Take the guesswork out of finding the right rug size for your space with these no-fail tips and tricks.

August 14, 2016
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A large floor rug provides the perfect finishing touch for a space. It makes walking on floors warmer, gives a room a feeling of coziness, and is a stylish way to carry out a color scheme or add to your decor. But how big should a rug be to look natural in a room?

Find the Right Rug Size for Your Room

Picking the right size of rug can feel a bit like being Goldilocks—this one's too big, this one's too small. We help you find the rug that's just right, whether your space is itty-bitty or large and open. Use our measuring tips below to find the right rug for your room.

Too Small

Living room

A large rug can help tie together a seating area, but only if all the seats are actually on the rug. Use the "furniture test" to determine if a rug will work in your room. All the furniture legs and stands should fit comfortably on the rug. If they don't and your furniture feels cramped, the rug is too small.

If you already own a rug that you want to use and it doesn't fit everything, you can still make it work. Place all of the furniture's front legs on the rug. This method works well if you have furniture against a wall, such as a sofa. Another option for a small rug is to take all furniture off the rug and place only your coffee table in the center of the rug. This still creates the desired framing effect. Whichever option you choose, be consistent and the arrangement will look just fine.

Too Big

bedroom with oversized rug and mirror

On the other hand, you don't want a rug that's so overwhelming that your furniture looks like it belongs in a dollhouse. A rug that's too big will spill out of the furniture space and might even touch the wall—a major no-no. There should be an 8- to 12-inch border between the edge of the rug and the wall.

Just Right

dining room

For the best arrangement possible, make sure all seating and other furniture fits on the rug. Then, ensure you have an 8- to 12-inch border between the rug and the wall. Before you go rug shopping, know the measurements of the room and the furniture arrangement, if possible. This will help you estimate whether the rug you want will work in the space.

Dining Room Rug Tips: In a dining room, it's essential that all of the chair legs fit on the rug so they don't fall off the edge when you pull them out to sit down. Choose a rug shape based on the shape of your table, such as a round rug for a round table, for a cohesive look, or mix and match round and square shapes for contrast.

Bedroom Rug Tips: A bedroom rug doesn't have to encompass all furniture in the room. Because your bed is the main piece, use a rug to frame it instead. Two common layouts are all legs (bed, side tables) on the rug, or only the bottom two-thirds of the bed on the rug. In the latter, the headboard, pillows, and any auxiliary furniture are excluded. For both options, an equal amount of the rug should stick out on either side of the bed.

Comments (1)

July 22, 2018
Thanx for the tips!! I have never used area rugs, I have hardwood floors. Just had my apartment painted, impatient to reset! Honestly I was thinking they should go to baseboards. Now I know! Thanx again!raf