Published on July 31, 2020

pink couch and white rugPin It
Photography by Jason Frank Rothenberg; Styling by Rosy Fridman

A sofa is an essential part of any living room, but a rug is that special sauce that makes the space feel polished; everything else (the coffee table, armchairs) revolves around it. Whichever one you end up choosing for your room doesn’t have to be the only center of your universe, but it should be a solid focal point. 

There are plenty of directions you can take when picking a living room rug: A neutral sisal sets the scene for breezy, minimalist vibes, while a shaggy Moroccan is practically an invitation to sprawl out on the floor. There are also no hard and fast rules when it comes to sizing. (Psst: Gigantic rooms don’t necessarily need an oversize carpet.) Ahead are 10 of our favorite living room rug ideas, plus how to bring the look home. 

The Twist on Tradition 

green living roomPin It
Photography by Skye Parrott

A classic faded antique rug doesn’t look grandma when it’s surrounded by funky chartreuse and mustard yellow hues. Jen Auerbach’s edgy taste in art and fondness for velvet lends a fresh feel to something that would seem like a stuffy choice. 

The Faux Hide 

scandi living room with cow hide rugPin It
Photography by Joaquin Trujillo; Styling by Elaina Sullivan

The key to laying down a rug that has an irregular shape, such as faux animal skin, is making sure the furniture around it is working in tandem with it. Putting the two front legs of a nearby armchair or stool on top instantly makes the placement look thoughtful. 

The Mini Flat-Weave 

airy loft living roomPin It
Photography by Jeremy Liebman

A small yet artful flat-weave placed in the center of a sectional can stand on its own—no need to go with a supersize one. Just be careful about your coffee table choice: Something smaller will match the scale, while a large piece will hide the design and read as out of place. 

The Sophisticated Solid

muted green rugPin It
Photography by Emily Andrews; Styling by Randi Brookman Harris; Design by Husband Wife

If you’re only going to commit to one color, make it something special. A cool shade of mint green is especially stunning when the texture is practically like velvet. 

The Naturalist 

small living room with blue artPin It
Photography by Jessica Antola

Jutes are all about texture, so let them shine with a clear glass coffee table. This one’s chunky, circular pattern adds an extra element of visual interest. 

The Fringed Find 

modern living room with black trim windowsPin It
Photography by Seth Smoot; Styling by Rosy Fridman

We inherently want to center the sofa and the rug, but you can create the illusion of depth by offsetting the carpet in a corner, like Apartment 34 founder Erin Hiemstra did with this graphic pick. The long tassels on the end further elongate the space. 

The Cozy Layers

cozy living room with shag rugsPin It
Photography by Pippa Drummond; Styling by Elaina Sullivan

A fluffy sheepskin throw (no matter the size) and a breezy Moroccan shag equals a recipe for warmth. When it comes to styling, take a page out of Joyce Lee’s book and situate the shag underneath the coffee table. 

The Painterly Approach

birds eye view of eclectic apartmentPin It
Photography by Aaron Bengochea; Styling by Elaina Sullivan

Open floor plan? No problem. Delineate the living and dining area with something that instantly captures the eye and defines the seating nook. 

The Tiny Antique 

small yellow rug with leather couchPin It
Photography by Gabriela Herman

An old-world touch and bold pop of color goes a long way, even if it is a standard 3-by-5. A rug of this scale can be used to section off smaller seating areas within a larger space.

The Illustration 

mid century living roomPin It
Photography by Emily Andrews; Styling by Elaina Sullivan

Abstract faces, zodiac signs, Mondrian-inspired shapes—think outside the box when it comes to the design and shape of your rug. Artful pieces like the one in the Home Union founder’s room blend in when they’re surrounded by streamlined mid-century modern furniture. It’s okay to keep the sofa simple—something special is underfoot.  

See more stories like this: 
10 Bedroom Rug Ideas to Put a Spring in Your Step Every Morning
15 Graphic Rugs That Add Instant Personality to Any Room
Your Floors Need a Dose of Color—Shop 10 Rugs That Pop

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