How to Arrange your Furniture Around a Rug

Grey sofa with grey floor rug and coffee table

Living room with blue rug and grey sofa

For many of us, the rug is the item we have most agonised over when it comes to picking items for the home. It brings warmth, colour and texture to a space and so it’s no surprise that from a stylistic point of view, you want it to get it just right. But how do you make sure the rug remains prominent, without creating a ‘hole’ in the room’s décor?

The round rug

For square or boxy rooms, the round rug is the perfect way of adding a change in motion;

  • For larger rooms try adding more than one round rug, but keep them the same design and style otherwise it will look too choppy. Place them randomly in the space or better still, allow them to float around the room as you use it (but make sure they aren’t a slip hazard!).

Grey and blue round rugs

  • For smaller rooms when you don’t have a huge amount of floor space, getting your round rug noticed can be difficult. Placing it under a piece of large furniture so that its rounded curved peep out is perfect. In the bedroom, for example, put the bedroom rug under the bed so you have it to welcome your feet as you get out of bed but with plenty of rug on show at the foot of the bed.

In the dining room, use a round rug in the centre of the room, even if you decide to off-set your dining table.

The square or rectangle rug

Living room with large yellow rug

They are, by far, the most popular shaped rug that people opt for. There is a comfort in the pleasing angular, lines of the rectangle or square rug that draws our attention. Our belief is that with this shape, a large living room rug could be easier to accommodate in any room, from the bedroom to the living room.

We can still make fundamental errors, however, which means that the rug becomes lost beneath our feet…

  • Not applying the four-two-none rule – when furniture doesn’t feel anchored in a room, it and your cherished rug will feel lost and floating in space. If this is happening, address it by applying the four-two-none rule. With your furniture dotted around its straight edges, either all four legs need to be on the rug (only advisable for big rugs), or two legs of each piece or none. If you have a side table on the rug and the two legs of one sofa but none of the other sofa, it will not look right.
  • Mismatch colours – when you want to add a rug to a room, it is best to start with the rug, matching the wall colour to it rather than the other way round. This way, your vibrant red rug or stylish blue rug won’t be jarring against the room’s décor.

Irregular shaped rugs

Brown leather sofa with cowhide floor rug

Irregular shaped rugs can be a welcome note of change in a room but it’s important to understand how best to use them. With rectangle and round rugs, the dimensions of the room and size of the rug will dictate whether you place furniture on it or not. With an irregular shaped rugs, designers suggest keeping furniture off it, opting for a suitably sized rug that fits the floor space you have available.