I received this question a little while back from a reader who needed some help figuring out what type of area rug to buy for her living room.
I hope you dont mind but I have a question for you. I just did my floor in my family room (wood) until we get a sectional we have two couches (black) that meet and a corner table. In the middle of the room we have a round coffee table! My boyfriend wants a round inexpensive rug because next year we are going to get new couches, so he doesnt want to invest in an expensive rug if we will be replacing it. Anyway, does it need to be round if the table is or can it be a rectangle and do we need to have black in the rug just because the couch is black? I am sorry, but you are the only one that I know that would be able to help me! I appreciate any guidance! By the way, everything you do is stunning!
Here's my response: First off, no, you don't need a round rug. You actually need a rectangular rug. Rugs are generally used to anchor a furniture arrangement and since the main items that make up the living room are the 2 sofas (which create an "L" shape), then the rug should be rectangular. I usually relegate round rugs to dining rooms with round tables or larger foyers. You want to have the rug either meet the edge of the sofas or have it large enough for the front 2 legs to go on it.
As for the color, you don't need to have black in it, but it should be a color that compliments black. For instance, a pastel rug would not be ideal with black sofas. But if the room has artwork with black frames or drapes hung on a black rod, then that will tie the black in well enough.
Image courtesy Apartment Therapy
Now, an easy solution would be something neutral, but think about the sofas you may want to get in the future. A tan rug now would work with the black sofas but if you eventually do tan sofas you have a room full of oatmeal. No good. You may think you'll switch out the rug when you switch the sofas, but there will very likely be some overlap. You could start with either artwork or some pillows to pull your color palatte from if you don't plan to design around an area rug (which is actually where I start a lot of my projects)
Don't go with anything smaller than a 6'x9' or it will look chintzy. Better to buy a simpler rug that is the right size than a higher end rug that is too small. It's like couture pants that are 2 inches too short. They may be designer, but they're still highwaters.
Christine Schwalm is an Interior Designer and Visual Merchandiser based in NYC. This space will keep you updated on what's going on with CSD along with some ideas to inspire you. Go here for more information about pricing and services and here to make an appointment.