A well-chosen area rug can add warmth and personality to a room. It can also serve to visually anchor your furniture layout and absorb noise in high traffic rooms.
Area rugs can be layered over wood floors, tile, broadloom (wall-to-wall carpet) and even other area rugs.
But the key is to find the right area rug in the RIGHT SIZE. Because an area rug that is the wrong size has the opposite effect that you want – it actually takes style away from the room.
More often than not, usually due to either a misjudgment of scale or just because a smaller rug costs less, people choose a rug that is too small for a space.
But this area rug size guide aims to fix that problem by giving you the guidance you need to choose the right size area rug for your room!
In the Living Room
ALL FURNITURE ON THE RUG
The most classic area rug sizing in the living room is to have all of the furniture entirely on the rug. You will need a rather large area rug, but the exact size will depend on the size of your furniture and the size of your room. This option is perfect for uniting a room that may not quite be entirely coordinated. A typical area rug size for this look in a living room is an 8′ x 10′ rug or larger.
ONLY FRONT LEGS ON THE RUG
Another very acceptable option in the living room is to have a rug just large enough for the front legs of all of the furniture to rest upon. This works well in a slightly smaller living room or a if you are on a tighter budget. A 5′ x 7′ area rug could work in this type of situation, but again measure to be sure all of the front legs will rest on the rug.
Pro-decorator tip: Do not choose an area rug that falls short of going under at least the front feet of the furniture arrangement. Your area rug should not just float in the middle of the room, or sit alone under a coffee table!
In the Dining Room
In the dining room there are two common choices for area rugs.
The first is a rectangular area rug. This will of course work best if you have a rectangular or oblong dining table. The most common rectangular dining room rug is an 8′ x 10′ rug. Anything smaller and you run the risk of the chairs not being on the rug. If you have an unusually smaller or larger table you may of course need a different size rug.
The second area rug option is a round rug to go with a round table. If you have a typical four-seater table, an 8′ x 8′ round rug is likely the best size for your room.
In the Bedroom
Area rugs in the bedroom add so much coziness and comfort – without having all the dust and allergens usually inherent to wall-to-wall broadloom. And they're just so cozy to roll out of bed and wiggle your toes on in the morning!
ALL FURNITURE ON THE RUG
With this version of area rugs in the bedroom, you need a rug that is about 8″ – 18″ smaller than the length and width of the room. All of the furniture sits on the area rug leaving only a border of bare floor showing around the edges of the room.
PARTIALLY UNDER THE BED
With this area rug choice, the rug will peek out from under the bed, more so at the foot of the bed. Also the rug won't extend all the way to the head of the bed and the nightstands will not sit on the rug at all. Typically an 8′ by 10′ rug will be perfect in this situation, but turned so that the longer side is parallel to the head and foot of the bed.
BESIDE THE BED
If you'd like to keep the bedroom area rug budget to a minimum, this option is perfect. You can choose rug size based on the size of your bedroom, perhaps a 3′ x 5′ runner or even longer on each side of the bed.
Bigger is Better
As I mentioned, quite often budget is the deciding factor when choosing an area rug for your space. But I dare say that if you choose well, and choose the larger option you will be much happier with your choice than if you go with a rug that is too small!
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