Rug Placement Under Living Room Sectional - Designing Idea (2024)

See the proper rug placement under a living room sectional including how to place rugs, layout ideas for L shaped sofas, sectionals with chaise, and coffee table with sectional and rug.
Rug Placement Under Living Room Sectional - Designing Idea (1)A rug is absolutely necessary to completing the look of a room. There are many different ways to style a rug and can look better in certain sizes or shapes based on the type of furniture in the space.

Sectionals are typically pretty large and can take up a lot of space; you want to coordinate the size of the rug with the size of the sectional. From there you will want to determine the size of the coffee table and end table that you want to incorporate into the space.

Some recommendations as to the size and styling of rugs and sectionals are described below.

Table of Contents

How to Place a Rug Under a Sectional Sofa

The first consideration rug placement under living room sectional is the size of the sectional compared to the size of the rug. If the rug is larger than the entire sectional sofa legs, it should be placed on the rug.

Medium sized types of rugs typically can have part of the sectional on the rug and half of it off. When considering a smaller rug they should be offset a little from the sectional to only have the coffee table placed on them.

Having a rug under as many legs of the sectional as possible can save the flooring below and even make the sectional easier to move if needed.

Adding an end table can help open up the space by creating the attention outwards instead of all the focus being inside of the sectional and coffee table area.

Sectional Placement Ideas

Rug Placement Under Living Room Sectional - Designing Idea (2)Placing a sectional can be a big task, but there are plenty of options for placement. As a rule to follow a sectional should always be placed with a 36” clear space to move around the sectional.

This is actually the minimum, if you can get 42” to 48” that is going to feel quite a bit more comfortable. If you follow that rule the rest of the choices are pretty subjective to each personals styles.

Considering the layout of the room can be important. For example if there is more of an open floor plan living room, the sectional can be used to separate the spaces. On the contrary it could also be used to connect multiple spaces depending on the layout of the sectional sofa and the focal point of the room.

L Shaped Sectional Rug Placement

Rug Placement Under Living Room Sectional - Designing Idea (3)There are a few good ways to place a rug under an L shaped sectional. First with a larger rug, which is typically the more expensive option, you can place it under the inside corners of the sectional.

The rug should be about 18” longer than each side of the sectional. When placed, the rug should be about halfway under the sectional based on the depth.

Another option is to center the rug on the L of the sectional. This requires a smaller rug as none of it is underneath the sectional itself. The rug comes about 6” off the interior edge of the sectional and measures about the length and width of the sectional.

Another option for size on a rug like this is to square it off with the sectional so that it does not hang farther than the edges of the sectional. Either of these sizes are a great solution as all the edges of the sectional are on the same level, and they do not require too large of a rug.

Sectional Couch and Rug Placement

Rug Placement Under Living Room Sectional - Designing Idea (4)A great way to place a rug under a standard sectional is with an oversized rug . Get a rug that is about 48” longer and wider than the overall sectional.

If you put the sectional on one corner leaving about 24” on the ends it will give the room a solid boundary .This is great when there is an open floor plan and there needs to be distinctions between the living room and dining room, or kitchen.

There are many other ways to place a rug with a sectional including partially under the sectional, or not under it at all.

Rug placement for Sectional with Chaise

Rug Placement Under Living Room Sectional - Designing Idea (5)A sectional with a chaise is just a little different than the L shaped sectional mentioned above. The difference is that it turns almost into a U shape without having a solid back piece on the added section.

To place these types of sectional sofas it’s better to have the chaise on the side that is more open to the adjoining space as it gives a more open and welcoming feel to the room. To play with the difference the best rug placement is partially under the sectional.

This can be located under the chaise end and the L part leaving a gap between the perpendicular end of the sectional and the edge of the rug. This gives the feeling that the rug is larger than it is without overspending.

A chaise can also be used on a linear sofa instead of an L shaped with chaise. This type of piece of furniture can help to cut off a space as all the users will be facing the same way. This can be used with a small or medium sized rug to help keep the attention forward with the sofa and chaise.

Coffee Table Placement with Sectional and Rug

Rug Placement Under Living Room Sectional - Designing Idea (6)When adding a coffee table to the mix with a sectional and a rug there are a few things you should keep in mind.

A coffee table should have roughly 18 to 24 inches between it and the sectional itself. This gives room to move freely in between it while still being able to reach any items that are placed on the coffee table.

The coffee table should be placed fully on the rug to keep it level. Coffee table sizes can come in a wide variety of shapes, and the one you select can depend on the layout of your rug and sectional.

A round coffee table may not be the best with An L shaped sectional, instead trying an oval shape should give a filler, longer look to the space. Round coffee tables can find a better home centered with a U shaped sectional.

Coffee tables are usually best fit in the corner of the L of a sectional, or centered on a U shaped sectional.

Which Way Should a Sectional Face

Rug Placement Under Living Room Sectional - Designing Idea (7)An important part of a living room is the focal point of the space. This is often the fireplace or TV if there is one in the room. If these items are present the focal point may be an outdoor view. This gives something for the seated person to give their attention to.

The sectional should be facing the focal point of the space, making it so the individual or individuals using the sectional can easily view the focal point without any strain.

If the focal point is not yet determined it can be a best to consider how much light is coming from any windows in the space so they do not interfere with any electronics or shine too bright in anyone’s eye when the sectional is in use.

The way a sectional is facing can either close off or open up a room, using this to your advantage can make or break a space. Facing a sectional inward can close the room up and create a cozy space. Placing a sectional I the corner of a room can open up the space as it is taking the attention outwards.

Are there any rug placement under living room sectional we missed? Let us know in the comment section below. For more related content visit our guide on how to pick rug sizeshere.

Rug Placement Under Living Room Sectional - Designing Idea (2024)


Where do you put a rug under a sectional? ›

You want to make sure that the area rug extends reasonably under the sectional. In addition, all of the other furniture should also have a place on top of the rug. If it is not possible, then it is okay to only have the front legs of the sectional on the area rug and the back legs may stay off it.

How far should a rug go under a sectional? ›

Leave at least 6-8” between the rug and the floor on all sides. This will ensure the rug looks intentional in the space. At least two legs of all main furniture pieces should rest on the rug. The rug should extend 12-18” beyond the sides of the furniture underneath.

What is the rule for a rug under a sofa? ›

Furniture Legs Should Sit on the Rug

As a general rule, MacPhail says to allow for at least 3 inches of rug behind the front legs of your furniture. MacPhail says to choose a rug large enough that you avoid squeezing all your furniture close together when accounting for those 3 inches.

How big should a rug be under a sectional couch? ›

Comparing Sectional Size to Rug Size

Very large sectionals, such as a 9' x 11' or 10' x 10', pair well with large rug sizes; 10' x 14' rugs or larger is best. Large sectionals, around 7' x 8' or so, pair well with 8' x 10' rugs. Smaller sectionals that are 6' pair well with 6' x 9' rugs.

Why do people put rugs under couches? ›

If there are smaller accent furniture pieces it is preferable that all of the legs should be sitting on the rug. Positioning a rug under a sofa will create a balanced look and provide a sense of proportion within the room.

How much bigger should area rug be than couch? ›

We suggest picking a rug size from 8×10 feet to 9×12 feet and ensuring that the rug you buy is at least six to eight inches wider than your sofa on all sides. Run the rug the length of the biggest sofa piece and give 30 to 36 inches of walkway between the larger furniture pieces if your space allows for it.

How far from the edge of a room should a rug be? ›

In most rooms, the rules are simple: Leave at least six inches between the end of the rug and the walls (or counters, in the case of kitchens); leave all furniture legs off rugs in busy thoroughfares like entryways and hallways, and let the space dictate your choice of rug size.

Can a rug be too big for a room? ›

Rug Size (Too Big or Too Small)

If a rug is too small, it will appear as if it is floating in the room. If it is too large it will overpower the room and make the room appear smaller than it is. Choosing the right size of rug for your room depends on your design objective.

Can an area rug be smaller than couch? ›

Controversial Question #1: Can your living room rug be shorter than the length of your sofa? Generally speaking we prefer for the rug to be at least a few inches longer than your sofa on both sides so it feels anchored by the rug instead of top heavy and a bit too bulky.

What are the rules for an area rug? ›

Follow the 70% rule

'But the rug should cover at least 70% of your floor space, ideally leaving 1 to 2 feet on either side between the rug and the wall. Rug layering is a great option for when you want to use a smaller rug but also fill the floor space,' she adds. So a rug mistake can easily be rectified.

Do I have to have an area rug in my living room? ›

It's not essential to have an area rug in a living room, especially if it's a compact space or already carpeted. Area rugs provide the most benefit on hard flooring or in larger rooms. Even if it's not absolutely crucial to have an area rug in your living room, you might still want to consider it anyway.

Do rugs go under couches or in front? ›

In a big open-plan space, the rug should sit under the front legs of both the sofas – or if you have a large rug, then both sofas can sit completely atop the rug. If you have chairs in the space as well, then the front legs of the chair should be touching or "hovering" on the rug.

Should a rug be lighter or darker than couch? ›

The rug under couch can be lighter or darker depending on your personal and design preferences. Dark sofas are usually chosen for light rugs and light sofas for dark rugs. If you have a light sofa, a dark rug can provide amazing contrast and vice versa.

How is a rug supposed to fit in a living room? ›

The rug should be large enough that the entire front of the couch is on it. With few exceptions, the rug should be big enough that at least two legs of all other furniture in the room are on the rug. If all the furniture in the room is entirely on the rug, the rug is probably too big.

Does entire couch need to be on rug? ›

When selecting an area rug, make sure that it extends under all the key pieces of furniture in the room. In a living room, for instance, all of the furniture should be on top of the rug. If this isn't possible, it's okay to have the front legs of major upholstered pieces on the rug and the back legs off.

Is a 5x7 rug big enough for living room? ›

For living-room-style seating areas, size according to your furniture. If you like your legs just off the furniture, a 5x7 rug is a good choice. If you prefer legs partially or fully on the furniture, you'll usually want to go with an 8x10 or 9x13 size.

How do you calculate rug size? ›

Measuring a rug is as simple as using a tape measure. For rectangular rugs, simply measure the length and width, and then multiply them together to get the square footage. For round rugs, or any other shape, just measure the farthest points along the perimeter.

What is the rule of thumb for rug size? ›

For most average-size rooms, a rug should cover all but approximately 1 to 2 feet of bare floor between its edges and the walls. So that would mean at least a 10-foot square rug size for a 12x12 foot room.

Do I need a rug pad under couch? ›

Prevent slipping, buckling and wrinkling

Even if your rug is weighed down by heavy furniture, the loose ends of the rug can buckle and bunch up. A rug pad is important to prevent unsightly wrinkling and dangerous tripping hazard this creates.

How do you use two rugs in a living room? ›

Two patterned rugs can work well next to each other – the key to making that pairing successful is to vary the scale of the pattern. Pick one rug with a large scale pattern and opt for a small scale pattern for the other rug. The rugs can easily be tied together with one color in common.

Is it better to go bigger or smaller with a rug? ›

As mentioned before, bigger is almost always better. A few inches can make a world of a difference. If your rug is too small, not only will it make the room look smaller, but it will also make the room appear choppy. Going with a bigger size is worth every extra penny if you want your room to look flawless.

Does an area rug make a room look bigger or smaller? ›

Area rugs or small carpets are the best way of guiding the eyes of the on-lookers onto the places you want. They provide lots of visual focal points for the eye to catch on. With rugs, you can add a lot of character to the floor thereby making it seem busier and spacious than it actually is.

Does a small or a big rug make a room look bigger? ›

Go big with a rug.

It might seem counterintuitive, but when possible, use a rug that extends beyond the furniture in each functional space. For example, in a living area, a rug that sits under the sofa, coffee table and additional seating will draw the eye wider and make that living space appear bigger.

What size rug for a 12x15 room? ›

For example, if the size of your room is 12' x 15' we would suggest using a 9' x 12' rug.

How much floor should show around a rug? ›

In general, the rule of thumb is to allow approximately 18 inches of exposed floor space around the perimeter of an area rug, however the overall size and location of the room should also be taken into consideration.

How often should you change area rugs? ›

The typical lifespan of area rugs run anywhere from 5 to 10 years. The longevity will depend not only on your home's foot traffic, but also on how you maintain your rug.

Where should a rug be placed in a large living room? ›

Overstock suggests orienting your rug with the shape of the room to create some visual flow. Also, you want an equal amount of space around all sides of your rug, at least a foot on either side of your sofa. Anywhere from 8 to 24 inches of exposed flooring between the outer edges of the rug and wall is ideal.

Can a living room rug be too small? ›

A rug in a living room should really ground the whole seating around – it tells everyone that THIS is where the conversation is, this is the focal point of the room, and a too small rug makes it feel disjointed and really just cheapens everything.

What color rug goes with a GREY sofa? ›

Grey sofas go with neutral carpets

For an understated and versatile living room design, we suggest pairing your grey sofa with a beige carpet. Neutral beige, cream and off-white tones will match the tone of your grey sofa perfectly and creates the perfect base for a versatile room.

Is 5x8 rug too small for living room? ›

A 5x8 is usually too small for a living, family room or bedroom. An appropriate place for a 5x8 might be under a twin bed, in a small seating area away from a sofa or under a 60” long or less dining table. 6x9 rugs can work in small rooms with petite furniture, like under a sofa that is less than 80”.

Does a small rug make living room look smaller? ›

The key to using an area rug to help your room look bigger is to use the correct rug size. A common decorating mistake people make is selecting an area rug or carpet that's too small, making the room look choppy and disjointed, and therefore makes it look smaller.

How to choose a rug color for living room? ›

Pick a rug colour that complements your existing furniture and design. Your area rug should match everything! Using existing features such as furniture in your room is a great way to pin down colour choices. Choosing a shade that matches with other elements of the room can make your interior decoration look cohesive.

Do minimalists use area rugs? ›

So if you're thinking about embracing minimalist decor but aren't sure how to make it your own, you've come to the right place. One way to curate a unique minimalist space is by elevating it with a rug, be it a captivating design, texture, or shape.

What to avoid when buying an area rug? ›

4 Common Area Rug Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
  • Mistake # 1 – Choosing a rug that is too small.
  • Mistake # 2 – Buying the wrong type of area rug for your space.
  • Mistake # 3 – Trying to match everything.
  • Mistake # 4 – Not knowing how to place an area rug.

What is the average size rug for a living room? ›

What Is the Average Size Living Room Rug? The standard area rug size for the living room is 9' x 12', but just because this is one of the most popular rug sizes doesn't mean it'll work for everyone. The average dimensions of a living room are 16' x 20', but in some apartments, they're as small as 10' x 13' or 7' x 10'.

Does a carpeted living room need a rug? ›

Adding a rug to a carpeted room will add some much needed character to your apartment. Rugs on carpet will also help protect expensive carpet and is a clever way to hide wear and tear. Here are a few additional reasons why you should consider putting a rug on carpet: You need to hide damage to your carpet.

Should you put rugs on hardwood floors? ›

Rugs protect your floors.

Daily life, along with heavy furniture, can cause permanent damage to your hardwood floors if you're not careful. So keep your floors in good shape by adding a rug! Rugs (plus a rug pad) will eliminate any potential damage a heavy piece of furniture can do.

Should the TV stand be on the rug? ›

A good rule of thumb is that either all furniture legs are on the rug or all front legs are on the rug.

Where is the best place to put a rug? ›

Place the rug in the centre of the living room (under your ottoman or coffee table) and place (at least) the front legs of your your sofa and armchairs on the rug too so that the rug disappears underneath the furniture, and the furniture frames the area. This makes for a cleaner more aesthetic appearance.

Should a rug be centered in the room or under the bed? ›

The most common spot for an area rug in the bedroom is under the bed, where it anchors the room's largest piece of furniture. If you have nightstands flanking the bed, decide whether you want the rug to go underneath them—all the way to the headboard—or stop before the nightstands' front legs.

How do you pair a sofa with a rug? ›

It is always safest to go bigger than your sofa. As general guidance, you will want your rug to be placed behind the front legs of the sofa, extending beyond each side by at least 30cm. You will also want a decent border around all sides of your coffee table.

What colour rug makes a room look bigger? ›

Light-colored rugs make a room look brighter and feel spacious. Consider pale pastels, natural-looking neutrals, and off-white to start.

How do you place an area rug in a living room with a sectional? ›

Place The Rug In The Center

If you have an L shaped sectional couch, put your rug in the middle of the space in front of the couch. Rectangular and square rugs can be lined up with the corners of the couch. Circular and oval rugs can simply be centered in this space.

How big should a rug be under a sectional? ›

Comparing Sectional Size to Rug Size

Very large sectionals, such as a 9' x 11' or 10' x 10', pair well with large rug sizes; 10' x 14' rugs or larger is best. Large sectionals, around 7' x 8' or so, pair well with 8' x 10' rugs. Smaller sectionals that are 6' pair well with 6' x 9' rugs.

How do you place a sectional couch in a room? ›

You should situate the furniture in your space to facilitate conversation. Like any sofa, sectionals can go in front of a window or line up with a fireplace. If your sitting room is also your TV room, you can aim the corner of your sectional toward the television.

Where should a rug be under a corner sofa? ›

Large corner sofa, small rug

If you have a Corner sofa like this one, by Hay, it makes sense to follow the lines of it by placing a small or even extra small rug at the centre of it. Allow a small gap between the rug and sofa on both sides, then position your coffee table centrally on top of it.

How do you arrange a sectional in a living room? ›

The most obvious arrangement for a sectional in a small room is to push an L-shaped couch right up into the far corner of the room, facing the TV or fireplace. This option opens up the room and maximizes seating without blocking off the flow from the adjacent room.

Do you have to have a rug in the living room? ›

It's not essential to have an area rug in a living room, especially if it's a compact space or already carpeted. Area rugs provide the most benefit on hard flooring or in larger rooms. Even if it's not absolutely crucial to have an area rug in your living room, you might still want to consider it anyway.

How do you tell if a corner sofa is left or right? ›

If you are looking at the sofa, facing the longest edge, it is a right-hand sofa if the corner and the short edge are to your right. Obviously, then, it is a left-hand sofa if the corner and the short edge are to your left.

Is 5x7 rug too small for living room? ›

For living-room-style seating areas, size according to your furniture. If you like your legs just off the furniture, a 5x7 rug is a good choice. If you prefer legs partially or fully on the furniture, you'll usually want to go with an 8x10 or 9x13 size.


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