Illustrations: Crystal Osborn
Image courtesy of The Apartment

Our panel stylist Lisa Koehler gives us the low-down on how to get rug placement right.

“The correct placement of a rug depends on how big the room is and what sofa configuration you have. It’s really important to get the balance right, and here’s how:

If you have two sofas then the rug needs to be evenly positioned between them – it should be an equal distance from each sofa – not 10cm in front of one and 20cm in front of the other. If it doesn’t work equally then it’s the wrong-sized rug for this particular space. Aim for symmetry.

In a small space, I like the rug to sit in front of a sofa, so there is a narrow strip of floor showing – this makes the room appear lighter and more spacious. This also gives you visual separation between the sofa and side tables – try a couple of these instead of a coffee table, as you’ll be able to see more of the rug.

In a big open-plan space, the rug should sit under the front legs of both the sofas – or if you have a large rug, then both sofas can sit completely atop the rug. If you have chairs in the space as well, then the front legs of the chair should be touching or “hovering” on the rug. This placement creates a cosy zone without closing off the area to the rest of the room.

With a modular sofa, measure the space for the rug carefully – a standard-sized rug is 230cm by 160cm and that’s a really difficult match for a modular as it can fall short either side. A custom rug is a better bet. A big rug makes a large open space feel more intimate by connecting all the elements.

A rug is the best tool to zone a space in an open-plan area, whether you’re defining space for a living, family or dining area. If you’re zoning the dining area (or if you’re putting a rug in your dining room), choose one that’s big enough for the table and all the chairs to sit entirely on top.”


Shop our gallery of great rug styles for your home here:

For more interior styling advice and great tips, try:
>> rug up: 5 style tips to revamp a room
>> how to mix timber floors with timber furniture
>> kitchen design tips from stylist Claire Delmar