What is the right size rug?
Determining the proper size for a rug is just as important as finding the right color and pattern. The size and shape of your rug can help determine and define furniture groupings and living spaces. Choosing the right size rug can mean the difference between a comfortable room and a room where something seems awkward and a little out of place. The key to success is proper measurements.
Choosing your rug based on room size
For a medium sized room, a 5’x8’ area rug is typically good a choice. This size rug is great for smaller bedrooms, home offices and under the coffee table in living rooms. Large rooms generally require an area rug that is 8’x10’ or larger. These larger size rugs are wonderful in living rooms, great rooms, dining rooms and master bedrooms.
Area rugs should extend beyond the chairs in the pulled out position. To obtain the correct measurement pull out the chairs around the table, as you would to sit down, then measure from the rear of the chair legs in length and width. Add 8” to this measurement to get an idea of the minimum size rug needed.
Under the coffee table
- Depending on the size of your coffee table and accompanying furniture, choose a rug that accommodates all four legs of the table.
- An equal amount of exposed flooring around your rug can also give balance to your room. Don’t get a rug so large that it touches the baseboard around the room.
- Don’t "float" a rug in a room. Use the rug to define the space and incorporate your furniture to anchor the rug.
- In bedrooms, one large rug is luxurious, but remember the bed will cover most of it when you are selecting a pattern.
- If you plan for the rug to be under the bed, measure to allow for three feet on both sides of the bed.
- In many cases, multiple smaller area rugs can be used effectively in the bedroom by placing one at the foot of the bed and one or two on each side of the bed. In fact, using multiple area rugs can be more affordable while better complimenting your furnishings.
Accent rugs are smaller than area rugs, but not as long as runner rugs, and are often called a throw rug or scatter rug. These rugs are great in the kitchen, in front of a fireplace, in a child’s room and entryways.
These rugs are typically used in hallways, stairs and other narrow spaces. Runners are long and narrow, generally measuring 2’6” wide or less and extend in most case from 8’ to 12’ long.
Determine the border you would like to have around the rug, leaving about 18 to 36 inches between the rug and the wall creates an eye pleasing border. In hallways and entryways, be sure to measure door heights to allow doors to easily pass over the rug if the door will open on the face of the rug.
Selecting an area rug
With all the styles and colors available, choosing an area rug that integrates with your decor is a breeze. Consider the following factors when deciding upon your rug.
Consider your room's focal point
- Choose a rug with a center medallion, if you need to create a dynamic focal point.
- If your room already has a focal point, such as a fireplace, choose a rug with an allover pattern.
Consider wallpaper and upholstery patterns within your room
- If your furniture has upholstered pattern, consider choosing a rug with a more subtle pattern or pick out an accent color and choose a solid rug.
- Ornate wallpaper also should be considered. If you choose a rug with a busy pattern, the two patterns will compete with each other and create a frantic design statement. However, if your room is more subdued, choose a rug with bold pattern to breathe life and excitement into your design. If you fancy an updated look for your room, select an accent color from the rug and paint an accent wall in your room to coordinate.
Consider your traffic pattern and room usage
- For high traffic areas, consider rugs made from durable fibers that are easy to clean and stain resistant.
- The main family room that is used as a gathering place would require a more durable rug than a guest room that is used twice a year during the holiday season.
- Several different fibers within a rug or high and low pile areas can add depth and dimension to your room’s design.
- Rugs made of sisal, sea grass or jute can add an interesting textural element to hardwood or tile floors.