how to choose a living room rug

In one of our latest posts we talked about how important rugs are in interior design. We listed AWANAY’s most relevant reasons why they should never be overlooked.  From being natural sound absorbents, to adding a sense of intimacy, to tying up together lose furniture, creating a perfect sense of cohesion.

This is why we thought it would be of great use to anyone fully convinced by our reasons, and now decided to buy a rug, to help out on how to choose one. Let’s face it, this can be quite confusing and overwhelming!

There are 2 main aspects that should be taken in consideration when looking for the right rug. These are: style and size

Style, colours & textures

You should first define the purpose for which your purchasing a rug. Is it to add some colour, texture or depth to your living room? Is it to protect your wood flooring? To have a comfortable place to lie down and warm your bare feet? The list goes on! But the point is, you should bare in mind the functionality the space will have. This will define between buying a mushy long-haired rug, a slightly harder, neutral one or a patterned, colourful one.

The color and texture of your rug should not only be defined by its purpose but also by the overall style and mood you’re aiming for.

The style could be monochromatic, with a non-patterned, neutral rug.

Greenwich Hotel by Axel Vervoordt and Tatsuro Miki, New York vía @studiolowsheen
GOLFO 744 X 1024
AWANAY’s Golfo Rug

Or it could be an eclectic style, choosing a coloured or patterned rug.

vía @sarahshermansamuel
RAWSON 744 X 1024
AWANAY’s Rawson Rug

You could also go for light, harmonious mood matching up with a bright, muted or  maybe pastel coloured rug.

vía Erika Carlock 
AWANAY’s Raíz Rug

Lastly, for a more intimate, dark and moody vibe look for a textured rug with a deeper tone.

vía Pinterest
AWANAY’s Gris Desgastado Rug

There are lots of styles and there’s a rug out there that will match perfectly with yours. When looking at rugs always bare in mind the overall look your searching for as to not get carried away!

Style Tip! Do some previous research and look for interiors that match your wanted style and define an overall color palette. These references will serve as a clear visual aid when shopping for rugs. Or you can even have with you a photo of your own living room to help you out.

Size & Placement

This one’s the tricky one.. the correct size. The ideal measures for your rug do not only depend on the furniture but also on the overall space. The rug should be proportional to the whole area. As a general rule, the bigger the room, the bigger the rug and viceversa.

Delimiting it to the seating area, these are AWANAY’s two favourite options for placing a rug in a living room.

ALL FURNITURE ON RUG. Another ultimate rule for rugs is THE BIGGER THE BETTER. If able, this is always the best option. It fully anchors the furniture together, mostly in open-plan interiors where the furniture sees no space limitations. Overall, this option will define very clearly the seating area and unify the elements, creating an ultimate sense of intimacy.

Emily Henderson vía Pinterest
Emily Henderson vía Pinterest
Emily Henderson vía Pinterest

For a proportional scale there should be 6-10” (15-25cm) left on each side of the seating area.


recommended sizes: 8’2” x 11’6” (2,50m x 3,4m) or 9’10” x 13’2” (2,7m x 4m)

FRONT LEGS ON RUG. This option works well when the main couch or one of the edges of the seating area is placed against a wall.  For the correct consistency and symmetry, the rug should be sized as to have the same distance inwards on all the furniture! That is, all of the furniture’s front legs should be on top of the rug and at the same distance inwards.

All following images are styled by Emily Henderson 




For this placement option there should also be a margin of  6-10” (15-25cm) on the sides and about 6-8” (15-20cm) inches inwards on the sofas/chairs.


recommended sizes: 6’7” x 9’10” (1,80m x 2,70m) or 8’2” x 11’6” (2,4m x 3,4m)

RUGS FOR A L-SHAPED SECTIONAL. Choosing a rug for a living room with a L-shaped sofa can be quite unsettling! But keep calm, because the concept behind it is the same as with a normal sofa.

You can either opt for a rug that covers all of the seating area or one that covers the front legs. Take a look at the following examples!

Rug covers all seating area! vía Pinterest
Rug covers only front legs! vía Pinterest

Size & Placement Tip! Use painter’s tape to visualise the placing of the rug, clearly  picturing the extremes and the area covered by it.

Any questions you may have regarding the size, placement or  style or your rug, please leave them on the comment section! We’ll gladly answer your doubts & concerns ♡



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: