White couch with 3 pillows and a light colored coffee table

4 Tips for Buying Living Room Rugs


Designing the perfect living room starts from the ground up.

Of all the rooms in a home, no room gets more detailed attention from designers than the living room. This is where we greet guests, spend quality time talking with family, and ring in the warmth and magic of the holidays. It is typically the most formal room of the home, so it is often the main focal point of your home’s look.

An area rug is the connecting element that makes a room feel finished. It supports the surrounding theme (modern vs traditional, etc.) and is the bridge to the room’s colors, enhancing the beauty and comfort of the room. The right rug makes a room feel finished and elegant.

Your rug selection is an important choice to get the most of your room’s design and create an inviting space. To help you with your shopping, we’re providing you with some tricks of the trade to make choosing your rug easy. And for personalized assistance, feel free to contact us.

For sizing, not too big and not too small = just right.

Goldilocks would have been an excellent interior designer. Balance is an important factor in creating a harmonious space, and a key way of achieving this is with your area rug. It acts as the grounding element in a room, supplying both physical and aesthetic comfort while defining a seating area. If the rug is too big, the furniture appears small. If the rug is too small, your furniture concept will feel unfinished and your furniture will look like guests in your own home.

To make it “just right,” choose a rug size that (1) lies completely underneath the furniture, or (2) extends underneath the front legs of the sofa and chairs. In both cases, be sure it covers the full length of the sofa.

For an added understanding of rug sizing, here’s a link to our previous article on how to find the correct size.

Choose a color palette.

When it comes to colors, the largest features in the room create the largest impact. This includes walls, drapes, rugs, sofas, and chairs. When chosen well, a rug’s color brings out the beauty of these colors and their complementary colors so each appears purposeful and even more beautiful.

When working with color, a good general rule of thumb is to layer your room with color in an Oreo approach. If your floors have a strong color, go lighter rug, and then go strong again with the furniture. For light floors, the opposite works as well. You can decide what elements will be dark or light or bold and subdued however you like, and then layer accordingly.

Choose a rug that’s easy to maintain.

Rugs are made in a wide range of materials. Since living rooms are often used for entertaining, guarding against food and drink stains is a smart choice. And with today’s materials, you won’t have to sacrifice the overall look.

Polypropylene is the best choice for maximum durability. It is a synthetic (man-made) fiber that is a similar look, density, and overall characteristics of wool but at a lower price point. You get the same fuzzy and comfy feel and color availability with higher strength and easier maintenance. And with their low price point, you can switch out designs in your living room easier at a lower overall cost.

We choose to sell rugs made of polypropylene because it has many of the same characteristics of wool and silk rugs, but with greater strength and wearability. It holds up extremely well over time and provides superior protection against food and drink stains, making it ideal for living rooms, dining room, and family rooms. Anything that falls on it cleans up easier than on other materials. It does all of this without sacrificing the look and color while maintaining a low price point.

We offer a wide selection of polypropylene rugs to suit your room’s design from traditional to modern. Our staff can help you find the right rug that creates the ideal balance of color and design so your room feels complete.

Select a rug pad. 

A rug mat, also called a rug pad, gives your rug the grip it needs to prevent wrinkling and skidding, making it safer on slick surfaces like wood and tile. It also protects floors from scratches and stains from food, drinks and pets while adding a cushier feel under your toes.   

Thicker rug pads provide more cushion for a luxurious feel. They are usually made of a combination of felt and rubber and have an adhesive-like texture on the bottom to connect to floors. Combined with their weight, they create a strong skid-resistant surface with thick cushion for comfort. These pads are ideal for conversation areas and lounge areas.

Thinner pads are a good choice for under dining tables and for allowing doors to open more easily. They are typically made of safe rubber and have a waffle pattern similar to shelf liners. They are lightweight and are easy to adjust, yet grip to rugs firmly.

The optimal size for these mats is 1 inch shorter than each side of your rug. This means you will be a total of 2 inches shorter in length and 2 inches shorter in width. This gives you plenty of surface area for your rug to adhere to while maintaining your rug’s beautiful look. If you go larger, the edge of your mat will be noticeable along the edge of the rug. If you go smaller, the edge of thicker pads will be noticeable

We hope this information helps you as you begin your shopping. For assistance choosing the right rug for your home, feel free to visit our Roanoke showroom. Our professional designers will help you find the perfect rug for your home.