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How to Choose the Right Rug Size for Your Room

JULY 19, 2018
Photo credit: Design by Ashley Redmond

While we’re not ones for hard-and-fast decorating rules here at Decorist, a few foundational truths apply when it comes to choosing a rug for your space. First and foremost, find the right size rug for the room you’re decorating. A rug that’s proportional to your room will help visually ground the space and create a sense of balance. What’s proportional? We’re here to break it down for you—room by room. Check out these simple tried-and-true tips for finding a rug that fits your space.

For a Small Living Room

Just because you’re working with limited space doesn’t mean that your rug options are equally limited. On the contrary, you have plenty of options between smaller-size rugs and area rugs.

Good Rule of Thumb: Choose a size that fits perfectly under the two front legs of your furniture; likewise if your furniture is lined up flush along two walls. This will help define your seating area while still leaving enough walking room all around.

Good Rug Size Range: 4’ x 6’ to 8’ x 10’


Photo credit: Aubrie Pick

For a Large Living Room

With a big living room, the challenge is twofold: You don’t want a rug that’s so massive it completely takes over the space, and you also don’t want a rug that gets dwarfed within the room. The best place to start? Decide on your seating arrangement and look for a rug that perfectly frames it.

Good Rule of Thumb: Pick a rug that’s large enough so that all your seating area furniture sits entirely on top of it with lots of wiggle room in between. By doing so, you strike that happy balance where a rug becomes a focal point but doesn’t overwhelm the room.

Good Rug Size Range: 9’ x 12’ or larger


Design by Ashley Redmond for Decorist

For a Small Dining Space

Even the most compact dining spaces can use a rug to help ground it. The common conundrum with tiny dining areas is that it often bleeds into the kitchen or the living space, so it almost seems better to forgo the rug completely. Well, we’re here to tell you that’s simply not true.

Good Rule of Thumb: Start by looking for a rug that fits under your dining table with room to breathe all around. The rug should be big enough so that your dining chairs fit completely on the rug when they’re pulled into the table.

Good Rug Size Range: 4’ x 6’ to 8’ x 10’


Photo credit: Alyssa Rosenheck, Design by Decorist

For a Large Dining Space

If your home is blessed with a formal dining room that has all the space for a big table and a suite of chairs, your rug size options are endless. Just remember that your rug should still leave enough room around the room and not cover up the floors entirely.

A Good Rule of Thumb: Aim to have your dining table and chairs are all on the rug—even when your chairs are pulled out. That means making sure that the rug extends far enough outwards all around the table, which we would say is approximately 24” or more.

A Good Rug Size Range: 8’ x 10’ or larger


Photo credit: One Kings Lane, design by Timothy Corrigan

For the Kitchen

The initial thought with high-traffic areas like the kitchen is that it’s no place for a rug. Think again. With its often narrow size and shape, the kitchen is the ultimate spot for rolling out a runner (or two!)

A Good Rule of Thumb: There are two ways to approach rugs for your kitchen. Either choose a runner that fits and runs the length of your kitchen cabinets and an island, if you have one; or simple just a smaller-sized rug or runner in front of the sink to give yourself a soft landing.

A Good Rug Size Range: 2’ x 8’ or larger


Design by Decorist

For a Home Office

If you have a mini office or dedicated area for work in your home, a well-placed rug can help truly set it apart. To do so, you’ll want a rug that’s a relatively snug fit for your desk area.

A Good Rule of Thumb: Treat it like a small dining area and make sure your work table and desk chair stand fully on top of the rug you choose. You’ll want to center your desk on the rug and make sure there’s enough room around so that your chair remains on the rug when it’s pulled out.

A Good Rug Size Range: 4’ x 6’ to 8’ x 10


Design by Decorist

For a Small Bedroom

In a tiny bedroom, a rug that’s strategically placed will help extend the space and give it a more spacious look and feel. Meanwhile, you also don’t want a rug that’s so large, it covers up the entire room.  

A Good Rule of Thumb: Seek out an area rug that extends 10”–12” beyond the sides of your bed. Arrange it under your bed so that most of the rug is exposed past the foot of your bed, which will help visually lengthen the space.

A Good Rug Size Range: 4’ x 6’ to 8’ x 10’


Design by Decorist Celebrity Designer Will Wick

For a Big Bedroom

With a large bedroom, you’ll want a rug that provides a sense of symmetry and balance. An ideal set-up would be a rug that runs the width of your bed and nightstands so that it perfectly frames the space.

A Good Rule of Thumb: Consider a rug that extends approximately 36” on all sides of your bed to ensure even visual distribution. Pull the rug all the way under the bed and just up to the nightstands, leaving them to stand on the floors. This allows you to step in and out of bed on to the rug, which provides you with padding, and also adds to the definition of the space.

A Good Rug Size Range: 8’ x 10’ and 9’ x 12’

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