with all aspects of buying a rug, there’s no boilerplate solution. Simply think about your needs and make it personal. Stick with that advice and finding the best area rugs for living rooms is a cakewalk.
Next, star thinking about what shape of rug would make the best fit in your living room.
You’ve got 3 main options:
- Rectangular rugs: This is the ideal choice for larger living rooms. You can find rectangular area rugs in a wide range of sizes
- Square rugs: A square rug works well in a square room. This shape can also be effective if you’re looking to create discrete zones within a room
- Circular rugs: If you’ve got a smaller living room try a round rug. This shape also responds well to furniture of the same shape. Match a round rug with a round dining table for a great look.
Round rugs are ideal in smaller rooms or rooms with key pieces of similar shape. For example, if you have a round dining table, a circular rug is a perfect addition.
Neutral rugs will blend into your living space while bold patterns and prints will serve as a focal point. Again, only you know what you want to achieve with your area rug so make sure you get the design right.
Texture counts, too. By using different layers and textures, you can add a richness to your living room.
Don’t go over the top here, though. If the walls and textiles in your living room are already busy, choose a more subdued rug. Conversely, dress up a minimalist space with a hand-tufted, patterned rug in a vibrant color.
And a little more about color now…
You should consider the color of your rug in terms of 3 main elements:
- The color of your carpet or wooden flooring: Building contrast between your rug and your flooring is a great way to create interest in the room. Black rugs look striking on pale carpet but blend in with darker flooring. Think about the look you want to create and use your rug to achieve this without spending a fortune
- Your furniture: Choose a rug that complements your existing furniture. Use your rug to pick out the core colors in your room
- The space as a whole: Look for dark rugs if you’re hoping for a more intimate aesthetic or paler rugs if your goal is to make a living room look larger
With that groundwork in place, it’s time to push ahead with our curated selection of the 10 best area rugs money can buy.
V. Top 10 Best Area Rugs for Living Room
1. Persian Area Rug (8 x 11)
Persian Area Rugs have a fine line of Turkish rugs to grace any living room.
This cream rug features a subtle broken floral abstract design that works equally well in a modernist loft or a more traditional living space.
Made from rugged but plush polypropylene, you’ll get great lifespan even in high-traffic areas while not needing to sacrifice comfort in pursuit of durability.
True dimensions are 7’10” x 10’6” for the rug listed as 8’ x 11’.
The rug also comes in a blue or gray colorway.
2. nuLOOM Moroccan Blythe Area Rug (5′ x 7′)
Another Turkish rug up next from nuLOOM, you’ll get all the endurance and comfort you’d expect from polypropylene. Soft, synthetic and easy to clean: what’s not to love?
The striking geometric pattern is not so busy as to dominate the room but commanding enough to make a statement.
Available in a broad spread of colors, there’s something to mesh with all design schemes.
One of the key selling points of this rug is the way it’s power loomed so you should get almost nothing by the way of shedding.
Perfect for areas where your carpet gets particularly heavy foot traffic and strong enough to stand up to any pets in the house, check this rug out for quality on a budget.
3. Safavieh Adirondack Collection Vintage Area Rug (8′ x 10′)
This vintage area rug might not be cheap but price is seldom your main motivator when you’re decorating the living room.
The robust power loomed construction and polypropylene fabric means you’ll get none of the annoying shedding that blights some poor quality rugs.
Choose from a vast swathe of colors and get something that gels with your décor.
With over a century in the business, Safavieh is a brand you can trust and this is quite simply one of the very best area rugs you can find.
4. Unique Loom Sophia Collection Traditional Area Rug (7′ x 10′)
If you’re looking to protect any spot where people pass through frequently, an area rug like one from the Sophia collection by Unique Loom is the ideal solution.
Cotton-backed and made from polypropylene, this rug is water-resistant and also unlikely to stain. Despite such rugged properties, it feels soft underfoot.
Choose from a wide palette of colors and a massive range of sizings. This 7’ x 10’ version hits the sweet spot for most living rooms. Obviously feel free to roll with alternate sizing to suit.
5. Unique Loom Modern Area Rug (7′ x 10′)
Another offering from Unique Loom up next with this 7’ x 10’ offering from the Modern Collection.
You’re spoiled for choice with colors and sizings but this version is the best fit in most living spaces.
The regulation polypropylene construction gives you an area rug capable of standing up to some serious punishment. Whether you’re looking to soften up your hard flooring or take the heat off the carpet in a high-traffic area, this rug delivers in fine style.
Kid-friendly, robust enough to stand up to pets and repelling stains, mildew and water, you’re in safe hands with this spacious and long-lasting rug.
6. Safavieh Rag Rug Collection Hand-Woven Area Rug (8′ x 10′)
Another strong contender for the best area rug for your living room from Safavieh up next.
As always with rugs from this brand, you’ll need to dig a little deeper but what do you get for your money?
The flat weave design features multiple colors intertwined. This allows for the rug to slot seamlessly in with a wide variety of décor.
This rug is hand-woven and made from a super-soft cotton so it feels lush underfoot. Durability is impressive, too.
7. Lochas Ultra-Soft Area Rug (5.3 x 7.5)
If comfort is your primary driver, this remarkably soft area rug from Lochas is just the ticket.
What differentiates this rug from the sea of opponents is the backing. You’ll get thousands of non-slip dots that prevent the rug from sliding around. This feature makes it a wise choice in the nursery to minimize any chance of your kids falling.
Care is straightforward and the rug responds well to a regular vacuum. If you need a deeper clean from time to time, use some mild soap and hot water and you’ll be good to go.
8. Dark Gray Moroccan Trellis Area Rug (5′ x 7′)
Another great rug from Persian Area Rugs as we edge to the end of our reviews.
The repeating pattern would slide neatly into a minimalist condo but would be restrained enough for more traditional living rooms, too.
If this charcoal color isn’t to your liking, you can choose from a handful of brighter options.
Made from durable polypropylene, you’ll get plenty of wear from this rug even if you place it in a high-traffic area of the home.
Sized at 5’ x 7’, you should find this the ideal dimensions if you have a regular living room.
9. Gorilla Grip Faux-Chinchilla Area Rug (7.5×10)
Gorilla Grip markets this fantastic faux-chinchilla as the softest rug you can find and we’re not going to argue.
The cushioned faux-chinchilla feels delightful underfoot. You’ll also get the benefit of thousands of grip dots so the rug stays safely and firmly in place.
Although the pile is quite thick, you won’t find any problems when you’re vacuuming this rug. It’s even machine washable if you want a more thorough clean and you don’t fancy doing it by hand.
You’ve got the choice of a wide variety of colors and sizes so there’s no excuse not to find something to liven up your living room.
10. Sage Green Ottomanson Royal Collection Area Rug (7’10” X 9’10”)
Last but absolutely not least, this area rug from the Royal Collection has an antique look and a regal aesthetic that works best in traditional and more ornate living rooms.
Backed and edged with jute, you’ll get a hardwearing rug that belies its fragile first impressions. Made from polypropylene, you won’t end up with stains and marks even if you give your rug plenty of punishment.
If you’re looking for a subtle but alluring rug to add a focal point to your living room, the Ottomanson won’t disappoint.
Well, you should know have everything you need in place to get yourself the most appropriate area rug for your living space.
Pay attention to the simple buying guidance above and place you trust in any of the 10 rugs we review and you’re in safe hands.
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