How to Choose the Right Size Rug
At Room of Rugs, we always say that when decorating a room, start with a rug. A rug provides the perfect foundation of color and texture for your room’s design. Choosing the look is only part of the challenge though–you also need to know how to choose the right size rug.
As a general rule, designers recommend that you leave at least 18″ – 24″ of bare floor exposed around all sides of a rug. A rug in a small room like an entryway or bathroom is fine with less exposed floor space, but otherwise 18″ is a good starting point. The maximum amount of exposed floor is largely up to personal preference. So whether you want to call attention to a beautiful wood floor or cover-up flooring that has seen better days, you can select a rug perfectly sized for your needs.
Choosing a Rug for Living/Family Room
First, measure your room and position the furniture. Take 18″ – 24″ off the length and width of the room to determine how large you’d like your rug to be. Rugs typically come in standard sizes up to a maximum of about 10′ x 14′. If your room is significantly larger than that, consider dividing it into separate seating areas or place two matching rugs side-by-side to achieve the size you need.
Using Two Rugs to Define a Space
If you prefer a smaller area rug, use your sofa as a guide. The rug should be at least as long as the sofa. You can have the legs on or off the rug – whichever works best with your arrangement and is more pleasing to your eye. Still having trouble deciding? Use some painter’s tape to mark out different positions and sizes for your rug. That will help you visualize the rug in your space and feel confident before you buy.
If you love a rug but it’s too small for your space or out of budget, layer it on top of a larger and less expensive rug. Natural fiber rugs like seagrasses and soumak woven rugs make great neutral backgrounds for colorful hand-knotted rugs or eye-catching tribal rugs, and they’re wallet-friendly even in large sizes.
Choosing a Rug for a Dining Room
Once you have taken off 18″ to 24″ for an exposed floor, measure your dining table. If your table has extensions/leaves, put them in place before measuring. Your rug should be at least 24″ to 30″ larger than your table on all sides to allow chairs to be pulled out for seating without falling off the edge of the rug.
Using a Rug in a Bedroom
A rug in a bedroom should be large enough that one can climb out of bed without touching the bare floor. One way to accomplish this is to place a large rug under the bed and on both sides of it, covering roughly 24 inches of floor space (12 inches – 18 inches for twin or full size beds).
Using a Rug in a Entryway
You can cheat the 18″ minimum of exposed floor rule a bit if you need to. The most important factor to consider in this space is door clearance–make sure the rug you choose doesn’t have a thick pile that would prevent your door from opening properly.
Finally, keep traffic patterns in mind when determining entry rug placement. If you constantly have to step on and off a rug as you move through your home, it can be annoying and even a trip hazard. Make sure that the size and placement of your rug enhances comfort in your room instead of distracting from it.