How To

How To Choose A Living Room Rug - Buying Guide

How To Choose A Living Room Rug - Buying Guide Image

An often-overlooked decor item, the humble floor rug is actually one of the most powerful pieces you can incorporate into your living room. Not only do rugs translate your personal style down onto the floor, making your space more vibrant and dynamic, but these versatile pieces are ultimately practical – oh, and they look good while doing it, too!

Whatever your tastes and needs, there’s a rug out there to suit you and your home. But, it’s not as simple as picking up the first one you see online or in your favourite homewares shop. To help you choose the perfect rug for your living room, we’ve put together a must-read buying guide with the expertise of our amazing team of stylists.

Do you need a living room rug?

To kick us off, we’re answering the question on everyone’s mind… one they’re perhaps a bit too shy to ask aloud. Do you really need a living room rug? The answer, simply put, is yes – if you’re questioning it, there’s absolutely no harm in getting a living room rug, and on the flipside, there’s so much to gain. Floor rugs are a beautiful addition to any space, giving you another medium to work with as you endeavour to create the perfect look and feel in your living room. They’re textured, vibrant, and draw the eye, so aim to be intentional when making this big decision.

From a functional standpoint, rugs are soft under your feet, making them an ideal choice for anyone with hardwood floors, tiles or concrete. They aid a room’s ‘flow’ by creating division or, alternatively, assisting with the continuity between objects or sections of the room. Plus, they can be placed under furniture items like coffee tables as a buffer, preventing dents or scratches on your flooring. See – we told you rugs did it all!

Placing your furniture over your rug makes your space seem larger.
Placing your furniture over your rug makes your space seem larger.

Placing your floor rug

Placing your furniture over your rug makes your space seem larger.
Placing your furniture over your rug makes your space seem larger.

Now that you’re wondering how you’ve lived without a living room rug for so long, let’s talk placement. There’s no right or wrong when it comes to design, but there are a few guidelines you can use to help you unfurl that stunning new piece in the right place.

One thing to really keep in mind when placing your rug is symmetry. This is especially important if you’re working with a rectangular, square or circular piece – creating symmetry with your sofa and coffee table as ‘anchors’ will create a clean and cohesive look. Align the centre of the room or furniture setting with the centre of your rug for precision.

Against the other axis, use similar principles, with your furniture items as a marker of sorts. While a rug that extends past the back of your couch might look super strange and out of place, moving it forward so it extends in the opposite direction, stretching towards your entertainment unit, will feel much more comfortable and inherently harmonious. Ultimately, rug placement in your living room is totally up to you, but following these tips will help you find focus if you’re not sure where to begin.


Selecting your size and shape

Size and shape are crucial elements that’ll determine the overall mood of your rug. Where a huge, expansive rug that takes up practically your entire living room may feel cosy and insular in some homes, it’ll have an overwhelming effect in others – just like a small area rug may suit an apartment perfectly, but feel out of place in a rambling family home. So, be sure to let your space’s existing look and feel influence the size and shape of the rug you select.

Brosa’s guide to placing furniture with some of our most common rug sizes.
Brosa’s guide to placing furniture with some of our most common rug sizes.
Brosa’s guide to placing furniture with some of our most common rug sizes.
Brosa’s guide to placing furniture with some of our most common rug sizes.

Generally, it’s best to let the size of your room influence the size of the rug you’re going for, but there are certainly exceptions. Large rugs work well in bigger spaces, but small rugs can be used in a variety of contexts – to accent, to create a sub-area within a larger room, or to establish a specific look by aligning colour, style and texture. Whatever size you select, be sure that your rug of choice appears cohesive with your existing furniture pieces. Dive even deeper into finding the right size rug for your living room with this how-to guide.

Shape is another variable you might like to play with a little to set a certain tone in the room. Where square and rectangular rugs are symmetrical, sleek and modern, circular and oval-shaped rugs have more of a whimsical, bright feel.

Polyester gets a bad rap, but it is a highly durable material that can take a lot of action, as seen with our Jordan range of rugs.
Polyester gets a bad rap, but it is a highly durable material that can take a lot of action, as seen with our Jordan range of rugs.

Finding the right material

Polyester gets a bad rap, but it is a highly durable material that can take a lot of action, as seen with our Jordan range of rugs.
Polyester gets a bad rap, but it is a highly durable material that can take a lot of action, as seen with our Jordan range of rugs.

Something that’ll truly make or break your rug game is material. With so many textures and styles to choose from, material can help you to evoke a certain feeling – but of course, it’s also central to how your rug will feel under your feet, and how easy or difficult it is to care for.

If you like a smooth, soft and luxurious rug with low pile, silk will be your best friend. Cotton has a similar feel, but both need to be looked after to stay in top shape. Wool rugs present another luxe choice, and with a variety of thicknesses, piles and even accents (think shag and tassels) they’re super versatile. You’re likely to find a wool piece to suit practically every living room, with a huge range of looks on offer that run the full gamut of style, from boho rugs to chic, modern rugs. If you’re looking for that traditional, super-fun shaggy rug that we all know and love, wool is a prime candidate.

For those whose tastes are a little more earthy, natural fibre rugs are our go-tos. Jute rugs are durable, easy to clean, and surprisingly soft, making them a perfect choice for anyone with a young family or with pets. Other options in the same vein include bamboo, hemp and seagrass. Each of these have a woven, rustic look that would fit right into a coastal-style home, but wouldn’t look out of place against any number of backdrops due to their neutral tones and minimalist approach.

The deep wine red of our Ainsley rug will bring a warm depth to your interior.
The deep wine red of our Ainsley rug will bring a warm depth to your interior.

Deciding on colour

The deep wine red of our Ainsley rug will bring a warm depth to your interior.
The deep wine red of our Ainsley rug will bring a warm depth to your interior.

With your dream rug close to mapped out in your mind, colour is the final thing to consider. Like any other object in your living room, the colour of your rug will help influence the way you feel in the room, whether that’s bright, bold, natural, laid-back… the list is endless.

Many of us tend to opt for neutrals, such as white rugs, grey rugs and brown rugs. While they aren’t the most eye-catching hues on offer, selecting rugs in this colour palette will help ground your room and create a strong foundation to build your other styling off. To add some visual excitement, you might like to go for a neutral pattern, such as something that mixes white and brown in stripes, paisley or a print. Striking a balance with your flooring is also a good idea – rather than the two melding together, contrasting black with white or brown with cream adds another layer of visual complexity.

If you’re all about bold colours, your rug is the perfect piece to incorporate these tastes. Bright pops of colour look beautiful on the floor, drawing the eye and really showing off your personality. Try to use your rug colour of choice as an accent throughout your entire home, rather than mixing and matching hues at random – for instance, if your Hamptons living room has navy blue accents, it’s only natural to translate this colour into your rug, rather than pulling out a new hue and trying to make it work.

Once you’ve figured out what your perfect rug looks like, it’s time to hit the shops and find a piece that fits the bill. Shop online today with Brosa and select from a wide range of on-trend, durable and chic rugs that will stand the test of time both stylistically and when it comes to wear and tear. Take your new rug home with Australia-wide shipping and flexible payment options.


Shop our Outdoor edit:

  1. Medina Ivory Flax Wool Rug
  2. Ainsley Beige Wool Shag Rug
  3. Mecca Cloud Ivory Vintage Rug
  4. Jordan Rust Geo Textured Rug
  5. Staten Natural Jute Wool Rug
  6. Jericho Fawn Ivory Plush Rug