How To Use A Rug In An Open Floor Plan

One of the number one rug design rules is to choose a rug that is large enough for the size of your room. A small rug will make your room look smaller, so you want a rug that is large enough to fit underneath the legs of your furniture.

If you live in a home or apartment designed with an open floor plan, how do you style a rug? With this design plan, it doesn’t make sense to choose a rug that fits the size of your room, because it would simply be too big. Additionally, you want to break up your open floor plan into sections—almost like you’re creating mini rooms within one large room. In an open floor plan, there are several design rules to follow to optimize your space and create a cohesive style. Here is how to use a rug in an open floor plan.

Create Sections


Pier Rug from Stonewash by NuLoom

Before you can choose rugs for your open floor plan, you need to section off specific areas in the open floor plan. For example, you may have a dining table. Wherever you place that table will be an imaginary dining room. If you have a TV and couch, that is the living room.

Once you have your imaginary sections, you can complement each imaginary room with the right-sized rug. For the dining area, place a large rug that fits underneath the legs of the table and all of the chairs. Make sure this rug extends slightly beyond the legs of the chairs. This technique will really section off the dining area to make it feel like its own room. The same rules apply to the living space. Make sure the rug goes underneath the front legs of the couch, and underneath the front legs of your TV stand.

Cohesive Colors

ELZ-2329 from Elaziz by Surya


When designing an open floor plan, choosing random colors won’t work in your favor. While you have the flexibility of making each room a different color scheme and theme in a multi-room house, an open floor plan will require you to choose a cohesive color scheme that helps the room look fresh and put together. For an open floor plan, choose 2-4 colors that you’ll incorporate, and make sure the variety of rugs you choose match well.

For example, perhaps right when you walk in you have a camel and light grey rug. Then, underneath your dining table you have a neutral rug with medium grey stripes. So far, you’re keeping a consistent style of neutral and grey colors. Finally, you notice in the front hall rug there are touches of rose and khaki. For the living area, you find a geometric, modern rug that has rose, khaki, and grey. You found three very different and beautiful rugs, but the color schemes are the same, and these colors will define the theme of your open room.

Pairing Patterns

CHT765C from Chatham by Safavieh


You probably love a variety of styles and patterns—if so, you are not alone, but when it comes to an open floor plan, you don’t want to overdo it. When choosing the patterns for your rugs in an open floor plan, you want to stick to a common pattern type.

In the previous example, each of the rugs were modern and geometric. In a room with geometric rugs, you don’t want to add a traditional, floral or bohemian style rug. If you are going to add a more complex pattern with a variety of designs and colors, keep the rest of the rugs in the room neutral and plain, or even solid colors. If you choose a pink floral pattern on a turquoise rug for the main area of the room, choose a simple turquoise print with minimal floral underneath the dining area.


NF453A from Natural Fibers 400 by Safavieh


Another technique for an open floor plan is to layer your rugs. Sometimes an open floor plan can feel too big, cold and empty. Layering your rugs creates a cozy atmosphere and gives life to a large and sometimes empty space. When layering rugs, you won’t feel the need to fill your room with a bunch of unnecessary furniture. Layering rugs also fills your space with texture, which makes it more inviting.

So how do you layer rugs in an open floor plan? Underneath a vintage Aztec rug, place a larger natural fiber rug for the ultimate bohemian, au-natural space. In another area of the room, you can layer a round, natural fiber rug on top of one corner of a Moroccan print rug. Significantly increase the style of your open floor plan by layering smaller shag rugs on top of a variety of rugs in the room.

Playing With Shapes

APN217A from Aspen by Safavieh


There are several reasons you may want to play with a variety of different shapes in your open floor plan. Do you have an island or kitchen counter in your open floor plan? If so, finding a long and narrow rug to line the front of the countertop will look polished and warm. This same shape and style goes well underneath TV tables or entrance tables.

If you need to create a mock hallway or path, use a long and narrow rug to do so tastefully. If you have a round stool or ottoman, place a round rug underneath the stool or ottoman. In the front entrance or back door, a small half rug will look nice and take up much less space. The same rules apply when using a variety of shapes. Avoid mixing and match lots of colors and stick to a cohesive color scheme. Avoid using a bunch of different patterns, and try to make sure the rugs match the style of the room and other rugs in the room.

How To Use A Rug In An Open Floor Plan

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