How to Select The Right Size Rug for Your Living Room

Posted On April 18, 2023

Rug sizes can make or break the interior design of a room–that’s why finding the perfect rug size for your living room is daunting. 

You wouldn’t want to make the mistake of placing a small rug in a large space, creating a hollow, uninviting atmosphere. The same goes for an oversized carpet in a small room that makes your room feel cramped. 

So, how do you determine what the best rug size for your living room is

To help you determine the perfect carpet size for your decor, we’ve compiled this helpful guide. Create a sense of coziness and balance with the recommended rug size for your living room.

What Rug Size for Living Room: Common Carpet Dimensions

Understanding your rug-to-living room ratio is key to achieving balance and harmony in your home. But identifying the best one for your space, with all the various carpet sizes available, can be difficult. 

Here’s a simple guide to help you find the best placement for your carpet, depending on its size: 


A 3×5 rug is one of the smallest in the market. Carpets this small are often placed in bathrooms or kitchens, but they can also be strategically placed in your living room. 

For example, it may be used to add a plush texture underneath a rocking chair and dampen sounds under heavy furniture or soften up a corner reading nook.


This is the standard and most common rug size for living rooms. Most couches have an average length of about seven feet, so this size works best placed underneath or slightly in front of a sofa. You can also place it underneath your sofa with an underlay to support it, but it may warp if the couch is too heavy.


Known as the “golden ratio,” an 8×10 rug is another common size that works in a medium-sized living room. It’s an incredibly versatile size that helps anchor the space and sets the mood. 


This rug size can take up half of most average-sized living rooms. It’s popular among homeowners as it works well with large couches or underneath complete living room table sets to create a full and luxurious look. 


12×18 rugs are ideal for extra large living rooms. These pieces are spacious enough to have all your furniture sit on them. 

Using one that extends out just slightly beyond your furniture ensures you can comfortably walk on them without it looking awkward. This creates a sense of grandeur and cohesion in the space.

Wool rugs are perfect for low-traffic homes, while high-traffic homes may benefit from a durable, easy-to-clean jute rug.  

Common Mistakes When Choosing a Living Room Rug

Not using a rug pad

One of the most common decorating mistakes people make is not using a rug pad on a hard floor. Without it, your area rug could become unstable, unsafe, and slippery when walking over it.

Layering rugs over a larger tapestry is one way to stabilize your rug while elevating your living room’s look. 

Picking out colors that don’t complement each other

Color makes all the difference when decorating a stylish space. For this reason, it’s important to find the right color scheme that works best for your preferred aesthetic and elevates your interior design.

Start by utilizing the art of contrast. Loud interiors can be tempered with a subtle flatwoven rug in neutral colors. Similarly, a living room with a basic, monochrome theme can be elevated with a detailed tapestry with vibrant patterns.

It also helps to pair certain elements found on the rug with accessories for the room. For example, you can match a circular pattern on a carpet’s surface with a round mirror on the living room wall. 

Playing it safe

Rugs come in a spectrum of colors, textures, and designs–why settle for basic, boring options? This is a great opportunity for you to flex your creativity and personality. 

Go for bold hues, eclectic patterns, and unique shapes. Let your rug express who you are! 

Taking texture for granted

Cut-pile is one of the most common rug textures on the market, but it isn’t the only type available. Shag, tufted, velvet, and knotted are some interesting textures to consider. 

Utilizing textures is an easy, effortless way to elevate your space without going overboard. You can create visual interest while still maintaining a cohesive theme. 

How to Layout a Room with a Rug

Most living rooms have several common components. For example, a sofa, chairs, and a coffee table. There are many ways to maximize these elements and rearrange your space according to your carpet’s size.

All feet on the rug

This layout type is ideal for large rooms and even larger rugs that can fit all furniture in the area.  It’s a great way to maximize your available space and add grandiosity to an otherwise plain interior design theme. 

Take note to provide a few inches of space between the edge of your furniture and the carpet’s fringe. Otherwise, everything will appear crowded and awkwardly placed.

Front feet on the rug

Try this layout to bring your room together without occupying the rug’s entire surface. Doing so allows your rug’s design and color to pop out. 

Each piece will look cleverly curated and cohesive while standing out individually, so you can achieve an aesthetically appealing and inviting room with minimal effort. 

Remember to place your sofa or chair on about a third of the rug’s width. For example, a 36” deep sofa can rest with a rug 12” under it.

No feet on the rug.

Let your furniture “float” from your rug for an uncommon yet visually interesting living room layout. Only your coffee table will be placed on your tapestry, while everything else is placed a few inches away. 

The best way to do this is to create a gap between your seat and your carpet’s edge that is not larger than five inches. Anything larger will make your coffee table look too small and out of place.

Find the Right Living Room Rug to Complement Your Space

Selecting the right living room rug size for your space can be challenging, but it isn’t impossible. All your effort to get the perfect piece will create wonders for your interior design concept.

Cyrus Artisan Rugs offers a curated collection of rugs of various sizes you can place in your living room. Find the most luxurious, eye-catching carpets to complete your space by browsing our inventory.

Visit the Cyrus Artisan Rugs blog to learn more about decorating with rugs of different sizes.