You might imagine that you’ve covered all the bases on the topic of rug choice once you’ve settled on a style. There’s little doubt that this is the most important factor in your rug search. There’s absolutely no point in buying a rug that doesn’t fit into your interior design, so style is definitely the place to begin.

For all that, there are other factors that you mustn’t neglect to think about. Take size for instance. The dimensions of the rug you buy have more say in the visual impact it’ll have on your room than you might imagine.

Most rugs are available in a range of sizes, so you have an additional choice to make after selecting the perfect design. Do you get a small rug, a medium-sized rug or a large rug? Well, much of it depends on your furniture placement.

In a standard living room arrangement, you are likely to have one or two sofas and maybe an armchair situated around an imaginary rectangle that allows for the most social interaction and affords everyone a decent view of the TV set. It’s pretty common for a coffee table to sit squarely in the centre of that imaginary rectangle.

Now, you might want to think of your living room rug – the one you are in the process of buying – as the actualisation of that imaginary rectangle, a way of colouring in an otherwise nebulous concept of interior design. In other words, rugs are a way of making necessarily empty space more interesting.

There are different extents to which you can fill that empty space. The following list might look like the menu of a café, but it contains some pretty good advice concerning rug placement.


You could use a relatively small rug to sit in the centre of the room, with a clear border of floor separating it from the surrounding furniture. The advantage of this approach? It sets up an appealing sense of symmetry – perfect for those who aren’t happy unless things are squared off. This is the most obvious and popular way of decorating.


A nice alternative is to get a medium-sized rug that is big enough for its edges to sit beneath the surrounding items of furniture. In this arrangement, the front feet of the sofas or chairs would be on the rug and the back feet would be on the floor.

This arrangement means that the rug is allowed greater influence in terms of its visual impact – you simply have more colour and more pattern. However, it also appeals to people who are turned off by too much symmetry in a room that demands a more relaxed and informal look.


The final option is to go for something large. The largest living room rugs might stretch from wall to wall, effectively doing the job of a fitted carpet, but offering you a bit more freedom of choice because they are much less permanent.

In this sort of arrangement, the front and back feet of your lounge seating would be on the rug. This represents a bit of a return to the symmetry and linear style of the small option, but the rug you’ve chosen is given even greater aesthetic influence than the regular option because it covers more space.

The key is not to assume that you’ve only one option when it comes to rug placement. If anything, you can make your interior design more original and interesting by resisting the norm.