Tips for Selecting and Layering Area Rugs for Your Living Room



As a home decor enthusiast, I understand the importance of area rugs in transforming the look and feel of a living room. Not only do they add warmth and comfort to the space, but they also serve as a key element in enhancing the overall decor. In this article, I will share valuable tips on selecting and layering area rugs to elevate the style and functionality of your living room. Let’s dive in!

Consider Your Living Room Layout and Size

When choosing area rugs for your living room, it’s crucial to assess the dimensions and shape of the space. Take measurements of your living room to determine the ideal rug sizes and shapes for different areas. For example, if you have a large open-concept living room, you may opt for a larger rug to cover the central seating area, while smaller rugs can be used to define specific zones within the room, such as a reading nook or a conversation area.

Choose the Right Colors and Patterns

To create a harmonious and visually appealing living room, consider the existing color scheme when selecting area rugs. Choose rugs that complement or coordinate with the colors in your furniture, walls, and accessories. Additionally, don’t shy away from incorporating patterns into your rug selection. Patterns can add depth and visual interest to the space, whether through geometric designs, floral motifs, or abstract patterns.

Determine the Purpose and Functionality

Understanding the primary use of your living room is essential in selecting the right rugs. If your living room experiences high foot traffic or if you have pets or children, opt for rugs that are durable and can withstand frequent use. Look for materials such as wool or synthetic fibers that are known for their resilience. On the other hand, if your living room is more of a formal space used for entertaining guests, you can focus on selecting rugs that are more delicate and luxurious.

Play with Texture and Material

The texture and material of an area rug can greatly influence the overall look and feel of your living room. Explore different rug materials such as wool, cotton, jute, or sisal, each offering its own unique texture and aesthetic. For a layered look, consider mixing rugs with different textures to create a visually appealing contrast. For instance, pair a plush shag rug with a flat-woven rug to add dimension and tactile interest to the space.

Mix and Match Rug Styles

Adding personality to your living room can be achieved by mixing and matching different rug styles and designs. Experiment with rugs of varying patterns, colors, and textures while keeping a cohesive theme in mind. If you have a bold patterned rug as the focal point, balance it out with complementary rugs in more subdued tones or simpler designs. This combination will create a balanced and visually pleasing arrangement.

Experiment with Layering Techniques

Layering rugs is a fantastic way to add depth and visual impact to your living room decor. Play with different sizes and shapes to achieve an eclectic and stylish look. Consider layering a smaller accent rug on top of a larger base rug to create a defined zone within the room or to add an unexpected pop of color. You can also experiment with layering rugs of similar sizes to create a sense of dimension and coziness.

Pay Attention to Rug Placement

Proper rug placement is key to anchoring the space and creating a well-balanced living room. Position larger area rugs under furniture pieces, such as sofas and coffee tables, to visually tie the elements together and create a cohesive look. Smaller accent rugs can be used to highlight specific areas, such as an entryway or a cozy reading corner. Be mindful of the rug’s proportions in relation to the furniture and ensure that there is enough space for comfortable movement.

Don’t Forget about Rug Maintenance

To prolong the lifespan of your area rugs and keep them looking their best, regular maintenance is crucial. Vacuum your rugs frequently to remove dirt and debris, and promptly attend to any spills or stains. Depending on the material, consider professional cleaning every year or as recommended by the manufacturer. Additionally, rotate your rugs periodically to ensure even wear and exposure to sunlight, which can help maintain their vibrant colors.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I layer rugs on carpet?

Absolutely! Layering rugs on carpet can add an extra touch of style and coziness to your living room. Choose rugs with contrasting textures and patterns to create visual interest and make sure the rug on top is smaller than the base rug to create a clear distinction between the layers.

2. How do I choose the right rug size?

When choosing the right rug size for your living room, consider the dimensions of the space and the furniture layout. Ideally, the front legs of your furniture should be on the rug, creating a cohesive and anchored look. If you have a small living room, a rug that fits all furniture legs on it can create a sense of spaciousness.

3. How do I maintain the quality of my rugs?

Regular maintenance is essential for preserving the quality of your rugs. Vacuum them regularly to remove dust and debris, attend to spills immediately, and consider professional cleaning as needed. Additionally, avoid placing rugs in direct sunlight to prevent fading and rotate them periodically to ensure even wear.


Selecting and layering area rugs in your living room can be a fun and creative process that adds character and warmth to the space. By considering the layout, colors, patterns, and materials, as well as experimenting with layering techniques and proper placement, you can transform your living room into a stylish and inviting sanctuary. Remember to have fun, trust your instincts, and let your personal style shine through your rug choices. Happy decorating!