The living room is one of the most essential spaces in our home. It’s where we entertain, where we relax, and where we gather with family and friends. If you’re moving into a new house or apartment, or maybe just looking to revamp your current living room space, you are likely seeking out new decor items like lamps, side tables, wall art, and, most importantly, rugs. Rugs are the comfortable and visually appealing heart of a living room, but did you know that they have the power to set the mood and tone for your entire space? Whether you want a living room that conveys relaxation and positive energy, refined elegance, or a lively personality, there is a perfect living room rug size, design, and layout for you.
Hack #1: Use Your Rug as Your Inspiration
Beautiful rugs, especially those with unique patterns and vintage designs, are works of art. If you decide to choose a rug with a bold statement color like orange, red, yellow, blue, or even pink, you want to make sure the rest of your furniture and your paint color is made to match. Rather than starting out with a completed room and searching for a rug as the finishing touch, think of your rug as the base. After all, it goes in the center of the floor, and everything else is situated around it so it can best be displayed. If your rug has a bold pattern, for instance, you might consider choosing more neutral furniture to complement it. If your rug is a bold color like yellow, you could choose that as the accent color for the rest of the room and add in some yellow throw pillows and yellow flowers.
Hack #2: Use The Color Wheel
If you have ever taken an art class, you probably learned about the color wheel. It turns out that color is key to interior design, and the colors we choose to place in our home can deeply impact the mood of ourselves and our guests. In choosing a color for a rug or a room, think about colors that you really love. Ballard Designs recommends starting with colors that are in your wardrobe. If you really love pink, you could go for a rug with pink accents and incorporate a monotone color palette throughout the rest of your home using multiple shades of pink. As an alternative, you could use your rug as inspiration for an analogous color palette—colors like blue and green that are right next to each other on the color wheel. This is a great option if your rug already has multiple colors. If it has both green and blue, or even colors that are not analogous, such as red and blue, you can use these as accent colors.
If you want to go really bold, you can use colors that are across from each other on the color wheel, known as complementary colors. Red and green, yellow and purple, and orange and blue are the three main complementary color pairs. If you do choose complementary colors, consider choosing a third accent color or perhaps more muted versions of the complementary color pair so it isn’t as overwhelming.
Hack #3: Cool Color Rugs for Entertaining
You may think that a warm-colored rug in a shade of orange or yellow is ideal for a social space like a living room, but according to Homes & Gardens Magazine, rugs in cool shades like blue and purple are actually more elegant. Purple used to be a color associated with royalty, so it’s quite fitting that a purple living room rug will make your guests feel like kings and queens.
Hack #4: Utilize Stripes and Geometric Patterns
If you prefer a more modern look centered around black, white, grey, and neutrals, a bold rug with black and white stripes, triangles, squares, or another geometrical pattern could be the perfect statement piece that you need. Because rugs with geometrical patterns tend to repeat angles and lines, they give a sense of order and cleanliness to a living room space. This could be a perfect design choice for more refined homeowners.
Hack #5: Layering Rugs
If you’re torn between two living room rugs—maybe a smaller one with a bold pattern and a more neutral piece—why not choose both? You can give a small, patterned rug a bit of extra weight and flair by placing a natural jute or hemp rug underneath—or even a cotton or wool rug in a neutral color. Layered rugs will especially stand out in bohemian or farmhouse-style living rooms with lots of natural light.
Hack #6: Rugs as Art
Rugs with floral, patchwork, vintage, or other unique designs effectively capture the attention of anyone who steps foot in your living room. If you love flowers and choose a floral rug, you will get to look at something you love every day. It’s important to keep in mind that rugs—like your other home decor—are not just meant to be displayed for visitors, but for you. If you find a piece that speaks to you, whether it’s patterned with flowers, clean lines, funky dots, or symbolic cultural motifs from somewhere like Turkey or Morrocco, it will allow your personality to shine in a place that’s central to your home.