How to Choose the Perfect Size Rug for your Living Room

Living Room Rug Sizing Guide

How big should my living room rug be?  It’s a common question and a very common area of your home to make a mistake. I see it all the time.

But fear not, navigating the art of selecting the ideal rug size for your living room doesn’t have to be a daunting task, I’m here to guide you through!

Design by Carla Bast

Whether you’re working with a compact room, a spacious living area, or a uniquely shaped layout, I’ve got practical insights to share. Let’s delve into the specifics!

1. Furniture Layout

Your furniture arrangement is key in the size of your rug and rug placement. Traffic flow is also very important. Avoid the walking path in and out of the space where it can be a tripping hazzard.

This living room rug size clears the traffic areas on both sides while anchoring the furniture pieces.

The smallest sized rug should be large enough to allow placement of the front legs of your furniture pieces on the rug while the back legs can be off. This doesn’t work with swivel chairs and side tables, so you will want the base of a swivel chair or table to be completely on the rug if possible. If the base can’t be completely on the rug, then place the entire piece comepletely off the rug.

RELATED: 39 Easy Center Table Decor Ideas (and tips) for your Living Room

2. Standard Sizes

It’s most cost effective to work with these common standard rug sizes:

Rectangular Rugs

  • Small Rug: 5′ x 8′
  • Medium Rug: 8′ x 10′
  • Large Rug: 9′ x 12′

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Round Rugs

  • Small Round Rug: 6′ in diameter
  • Medium Round Rug: 8′ in diameter
  • Large Round Rug: 10′ in diameter

If you’ve got a unique space, no worries! Some manufacturers customize sizes to fit. You can also get creative with broadloom carpet – you can have it cut, bound, and boom, your own custom rug!

Broadloom carpeting was cut and bound on the edge to create a custom round sized rug for this large living room seating area. Design by Carla Bast

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Room Layouts to Consider with standard sized rugs:

9′ x 12′ area rug: 

A living room measuring 11′ x 14′ or larger is an ideal space for a 9′ x 12′ area rug. This rug size is spacious enough to comfortably accommodate most furniture and accent pieces, allowing them to rest on its surface.

8′ x 10′ area rug: 

A living room measuring 10′ x 12′ or larger is well-suited for an 8′ x 10′ area rug. This rug size is designed to comfortably house the majority of your living room furniture and accessories.

5′ x 8′ area rug:

In a small living room measuring 7′ x 10′ or larger, a 5′ x 8′ area rug is a fitting choice. This rug size allows for the placement of a coffee table with furniture legs off the rug, or it can create a cozy seating arrangement with a pair of accent chairs and a side table in front of a fireplace. This layout is particularly well-suited for apartments and homes with restricted floor plans.

Choosing the right size rug will help turn your living room into a snug retreat.

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3. The General Rule of Thumb

A good rule of thumb is to leave approximately 12-18 inches of bare floor between the edges of the rug and the walls. Agan, keeping in mind major traffic areas that you will not want a rug to partially impede on such as an adjacent hallway.


4. Go Big or Go Home – Get a Large Rug

In large living rooms, embrace the grandeur of a larger rug that accommodates all your furniture. For the right rug size, make sure the rug extends beyond the furniture to anchor the entire seating area. Not only will a properly scaled rug enhance the look, but it will quiet down any echoing that you may be experiencing in your larger room.

Design by Carla Bast

5.  Smaller Space, Bigger Impact

Small spaces crave big impact, too. When working with a smaller living room, the same general rule applies. Choose a rug that fits the seating area vs. a smaller rug. Leave a border of exposed flooring of about 12 inches of space from the wall or cabinetry to the edge of the rug. This is a great way to create a sense the spaciousness of a larger room. Smaller spaces will feel more open and airey.


This is a great way to create a sense of spaciousness without overwhelming the room.

6. Round Rugs & Square Rugs

Round rugs are a fantastic way to add visual interest to your geometric living room. I love them when working with a circular seating arrangement. It makes for such a cozy converSation space. They work well near traffic areas in eliminating the corners of a rug to protrude into a traffic area, making it a bit safer as well.


The modern aesthetic of a square rug can elevate and complement contemporary design styles by incorporating clean lines, geometric patterns, and a sleek visual vibe. Square rugs often feature simple and structured designs, aligning well with the minimalist and uncluttered nature of contemporary interiors. 

Square or round rugs 

  • 6′ X 6′ Room Size: 4′ round rug or 4′ x 4′ square area rug
  • 8′ X 8′ Room Size: 6′ round rug or 6′ x 6′ square area rug
  • 10′ X 10′ Room Size: 8′ round rug or 8′ x 8′ square area rug
  • 12′ X 12′ Room Size: 10′ round rug or 10′ x 10′ square area rug

7. Room Size Matters

Here are a few different sizes of rugs reccomended by room size.

  • 5′ X 7′ Room Size: 3′ x 5′ area rug 
  • 7′ X 10′ Room Size: 5′ x 8′ area rug
  • 10′ X 12′ Room Size: 8′ x 10′ area rug
  • 11′ X 14′ Room Size: 9′ x 12′ area rug
  • 14′ X 17′ Room Size: 12′ x 15′ area rug

The rug sizes recommended above will keep approximately a 12-inch border along all sides of the rug if it’s centered in the middle of your room. The most common standard living room rug sizes are 5′ x 8′; 8′ x 10′; and 9′ x 12′. You can apply these sizes to rectangular and oval area rugs. 

stone gray fireplace, gray stone on fireplace white mantel, TV above fireplace, home remodel Edina

Bigger is usually better, especially if you have a large living room. If you have plenty of floor space to work with, a large area rug can make the living room feel even bigger.

8. Placement Magic – Finding the Focal Point

Place the rug to accentuate the focal point of your living room, whether it’s a fireplace, entertainment center, or a stunning piece of furniture.


9. Square Rugs for Square Spaces

Square rugs work wonders in square rooms, adding symmetry and cohesion to the space. 

Rustic fireplace with two chairs, metal fireplace surround frame, reclaimed wood, rustic wood shleves, black
Design by Carla Bast

RELATED: 13 Stunning Fireplace Accent Wall Ideas for Your Home

10. When choosing the right size rug for your living room, consider more than just the measurements.

Consider durability: fibers – wool, polyester, sisal, etc.

Choose your living rom area rug not just for aesthetics but also durability factors. Factors such as pets, children and location in the home are key considerations. Whether it’s the natural resilience of wool, the easy maintenance and stain resistance of synthetic fibers, or the enduring strength of natural plant-based options. Select a rug that not only enhances your décor but also stands the test of time.

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Choose your Pile Height: 

Decide on a comfortable pile height. A low pile for a more crisp, sleek look, to high piles for a plush and inviting space.


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When picking the perfect-sized rug for your living room, coordinate it with your color scheme. Aim for a rug that stands out against your floor instead of blending in. This not only adds a visual pop but also helps define your living space. Whether you go for vibrant patterns or subtle tones, making sure your rug contrasts with the floor enhances the overall look of your living room, bringing all the design elements together seamlessly.

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Rug Pad:

Don’t forget the rug pad, (or rug “cushion”). It not only adds extra cushioning but also prevents slipping and sliding, ensuring your rug stays in place in the busiest of living rooms. Rug pads also add to the life of your rug by acting as a barrier between the rug and the floor, keeping the rug from dust and dirt. Be sure to choose the right pad for your type of flooring.


Test your size and placement with painter’s tape or masking tape.

Use painter’s tape on the floor to see the size of vaious rugs. Painter’s tape works best. I prefer it over masking tape because it comes off easily and won’t leave any sticky residue or harm the floor. Start by measuring the length and width you want for your rug in it’s desired location, taking into account your seating arrangement. Then, use painter’s tape to outline the rug’s area on your floor. This not only helps you visualize the size but also lets you step back and check how well the rug fits in your living space.


Bedroom Bliss – Rugs for Every Side:

For bedroom rugs, position the rug to extend beyond the sides of the bed and the foot of the bed. This provides a warm landing spot on your side of the bed for your feet in the morning and softens the look of the room.

Blue Master Bedroom with Circle Ceiling Detail
Design by Carla Bast

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Dining Room Rugs that Don’t Rock:

For dining room rugs, choose a rug that accommodates both the dining table and all the chairs (all four legs), allowing enough space for chairs to be pulled out without rocking on and off the rug’s edge.

Dining Room with blue chairs, round table round rug, grey walls
Design by Carla Bast

Figuring out the perfect rug size size for your living room rug doesn’t have to be a challenge. Simply grab a measuring tape and use these smart tips as your guide to get the right area rug.


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You’ll effortlessly enhance both style and comfort in your living space, whether it’s a cozy nook or a sprawling area, ensuring that your rug perfectly complements your unique taste and vision. Now you’re ready to go on your rug-shopping adventure. Happy new rug hunting!


Hi, I’m Carla


I’m glad you’re here! You are in the right place if you are feeling overwhelmed at the thought of embarking on a remodeling or interior design project. Living with an outdated home and don’t know where to start? I’ve helped families like yours update their home and create spaces that reflect what’s important to them for over 25 years.

I’ve been honored to be featured in:

Real Homes

The Spruce

Apartment Therapy / Cubby

Twin Cities Luxury + Fashion

MSP Magazine

Minneapolis Star Tribune


Home Crux


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