When All Furniture Rests on the Rug
Suppose you want all of your furniture to rest on the rug. For the best aesthetic, plan for the area rug to extend 6-inches past the back of each piece of furniture. This is a great way to style a living room in an open floor plan as it definitively shows the designated space of the room. It can add a sense of coziness and intimacy to an area that would otherwise look cold and empty.
When Furniture Is Against the Wall
If furniture rests against a wall, having a rug that extends beyond the back isn't necessary. Instead, choose a carpet that extends just a few inches past the front feet of the furniture. Doing this helps anchor the rug, preventing it from slipping and sliding. When a rug becomes disheveled, it's not only cumbersome to correct but can make the room look messy and cluttered.
Placement Under a Coffee Table
Another popular style of living room rug placement is choosing an item that only rests beneath the coffee table. This is a great idea if your coffee table is in the center of the room. It adds an excellent accent to the space and allows for a pop of color and texture. Those with beautiful wood grain floors tend to love this option. The same 6-inch principle will apply here. Note that you want the rug to extend past the coffee table's top surface area, not just the legs, for a sophisticated appearance.
Smaller accent rugs are the way to go if you're looking to place a rug under your coffee table. Try not to select an item that's too big or extends too far part the surface of the table, as it can cause the room to look unbalanced.
Once you measure the size of the room and furniture and determine the proper size to allow for anchoring, you'll know which rug dimension to search for. This can significantly narrow your options to the ones that best suit your needs.