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(9) Tips To Matching Rug And Cushions Beautifully

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We’ve all spent a lot of the last two years stuck at home and are likely feeling in need of a change of scene.  You could move house but for something less radical how about a facelift for your living room.  An easy and stylish way to do this is to invest in a new rug.  This can transform your living space instantly.  You can then style your cushions to match and complement it to really give your room that designer finish. 

Don’t know where to start?  Well keep reading and we will take you through 9 tips to perfectly match your rug to your sofa.

1. Decide on your style

For a cohesive, designed finish you will need to think about what image you want to portray. What story do you want to create for yourself and what personality are you projecting? This is the starting point to any new interior design concept. Consider a mood board or use Pinterest to get some ideas curated together.


Do you want a calm and serene look or a more dynamic, exciting atmosphere? Taking inspiration from nature, and a more organic approach to interiors, are two big themes for 2022. Colour is definitely back too, so you can really have some fun if you decide to go bold.

2. Choose your rug first

The rug can be, depending on size, colour or pattern, the main statement in your living room.  If you have neutral walls and furniture you can certainly look at going big – whether that is a bold pattern or colour or both.  


A patterned rug will give you more material to work with when it comes to colour theming your other soft furnishings such as cushions and curtains.

3. Should the rug match the couch?

Your rug needs to complement rather than match your couch.  If you prefer a plain rug, consider the shade of your sofa and ensure that a solid colour rug complements your sofa colour.  This could be a contrasting colour or a toning shade.  Again this will come down to your chosen theme. 


A calmer look would maybe team a cream sofa with an ecru rug, with sage green, ecru and old rose cushions, all in a different textures.  If you want to make a statement with your rug, go for a contrasting colour palette that may incorporate small amounts of the colour of your sofa or curtains.

4. How big should the rug be?

This is your personal choice, but for a smart designer finish it should be at least 6” wider (8” is ideal) than your sofa on both sides.  A rug can be almost as large as a carpet if you want to have that warm, cosy feel to your living space.  If you have a large rug that all your furniture can fit on, ensure you leave a minimum of 8” of rug around the edge, so it doesn’t look like the furniture is about to “fall off”.

5. How should you position your rug?

The rule of thumb for a mid-size rug is to ensure the front legs of any furniture is placed around 1/3 over the rug.  


A smaller rug can be placed along the length of the sofa; this can look particularly effective if your rug is a decorative piece. With decorative rugs you can also gain a lot from placing a glass coffee table over it.

6. Can you have two different rugs in one room?

Mixing multiple rugs can be done throughout the house, but can you have 2 different ones in the same room? The answer is yes –  if you are clever with your choice of patterns and colours. If both are patterned, make one less busy than the other. Try different sizes but keep the same texture for coherence.  


Contrasting and toning colours can also work well. Layering of 2 rugs is becoming quite a trend, but consider the thickness of the rugs here – if they are too bulky you will have an uneven floor.

Cushions - where to start

With such a huge array of cushions to choose from it can be daunting to make a start, but follow the below tips and you won’t go far wrong.

7. Patterned or plain?

There are so many beautifully designed cushions it may be tempting to buy a range of them, but it is important for your overall design that you pick carefully.  If your sofa is one colour then you can choose both patterned and plain cushions.  If you have a patterned sofa then more solid colour cushions than patterned will look best.  Saying that it will depend on your chosen theme.  If you have a maximalist scheme the more patterns the better or to create a serene feel use subtle gradients of tone that match the sofa.

8. What colour cushions?

The colour of your rug, curtains, sofa and walls should dictate this.  If your rug is patterned, pick out one or two of the secondary colours within the rug and use that to guide your cushion purchase. 


You can also reflect the patterns of the rug in a cushion design by taking elements of the design in a simpler way. If your rug is solid block then you can use that colour as part of a design on a patterned cushion. 


Finally, you can also have fun with textures. This will give a rich, layered and designer feel and is ideal for more organic themed designs.

9. Consider the textile

Using different materials will bring your scheme to life.  Think linen with cotton, wool and faux fur, velvet with satin.  Using a variety of different textiles is a great way to create a cohesive look – especially if you are keeping to one colour theme.  Try using different sizes and shapes here too, for added interest.

We really hope this has helped you to think in more depth about how to style your living room by using a rug and some cushions. It can be a lot of fun creating a mood board-either digitally or by cutting out design ideas and colour schemes from your favourite magazines. Look for sources of inspiration, not just from interior design mags.  Take your camera next time you go for a walk and see how nature perfectly blends it’s palette for aesthetic pleasure.  Make notes if you visit a cool cafe if you like what they’ve done. Museums and art galleries are also rich in inspiration. Haute couture can also give ideas around colour and pattern too – what’s on the catwalk this season may well be your sofa too. The possibilities are endless – be creative but follow some of these key steps and you can’t go wrong, no matter what your style is.

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