How to Place an Area Rug in a Living Room
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How to Place an Area Rug in a Living Room

Are you trying to figure out where to put that beautiful, new rug in your living room?

A rug should be the focal point of your space. With the right placement, you’ll create a sense of cohesion and balance in the room.

Follow Tufenkian’s guidelines on how to place a rug in your living room.

Pick the Right Size

An average-sized living room can usually handle an 8'x10' / 244x305 cm, 9'x12' / 274x366 cm, or a 10'x14' / 305x427 cm area rug. In more spacious living rooms and/or great rooms, a 10'x14' / 305x427 cm, 12'x16' / 366 x 488 cm, or larger rug is ideal. To choose the size that’s right for your space, first consider the size of your living room and seating area.

If you’ve narrowed your choices down to two different rug sizes and can’t seem to decide which one to bring home, go with the bigger option. A larger rug will pull the space together and make it easier to arrange your furniture. But don’t go too big—there should be at least an 18” / 45 cm perimeter from the edge of your rug to the wall.

Pro tip: To get a sense of how different-sized rugs will look in your home, use blue painter’s tape to mark the various dimensions within the room.

Center the Rug

When considering how to position a rug in a living room, don’t worry about putting it in the middle of the space. Placing the rug in the center of a room can create a lot of awkward space if the furniture isn’t in alignment. Your focus should be on the seating area. Center the rug to compliment your dominant furniture layout.

For example, if you have a sectional in the back corner of your living room, put the rug in the center of the space in front of it. If you have two sofas facing each other, place the rug between them at an equal distance. The rug should be in the center of the furniture—not the room—to anchor the design.

Arrange the Furniture

Whether the furniture legs should be on or off the rug depends on your living room, furniture, and personal taste. Here are some guidelines to help you achieve the right look.

All On

Putting all of the furniture legs on the rug creates a formal setting with a plush, luxurious feel. This arrangement goes well with 10'x14' / 305x427 cm or 12'x16' / 366 x 488 cm rugs to refine your aesthetic and elevate your living area.

All Off

Keeping all of the furniture legs off the rug and on the floor can give your space room to breathe. This is ideal for smaller rooms that can be overwhelmed by a bigger rug. A 6’x9' / 183x274 cm area rug may be suitable in this case.

Part On

When your furniture legs are on and off the rug, the presentation anchors the room while also opening it up. Stay consistent, though—if the sofa legs are half on, the chairs should be, too. This arrangement works best with 8'x10' / 244x305 cm, 9'x12' / 274x366 cm, or 10'x14' / 305x427 cm rugs.

Recommended Materials

When choosing a rug to place in your living room, you want to make sure it’s made of a material that’s going to last. Remember, this is a space in which you’re likely to spend a lot of time so the rug will likely experience a lot of wear.


Wool is a common material used in rugs because of its softness and durability. This material holds up well under high foot traffic and resists stains and spills. Wool rugs also have superb insulating properties for warmth and comfort.

Bamboo Silk

Tufenkian’s bamboo silk rugs are highly durable and can be considered for use in high-traffic areas like living rooms. With the look and feel of traditional silk, this material can be a lower-cost alternative that’s more sustainable.

Placing Your Rug in the Living Room

Now you know that by focusing on the right size, seating area, and furniture arrangement, you can create the perfect ambiance for your space with a rug.

Tufenkian offers a variety of artisan carpets for your living room including modern, abstract, and floral rugs.

Plus: you can try out a rug for free in your home for seven days with our TestDrive program if you're shipping to the USA, or purchase any rug with a 21 day return policy in the UK or the EU.