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The Ultimate Living Room Rug Guide: How to Find the Right Rug Size for Your Living Space

A living room is one of the most important rooms in your house. It’s where you drink your morning coffee, relax after work, gather for movie and game nights. As one of the most used rooms in your home, it’s important to make it cozy and comfortable. And a big part of that is grounding the space with a rug!

But it can be difficult to know the right rug size for your space. There are so many variables and living room design ideas to consider—your room shape and size, the furniture in your space, and the overall layout. And then there are the inevitable questions of, “Why are rugs so expensive?” and “Should I skimp or splurge on a rug?”

But today, we’re hoping to simplify the process. Let this blog post be your guide to walk you through living rooms with rugs—from the various living room rug size options to ways to design them within your space—so you can determine which is right for you.

What Rug Sizes To Consider

First, let’s talk about rug sizes. In most cases, you’ll be choosing between a 6×9, 8×10, or 9×12 area rug. You might think that the size you choose depends on the size of your living room—but as we’ll show you below, you can actually opt for any of these sizes in the same room. But each size will have a different look and feel.

A 6×9 area rug, being the smallest area rug size you’d want to go for, will typically sit in front of your furniture—or, at most, you’ll just have two legs of an accent chair sitting on top of the rug. Since you want it covering as much visible floor space as possible, you won’t want this sitting under the front legs of your sofa. This is a great option if you have a special vintage or heirloom rug that you want to showcase and not partially cover up with furniture. You could also layer a 6×9 rug over a larger flat-weave rug if you want more surface area covered. (Here’s our guide to natural fiber rugs if you want to explore that option.)

An 8×10 area rug is the most common rug size used in a home. It gives you the dimensions you need to create some overlap with your sofa and other furniture, which gives a cozier vibe than a 6×9 rug. And, since it’s the most common size throughout homes, it also offers the versatility of being able to swap rugs to different spaces throughout your home when and if you want to switch up your look!

Since a 9×12 is one of the largest rug sizes, it’s also going to be the most expensive choice.

However, if you have the square footage and budget for it, this is a great option for covering and protecting large floor areas. It also gives you lots of room for lounging or for your kids to play on the rug! (Kids love the coziness of a plush rug.)

Ready to see these different rug sizes come to life in a living room layout so you can find the right rug size for your living room? We designed one room three ways, and showed how each of these three different rug sizes would work in each design. (Hopefully it will also be a spark of inspiration for how to decorate a living room beyond just your choice of rug.) Keep reading to see how you can use each of these rug sizes with a regular sofa, a sofa with a chaise, and an L-shaped sectional!

The Living Room With a Sofa

A traditional sofa with one or two accent chairs is probably the most common living room layout out there. But, depending on the rug size, style, and overall layout you go for, this look is anything but common. We opted to skip a coffee table in this look and used a pouf instead, which gives added flexibility to this arrangement.

6×9 Rug With a Sofa + Chair

With a 6×9 area rug, the rug will sit partially under the accent chair, but it won’t sit under the sofa at all. Give the rug about an inch of space between the sofa. The pouf, however, since it can be a makeshift coffee table, should be fully on the rug. This layout is great for small spaces, as it allows you to maximize the square footage of a small rug and lets you create an open space between the sofa and chairs, which is especially great if you have kids!

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8×10 Rug With a Sofa + Chair

Using an 8×10 area rug with a sofa and accent chair means the rug will go about six inches under the sofa and three-fourths of the way under the chair. The sides of the rug will also go beyond the sofa; you can either center the sofa on the rug or let one side be longer for an asymmetrical look! With this size and layout, your seating arrangement can be less compact, giving you space to spread out on the rug and allowing for more walkthrough space.

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9×12 Rug With a Sofa + Chair

Want maximum floor playing and lounging space? Opt for a 9×12 area rug. With this layout, the rug sits halfway under the sofa and the chair is almost fully on the rug. You can also place the side table and lamp either partially or fully on the rug. This rug size also means you can easily add extra chairs, another pouf, or an actual coffee table without sacrificing space for spreading out, as you have a lot of ground coverage to work with.

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The Living Room With a Sofa Chaise

Opting for a sofa with a chaise gives you extra room for lounging compared to a regular sofa. We paired it with an accent chair for conversational seating, along with a round coffee table that can tuck within the angle of the chaise.

6×9 Rug With a Chaise Sofa + Accent Chair

Using a 6×9 area rug with a chaise sofa and accent chair is a set-up that’s geared toward conversation. In this arrangement, the rug sits under the front legs of the accent chair and the feet of the chaise—but not under the main part of the sofa. This is a great option if you want your furniture to sit closer together, creating a more intimate seating arrangement. It’s also good for small spaces where you don’t have much room to work with past the furniture, since the whole arrangement is more compact.

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8×10 Rug With a Chaise Sofa + Accent Chair

When pairing an 8×10 area rug with a chaise sofa and accent chair, have the rug go about six inches under the sectional and about three-fourths of the way under the accent chair. And make sure the rug is centered under the sofa, so it goes evenly beyond each side of the sofa! This is great for those who desire a conversational seating arrangement but want the option to spread out a bit more.

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9×12 Rug With a Chaise Sofa + Accent Chair

With a 9×12 area rug, the rug will sit almost fully under the accent chair and six to twelve inches under the sofa. The side table and lamp can also be placed on the rug. This is a flexible layout, as it gives you the option of adding more chairs or a pouf for an extra seating option, and you could also upgrade the size of your coffee table with this layout.

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The Living Room With a Sectional

In this layout, we’re using an L-shaped sectional as the main piece of furniture in the living room. We’ve paired it with a round coffee table that tucks within the L-shape, and also used two leather poufs as additional seating options.

6×9 Rug With a Sectional

Since a 6×9 area rug is on the smaller side, the rug doesn’t sit under the sectional sofa in this layout—but it does cover the floor where your feet hit the ground while sitting on the sofa. For this arrangement, you’ll place the short side of the rug within the corner of the sectional, and let the long side stretch out toward the wall. You can then balance out the length with a pair of poufs at the end of the rug, or you could even add armchairs off the rug, perpendicular to the sofa and poufs, if you want extra seating options. The idea here is that none of the seating touches the rug, which lets you see—and showcase—all of the rug.

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8×10 Rug With a Sectional

In this arrangement, the front of the sectional just barely sits over the rug—about six inches of overlap. This is great for a more grounded and cozy look, since there’s overlap on two corners of the rug. This size also gives you some lounging space on the rug, compared to the more compact arrangement in the previous design!

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9×12 Rug With a Sectional

With a 9×12 area rug and the L-shaped sectional, the rug sits one half to three-fourths of the way under the sectional. This gives you lots of great space for lounging on the rug. (Kids love this!) And with the extra coverage, you can easily add extra chairs or poufs, or a larger coffee table since you have extra ground coverage.

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Still feeling stuck? Try on rugs in a 3D version of your room with Modsy’s design services! We’ll help you figure out what rug size and layout is best for you. Plus, we’ll help you find the right rug material, pattern, and color for your space as well! We’ll work with you to find the right fit so that when you finally pull the trigger on buying one, you can feel confident of how it will look in your home!

Want to find the perfect rug for your living room?

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Design Dilemma: Choosing the right Rug Size and Style

Choosing the right rug

One of the most notorious design dilemmas our customers face is choosing the right rug for their space. Rugs are an amazing warm and fluffy way to add visual intrigue to any space. They are also expensive and large, and it’s easy to imagine yourself shelling out hundreds (if not thousands!) of dollars only to find you’ve purchased something that turns your room from “hot” to “not.”

A solution for this could be to go out and buy all the rugs you’ve got your eye on, bring them home, and try them out one-by-one in your living room. But if you’re like us and you don’t have endless amounts of money, a pickup truck, and all that time/muscle at your disposal, this isn’t a realistic option.

So here’s the good part. At Modsy we’ve created some amazing technology that lets you try on all the rugs you want, in your living room, without any of that hassle. Along with that, we’ve created this handy-dandy visual guide to help you learn how to pick the right rug for your space.

 

…The Blank Canvas

Choosing the right rug

 

Design Dilemma #1: Rug Style

Our eclectic minimal living room is looking a little bare without a rug underfoot. We picked three options that we love and they all seemed to match our style. Here’s what happened when we took them for a test drive:

Choosing the right rug

Moral of the story:

  • With a more eclectic styled living room, all that pattern from Rug #1 feels overwhelming and busy.
  • At the opposite end of the spectrum, Rug #2 didn’t have enough going on and it made the space feel sparse.
  • Rug #3 is our “Goldilocks” – that sweet spot in between that is simple enough not make the space feel overwhelming but also adds enough texture to spice up our living room.

 

Design Dilemma #2: Rug Size

Ok now that we know what rug we like, let’s try on some different sizes:

Choosing the right rug

Moral of the story:

  • A larger rug (we used a 9’x12’) bleeds out past the furniture and overwhelms the space. Having the sofa all the way on the rug, while the chairs dance on and off makes the space visually cluttered and confusing.
  • The small rug (we used a 3’x5’) gives us a tiny focal point in the middle of the room, and leaves the rest of the space feeling bare.
  • The middle size (for us, a 8’x10’) is just right. The front two legs of all the furniture are on the rug, creating an intimate “zoned” area in the middle of the room.

 

Of course, this guide doesn’t cover every possible rug dilemma out there. But don’t panic, Modsy is always here to help you move through your design paralysis and help you create a home you love.

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