Area Rug Rules: How to Figure Out the Perfect Size
Have you found the perfect rug for your home? Great! (If not, check out our gorgeous styles at The Stated Home.) But now you have to decide what size rug to choose. That can be a little harder to figure out, so we put together some guidelines to help. We aren’t saying you absolutely have to stick to these decorating rules, but they’ll give you a good place to start.
First, follow these steps to make sure you’ve thought a few things through:
- Ask yourself what you want the rug to accomplish. Are you trying to unify a space or do you want to define a few smaller areas within a larger room?
- See if the room is next to an open space. If so, how will it look if the rug extends into that open area versus fitting within the confines of the room?
- Measure out the maximum and minimum dimensions that will work in your space. Not every rug comes in every size, so if your perfect rug doesn’t come in a size you want, you may need to come up with another plan. (More on that later.)
- Visualize what different sized rugs will look in your space. Just lay down a sheet (or two) that are folded to be the same size as the rug that you are considering—this will give you a pretty good idea of how a rug will fit in the room. You can also try painter’s tape or brown paper.
Now, let’s get to those decorating tips…
How much space to leave around the edge
Conventional wisdom says a larger rug will make your room seem bigger, but how close to the wall can you go? This is actually open to debate. The classic rule is to leave 18 inches of bare floor, but that’s less crucial for open concept spaces or rooms that are super small. For a more modern look, use a rug that reaches almost to the wall, leaving only a few inches of exposed wood.
Rugs for seating areas (living room, family room, or great room)
Avoid the “floating island” look by making sure that at least the front legs of your furniture pieces are on the rug. If your rug is big enough to accommodate all of the sofa and chair legs, the room will look even more pulled together.
You can do a hybrid too, say by putting the sofa’s front legs on the rug along with all four of your chairs’ legs. If you have a great room and you’re using multiple rugs to define more than one area, don’t get matching ones.
Instead, choose rugs with something in common, a similar color palette or pattern.
Rugs for dining rooms
If your dining table is round, consider using a round rug. Whether rectangular or round, the rug should extend at least 18 to 24 inches from the edge of the table on all sides.
This ensures the back legs of the chairs remain on the rug when being used. Test this by pulling out your dining chairs as though you were going to sit down, and then measuring how far out the back legs go.
That’s the minimum size you’d want, even if the rug goes almost completely to the wall.
Rugs for bedrooms
Your bed does not need to completely sit on the rug. One popular look is to only have the rug under the bottom half of the bed, stopping before you reach your bedside tables. Just make sure that it is up enough so that you step onto it when you get bed (you want your toes to stay warm!).
As for the sides, it should extend out at least 12 inches for a twin or full size bed and at least 18 inches for a queen or king. Any less and the rug will seem too small. For smaller bedrooms, you might just want to get an accent rug—maybe one on either side of the bed or one at the foot.
Choose sizes that are in proportion to the room and the bed (for example, a rug at the foot should be wider than the bed itself). You don’t want it to look you’ve sprinkled bathmats around the floor!
Rugs for foyers
The foyer is your chance to give guests a great first impression. Give this space a rug that has presence. Maybe a round or octagonal rug could work better than a rectangle.
Rugs for halls
For safety and comfort, the rug should cover most of the area where people walk. You’ll want both feet on the rug when you walk down the hall. The average runner is 8 feet long. For a very long hall, use multiple runners with 6 inches or so between them.
Rugs for kitchens
An area rug can add style and comfort to a kitchen. And it doesn’t have to be a “kitchen rug.
” A smaller rug or runner in front of the sink can cushion your feet or a round rug in the center of a large kitchen can make a statement.
If you’re concerned about keeping it clean, consider an indoor-outdoor rug that can be rinsed off. You can’t even tell the difference between lots of the outdoor rugs sold today and indoor-only versions.
So what to do if you can’t find a rug in the dimensions that you need? Here are some options:
- If you find an area rug that’s perfect but you need it to be between two of the available sizes, buy the bigger size and have it cut down and bound. Just search online for “rug binding” to find a company in your area that offers this service.
- Carpet on a roll can be cut and bound to fit nearly any space. Standard widths are 12 feet, 15 feet, and 13 feet 6 inches, and lengths can be as great as you need. While not every carpet is available in all widths, chances are that you will find one that works. This is a great option if your room demands a really big rug.
- Most manufacturers will make an area rug for you in a custom size. If you go this route, you will end up with exactly what you want.
This might seem a lot of work just to buy a rug, but spending a little extra time and effort at the beginning of the decision-making process will prevent you from having to re-purchase (because believe us, the wrong size rug sticks out a sore thumb).
what you read? Visit thestatedhome.com to shop our collection of made-in-America furnishings.
How To Arrange An Area Rug
In order to find the right area rug and then properly arrange it to perfectly accentuate your décor you’ll need to consider more than just style, color and material – size and shape matter too.
An optimal size rug in a shape that best suits a particular living space will help to invigorate the entire aspect of a room while also displaying the finest qualities of the rug itself.
Here are some helpful tips on how to arrange a new area rug.
Know the rules, then bend at will!
In general, the rule of thumb is to allow approximately 18 inches of exposed floor space around the perimeter of an area rug, however the overall size and location of the room should also be taken into consideration. The 18” rule works well in rooms that are enclosed and separate from surrounding areas while the look of smaller rooms may benefit from having less exposed floor space.
Keep in mind that an undersized rug can make a room look small and make the other furnishings around it look uncoordinated. When it comes to area rugs, bigger can indeed be better.
Before buying a rug map out your room to scale and consider doorways, furniture size, and exposure to the sun among other things. Pay attention to the details of your space and how everything will gel.
Your New Rug – Day One
Follow these simple steps when your rug arrives to ensure that it looks and feels it’s best in your room decor.
The dimensions of a living room will dictate the ideal size and shape rug for the space. Here are some helpful tips that take into account the lay the furniture using rectangular rugs. For more examples, click here to view area rugs arranged in Safavieh Dream Living Rooms.
5’ x 8’ – All legs off, furniture surrounding edges of the rug – When opting for a smaller rug, keeping all legs of the furniture off and positioned around the edges of the rug is a smart choice. This is a particularly effective decorating strategy if your rug has bold, flamboyant patterns and coloring that you’d to fill the room.
8’x10’ – Front legs on the outer edges of the rug – The most popular layout for living room furnishings. This arrangement will help to connect the furniture and harmonize room décor while also lending a wonderful sense of proportion to the entire space.
9’x12’ – All legs on the rug – For a much more “pulled-together” look, put all of the legs of the couches and sofas on the surface of a 9’x12’ area rug. This arrangement will tend to define and establish the aspect of a room provided that it is able to accommodate a larger rug.
When choosing a rug for the dining room be sure that it is big enough to allow all four legs of the chairs to sit comfortably on the rug, even when the chairs are pulled away from the table. A loose rule of thumb to follow is that your rug should be extended at least 24 inches around the table.
5’x 8’ – Use a 5’x 8’ rectangular rug in smaller dining areas. Table and all four chair legs on the rug.
8’x 10’ or 9’ x 12’ – These rugs will generally accommodate 6 – 8 chairs. Remember to leave approximately 18’ between the perimeter of the rug and the walls.
7’ – 9’ Round – A round rug works nicely with a square table and 4 – 6 chairs around it. You can also use a rectangle shaped rug under a square table.
The most important factors in selecting the right size area rug for the bedroom are the dimensions of your bed as well as the room. And, if you’re looking for a new bed or mattress check out the sleep science that goes into our Safavieh Bed In-A-Box, a comfortable pocket-coil spring mattress delivered right to your front door.
5’ x 8’ – Full Size Bed – This rug works best when placed horizontally under the bottom two-thirds of a full sized bed, the rug exposed in front and on both sides.
8’ x 10’ or 9’ x 12’ – Queen Size Bed – Follow the same general suggestions with larger rugs and a queen size bed. Place the rug perpendicular under the bed with enough of the rug reaching out on the sides and in front to place your feet comfortably when getting bed or sitting at the foot.
8’ x 10’ or 9’ x 12’ – King Size Bed – Remember the “Bigger is Better” rule when it comes to arranging an area rug under a king size bed. A rug that is too small will detract from grand look and dimensions of the entire room.
9’ x 12’ – Twin Beds – In a bedroom with a one twin bed select an area rug that is large enough to be exposed 18 – 24 inches in front and on the side. For larger rooms with two twin size beds arranged side by side, a 9’ x 12’ rug is the perfect size to connect and balance the furnishings of the entire room.
A well-chosen indoor-outdoor area rug can add warming, soft textures, and a splash of color to any leisure-time living area of your home.
The best advice for arranging a rug on a patio or screened-in porch is to consider the furnishings (table & chairs, couches, bed or futon) and then position the rug accordingly.
Keep in mind the general guidelines of making sure the rug is big enough to accentuate the dimensions of the space as well as accommodate chairs around an outdoor dining set. Click here to see Safavieh Outdoor Furniture for the porch, patio, or outdoor deck.
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