When looking to define a space, one of the most common options is an area rug. An area rug can allow you to break a large room up into smaller spaces, or add color and whimsy to a neutral furniture set. If you choose to add an area rug, it is important to understand how to place it in a room.
Placing the Rug Under the Sofa isn’t Always Necessary
Typically, when one thinks of an area rug in a living room, a basic rule of home design is to “anchor” the rug to the furniture. This means placing the edges of the rug under sofa, specifically the front feet of the sofa, as well as the love seat or armchairs.
There are situations where anchoring isn’t necessary. Round Rugs should be allowed to float free of seating, acting as a sort of center compass for the seating space. Oval rugs are generally treated like round rugs, but if the long side has a flat edge comparable to the length of the couch, it is probably a good idea to go ahead and anchor to the sofa.
Another time when true anchoring may not make sense is if you choose to angle the rug, rather than squaring it up on a flat side. You may angle a rug to create a flow from space to space in an open floor plan, or just to add visual interest if things feel a little too “neat”.
To angle a rug, you will typically put one corner of a square or rectangular rug under the couch and let the other corner point toward wherever you would like the eye to flow.
An angled rug may be 90 degrees to the flat face of the couch or, especially in rectangle rugs, it could be any other angle. A square rug at 90 degrees may look best completely unanchored, with no points under the sofa at all.
The Style of Your Couch Affects How You Anchor
A traditional sofa may touch or almost touch the floor. If you have this style of sofa, you have a ton of flexibility.
Since it won’t be visible how much is covered, you can put as much or as little of the rug as needed to fit into the space, as long as at least an inch or two is covered by the sofa. This is especially helpful if you have a rug that is a little large for the room since you can tuck a couple of feet under the couch.
If your sofa is elevated on legs that allow you to see under it, you need to put the rug far enough back that it is clearly “under” under your sofa, and not just edge resting. Make sure the other pieces of furniture (chairs or loveseat) mirror the level of anchoring that is in place on your sofa.
The Size of Your Rug Impacts Anchoring
When placing a rug in your living room, the size matters. If the rug is way too big, it can crowd and look almost comical. If you have a huge room and the side of the rug is substantially bigger than the length of the sofa, it may make sense to actually have the sofa all the way on the rug, especially if you are floating the sofa away from a wall.
Be careful not to use too small of a rug- it should be close to the length of your couch at least. Otherwise, it can be completely dwarfed and covered by your furniture.
If you follow these basic guidelines, you should have no problem making your rug and sofa combo look fantastic!