Have you recently purchased a gorgeous new sectional sofa for your living room? Or maybe you’ve had a sectional for awhile but have been struggling to figure out how to bring the whole space together. Finding the perfect area rug to place under your sectional can really tie the whole room together and make your seating area feel warm, inviting and pulled-together.
But if you’re scratching your head trying to figure out the right size, shape, color and placement for a rug with a sectional, you’re not alone! With so many options, it can be tricky to know where to start. The layout of your room, the size of your sectional, and your overall decor style will all factor in.
This guide will walk you through everything you need to know to choose and place a beautiful rug under your sectional like a pro. We’ll cover how to select a rug, popular placement options, and dos and don’ts. Follow these tips and you’ll have a lounge-worthy living room in no time!
Choosing the Perfect Rug
When shopping for a rug to place under your sectional, there are a few key factors to consider: the rug’s shape and size, material and texture, and color scheme.
The most common shapes for rugs are rectangular, round, oval and runner.
Rectangular rugs are available in standard sizes like 5×8, 8×10, 9×12 and larger. This classic shape is versatile, able to fit well with both large sectionals and those pushed into a corner.
Round rugs add visual interest and soften the lines of boxier sectional shapes. They work best paired with rounded coffee tables.
Oval rugs can be a happy medium between round and rectangular. Their elongated shape can complement longer, oval-shaped sectionals.
Runner rugs are long and narrow, perfect for anchoring a sectional floating in the center of a room.
When selecting a rug size, make sure there’s at least 18-24 inches of floor showing all the way around the edges of the rug. You don’t want one that’s either too small or too large for the room.
For the rug to properly anchor your sectional, we recommend a minimum 8×10 size. But anything larger than 9×12 is ideal. Be sure to measure your sectional’s dimensions too, and use those measurements as a guide for choosing the proper rug size.
For a very spacious room, don’t be afraid to go for a big, oversized rug! This creates a cozy seating area and defines the living room within a larger open concept space.
Material & Texture
Wool and cotton are popular rug materials. Wool is durable, stain resistant and ages beautifully. While cotton is soft underfoot and more affordable.
The texture of your rug – whether solid, plush, braided, shag, distressed, woven, or patterned – comes down to your personal style. Just be sure the thickness complements the scale of furniture. A beefy shag pairs better with a substantial sectional versus spindly metal legs.
When selecting a color palette, consider what already exists in the space. Pull a color from your sectional, throw pillows or wall art to tie everything together.
For a relaxed vibe, stick to solid neutral earth tones. Blues and greens add an elegant flair. While bright and bold patterns energize the room.
Rug Placement Options
Now that you’ve selected the perfect rug, it’s time to decide where exactly to place it under your sectional sofa. Here are some of the most popular placement options and tips for getting them right:
Centered Under Sectional
One of the most common placements is centering your rectangular rug under the sectional. This creates a neat, tailored appearance.
For a centered look with an L-shaped sectional, orient the rug so the corner of the “L” aligns with the center of the rug. Just be sure all furniture legs sit atop the rug.
Front Legs On Rug
Another traditional option is to place your rug so that only the front legs of the sectional sit atop it. Let the other sides overhang the edges.
For best results, make sure at least the front 18-24 inches of cushion are on the rug. This prevents the awkward “floating” effect.
Aligned With Sectional
Try lining up the edge of your rug with either the long or short side of the sectional.
For a relaxed vibe, keep the alignment loose. Or for a polished effect, precisely line up the rug and sectional edges. This works great with a rectangular rug and sectional.
You can also neatly align the corners of a rectangular rug with the corners of an L-shaped sectional. The tidy symmetry is pleasing to the eye.
Get creative by placing your rug asymmetrically under the sectional! This creates the illusion of a larger area.
Or for visual interest, position the rug diagonally under the sectional. Let it span outward into an adjoining space for an eclectic, conversational layout.
Anchored In Room
Try centering your rug in the middle of the room, then arrange your sectional and other furniture around it. This lets the rug become the focal point.
For a layered boho look, use two smaller rugs underneath the sectional. Overlap them slightly for an informal vibe.
Other Decor Factors to Consider
A few additional things to keep in mind for a seamlessly styled living room:
Arrange other furniture like coffee tables and side tables atop the area rug as well. Try to keep at least the front legs on the rug to tie everything together.
Position taller furniture pieces like entertainment centers and bookcases off the rug perimeter. This helps create separate zones within the larger space.
Sectional Leg Clearance
Pay attention to the clearance between the rug and sectional base. Sectional legs with an exposed height of 4 inches or more give you more flexibility. A rug can just partially tuck under a raised sectional base.
But if your sectional sits lower to the floor, make sure the entire cushion and base are atop the rug. Otherwise it will appear to awkwardly float.
Room Size and Layout
The scale between your rug and sectional should be balanced. An oversized rug paired with a petite sectional gets dwarfed. While an undersized rug makes the sectional feel too large.
For adjoining spaces, consider extending your rug to connect the two rooms. This helps establish a visual flow.
Rug Do’s and Don’ts
Here are a few best practices when placing a rug under your sectional:
Do select a rug that’s at least 8×10 feet or larger. The bigger the sectional, the larger your rug should be.
Do make sure furniture legs sit atop the rug and aren’t suspended awkwardly halfway on and off.
Do use your sectional shape and room layout to get creative with placement. An asymmetrical or diagonal orientation opens up possibilities!
Don’t choose a rug that’s either too small or overwhelms the room. Leave a border of visible floor space around edges.
Don’t be afraid to layer two smaller rugs for an eclectic, collected look.
Don’t worry about perfect symmetry and alignment. A casually placed rug adds a relaxed vibe.
Pulling It All Together
Finding the right rug to pair with your sectional sofa comes down to taking stock of your sofa size and shape along with the room’s dimensions. Select a rug that’s the proper scale for the space and accommodates your desired placement.
While a symmetrical, centered orientation is always classic, don’t be afraid to have fun with creative off-centered options too. Layering in other furniture like coffee tables and experimenting with diagonal angles can take your layout to the next level.
Most importantly, choose a rug you love that brings you joy. With the endless options available, you’re sure to find one that pulls your whole seating area together into the perfect lounge-worthy oasis!