It is well known that the kitchen is the heart of the house. But what about the living room? What major organ should we assign to it?

Living rooms usually require more furnishings than any other room. We’ve talked to some stagers who are decorating multiple living rooms per week, and all of them concluded that area rugs are an essential part of the living room. They agreed that finding the perfect rug can be a real challenge; there are several details you have to think about when choosing one for your living room.

However, the whole process is much easier if you know where to look and start. The experts in the field have told us that it’s not unusual to design a room around a rug, so you may think about doing the same if you happen to give your room a makeover from scratch.

This said, we’ve created a beginner’s guide to help you find the perfect rug. Keep reading to find out what the experts told us!

size matters
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Size Matters

One size does not fit everyone and all instances, just like the shoe from Cinderella’s story. Before starting to think about color, material, pattern, or texture, you need to establish first what size will suit your space. We’re not the first or last who write about rug size, and there are some discussions about what makes a perfectly sized rug. However, the interior designers we talked to concluded there’s a way that can help you find the right size:

To make your room feel cohesive, all — or at least most — of the furniture found in the seating area must be touching the rug. More exactly, the front legs of the furniture should be resting on it by at least three to seven inches. 

Some experts may say that even the back legs of your furniture should rest as well on the rug, but this applies only to large rooms with more than three seating areas. So this rule is not for you unless you live in a mansion.

How to Choose the Perfect Size

You’ve decided to follow this step. Now what? Well, the first thing would be to lay out all the pieces of furniture in the room. If the furniture hasn’t yet been purchased or delivered, you can tape it off. Next, you’ll have to measure it with a measuring tape to establish what floor covering will fit your space well.

Nowadays, area rugs are manufactured in sizes other than 5×7 or 6×9, but they are always quite similar to those standard sizes. For instance, the 5×7 type may be a few hundred dollars cheaper than the 6×9 version, but you’re not doing yourself any favors if your floor covering looks like a small island at sea in your room. Remember that when your guests are chatting in your living room, their feet should be on the same carpet.

traditional or unconventional rug
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Traditional or Unconventional Rug?

The size-related rule we mentioned earlier has, like any other rule, an exception. In this situation, it’s irregular-shaped rugs. A cowhide one is the best example of a rug with uneven shapes. They are really popular right now, are perfect for casual spaces, and have a cool effect. Those that fill a room like a paint splatter don’t unify the room as standard rectangular rugs do, and they are excellent at floating in the center of a room like an island.

They still look great when tied to the furniture. Stagers recommend placing one portion of the rug a few inches beneath your central seating arrangement (the couch in most cases).

It’s All in the Touch

When it comes to the material of the rug, the most important thing is whether it’s synthetic or natural fiber. As you may already know, natural floor coverings are more expensive, but they aren’t always better for your space. In most cases, natural fiber rugs are made from cotton, wool, silk, or jute (sisal).  The synthetic ones are typically polyester, polypropylene, or nylon.

For a formal living room, it’s best to choose a wool rug. They are thicker, naturally less absorbent, and feel quite luxurious when you walk on them. However, before making a decision, think about how much traffic would be in your room.

Some experts recommend viscose blend rugs for those areas you want to stage as they look like silk but are much cheaper. However, if you put them in high-traffic areas, they may not last as long. Also, if you like to redecorate once in a few years, you might not want to spend thousands of dollars on a floor covering to get the design style you desire.

Investment pieces, like most of your home furniture, may last for a very long time, but keep in mind that sometimes people change their tastes.

considering color
Photo by Artazum from Shutterstock

Considering Color

For many folks, the material of the rug is an often overlooked detail, even if it should not be. The interior designers agree: it’s all about the pattern and color. But where do you start when there are so many patterns and colors to choose from?

If you already have some furniture and color in your room, you have your answer! Light couches look best on dark rugs and vice versa. Do you have patterns on your walls? Choose a simple rug.

Here’s some helpful advice: the dominant color in the floor covering should be different from the dominant color in your room. Whatever the color you choose, it should be present but also complimentary. Having the same wall and rug color won’t give your home the best look.

Some interior designers recommend finding something for your floor that has some colors on it and an abstract pattern. It seems that it’s easier to build a room when you have a rug like this. Then choose a color from it that you like and add it to your couch using a throw blanket and some pillows. Finally, add a complementary color, and that’s it!

Floor covering can have more than two colors and still be neutral, so don’t worry if the color isn’t actually your thing. If your favorite rug has some hints of blue, orange, or gold (here’s one you may like), all of them woven into an unusually natural rug, it’s totally OK to use those subtle colors for other elements of the room.

But it’s not necessary. The colors in your floor covering don’t necessarily have to match something else in the room, but using this visual strategy as a guide can help.

Floor coverings are pretty essential to space as they physically connect the items found in our rooms together while unifying the whole space and allowing us to display some art under our feet. The color and pattern of the rug are important for the aesthetic of the room, while the type and material of the rug are more vital for the function. It’s important to consider both aspects when choosing a floor covering.

Stagers we talked to recommend doing some research first and even trying a few in your room if that’s possible. In many ways, rugs are to a room what living rooms are to a house. They can unify your house by bringing together several elements: they display the color scheme of your home, pictures of the family, and showcase how you live.

Now, coming back to the initial question, we think we may find the answer to it: if the kitchen is the heart of the house, then the living room may be the skin. So why not tattoo something nice and lovely onto it with the most beautiful rug you can find?

Planning to redecorate? No problem! Here are 8 Timeless Design Trends You’ll Never Regret!

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