Living rooms are often thought of as the heart of the home and act as a place of congregation for relaxation and entertainment. It’s important then to ensure that the interior design of a living room is one of style, grace and unity.
Once the interior design of a living room has been perfected, with the use of stunning furniture and immaculate decor, a well-placed rug can do wonders to bring everything together.
In fact, rugs are an essential finishing touch to any living room. When chosen and positioned correctly, a rug brings all of the room’s design elements together. However, as rugs come in a myriad of styles, materials, shapes and sizes, finding the right one can feel overwhelming.
In this expert style guide, we explore four of the key interior design guidelines to keep in mind when looking for a new rug, to help ease the decision process.
1: Balancing Style and Practicality
A home is a place to rest, rejuvenate and relax. Of course, there are few rooms better suited to such purposes than the living room and a nice rug can infuse character, style and warmth into the room.
Aside from being merely decorative, rugs cater to several practical purposes, so it’s important to determine which function a rug will serve before choosing one. Taking style and practicality into consideration when finding a rug is essential.
1. The Style Factor
There’s no doubt that rugs bring an additional layer of style to a living room. In fact, their ability to make a room feel cosier and more refined is almost effortless.
Despite this, rugs are usually a finishing touch and very rarely the focal point of a living room, which is why one’s choice of rug should be considered holistically in regards to the other furniture in the room, such as:
By using a common colour scheme between the rug and other elements, one can create different atmospheres based on their mood. A rug can also be used to contrast other elements and draw out the subtle features of the furniture and the wider room.
Of course, rugs do much more than bringing style and sophistication to a living room. In fact, the best rugs serve a wide range of purposes, such as:
- Protecting the floors
- Insulating the room warm in cold weather
- Preventing drafts
- Reducing and muffling sound
Effectively positioning a rug means considering the practical purposes a rug can serve. For example, to stop a draft coming in from under the doors, one may decide to place the rug adjacent to each door in the room. Or, to help prevent the sound of footsteps on floorboards, it’s best to place the rug in the most used walkways.
While it may be preferable to get an extra-large rug to cover all bases, it’s also possible to place several rugs throughout a living space to cater to a variety of practical and stylistic needs.
2: Choosing a Rug Design
After considering how to balance style and practicality, the next factor to consider is the design of the rug, or rugs. While there are hundreds of rug styles, we’ve selected a few of the most popular rug types to discuss in more detail.
Organic and Rustic Textile Rugs
The Wisp Rug is a large sumptuos rug that takes design inspiration from the 70s with its plush texture.
An ever-popular design, organic and rustic textiles give the living room a naturally-focused and sophisticated look. Some of the traditional features one may expect to find in organic and rustic textile rugs include:
- Rugged textures
- Use of heavy, thick materials like wool and jute
- Earthy, neutral tones
The neutral tones and natural focus of these rugs have the ability to ground a room while providing a complementary accent for a wide variety of colour schemes. These rugs are incredibly versatile and their thick, rich materials make them great for insulating a living room.
Opting for vintage chic can be a bold decision but, when done right, will work wonders to elevate the aesthetic of a room. Finding the right vintage rug means finding a style that delivers a taste of the old, but in a way that’s new.
Contrasting vintage rug designs with contemporary, sleek, angular furniture is a popular choice for bringing out the best of the past while still staying in the present.
Vintage rugs can prove to be stunning living room pieces. Their muted tones bring a depth of character to a room. With the added appreciation for the craftsmanship of artisan weavers, the right vintage rug is able to transform a space in a way few decorations can.
Bold and Patterned Rugs
Neutral tones are often firm favourites but a colourful rug with bold patterns is a great way to give a living room a touch of vibrancy. Such striking features help the rug become the focal point of the living room instead of a backdrop for other pieces within the room.
Additionally, bold and vivid colours bring a sense of panache and a flash of life to the room. This makes them especially popular during the spring and summer months when nature is alive with new sounds and colours.
3: Consider the Size
As well as the placement, style, and practicality of a rug, size is an equally important factor to consider. While some may opt for a one area-size rug that takes up the whole living room, others may just want something want several smaller rugs spread throughout the room.
As well as the practicalities of such a decision, the size of a rug will have just as much an effect on a living room’s overall look as its style and colour. For example, if a rug has been chosen for the sole purpose of bringing multiple pieces together, it needs to be big enough to do so.
Here, several benches and poufs have been placed together in no particular order to create a casual seating area, but notice how it’s the rug that gives the space a sense of purpose and unity.
4: Where and How To Place a Rug
Once a rug has been chosen for its decorative and practical qualities, and it’s certain to fit the space where it will reside, the next step is to know how to position it in a way that will further lift the style of the living room.
The Middle Ground
Placing a large area rug in the centre of a room is a simple way to style a rug that is classic, understated and, most importantly, timeless. Furthermore, as it only requires using one rug, it’s wonderfully uncomplicated but no less effective than many other ways of styling a rug.
One benefit of the middle ground approach is that it’s easy to centre a coffee table with various accessories or statuettes in the middle of the rug, with all chairs and sofas circling around it, thus creating a relaxed atmosphere to induce conversation.
This Tricot Flag Rug has been placed directly in front of the sofa in a way that complements the green hues of the room and the view while the off-centre coffee table lends an interesting composition to the space while leaving the green of the rug uncovered.
Front Legs-On the Rug
When using a middle-ground approach, one may choose a rug that is large enough to cover the majority of the floor but small enough that the sofas and chairs rest on the floor.
However, when working with smaller rugs, it’s worth considering the ‘front legs-on’ approach, whereby the rug is tucked underneath the front two legs of the primary sofa. This helps hold the rug in place and brings multiple pieces together in a way that is unified and balanced.
All Legs on the Rug
In some cases, each piece of furniture in a living room is installed with its own rug. This helps to create unique contrasts and accents for all furniture in the room while helping to protect the floor.
Furthermore, using rugs in such a way allows the furniture to be arranged to create angular walkways throughout the living room. Such an approach works to add dimension and extension to already large spaces.
Conclusion: How to Expertly Style Rugs in a Living Room
When deciding on and placing rugs in a living room, whether that be one or several, it’s important to consider the wider room and the desired effect that the rug will have, not to mention its practical attributes.
In this style guide, we’ve discussed four of the most important factors to consider when finding and placing a rug in a living room, including:
- Balancing style and practicality
- Selecting the right rug design
- Determining the size available for the rug or rugs
- Deciding how to best place rugs in relation to the other furniture in the room
By focusing on these design considerations, one should have no difficulty in finding and placing a rug that has the power to bring dimension, sophistication and warmth to any living room.