From a Rug Designer: How to Size A Rug
I have been there. You can’t wait to find a gorgeous rug with the perfect color and texture you’ve been dreaming of for months. And just when you pull out your credit card to purchase it, you’re suddenly struck wondering: “What size rug do I need?” As a piece of art for your floor, rugs should be treated with the same respect that we put into fine art - precise framing and measuring. As a Dallas rug designer, I know exactly what size rug is needed to suit your space perfectly. We know that this can be intimidating, but we are here to help so that you can make your decision with confidence and ease. With these simple tips, you’ll be walking on a dream with a rug that instantly adds luxury and comfort for a lifetime.
To start, it helps to know what’s available out there. Lucky for you, we can create a custom, one of a kind rug to fit your space exactly. However, there are “standard” sizes in the rug world. Below you’ll find the common sizes that you can expect to see when buying ready-made. 3 feet by 5 feet, 4 feet by 6 feet, 5 feet by 8 feet, 8 feet by 10 feet, and 9 feet by 12 feet. Now let’s figure out which of the standard rug dimensions you might need!
EASY RUG SIZING TIPS FOR ANY SPACE
RULE OF THUMB
When determining what size rug you need, you should consider the size of your room and the size of your furniture groupings. So get out that tape measurer and measure both your room and its furniture. Your second step? Find out what to do with those measurements further below!
KNOW YOUR SPACE
A rug should anchor your seating arrangement, but it doesn’t necessarily have to fill the whole room. Be sure to leave at least a 1-foot border between your rug and the walls. Read the room and understand its needs.
The best interior designers know that painter’s tape isn’t just for painters. Grab some at your local hardware store and tape out a mock rug placement of the rug size you're considering. This way, you’ll be able to see what exact fit you’re going to get - no surprises.
GO BIG OR GO HOME
If you can’t choose between rug sizes, always opt for the bigger rug. A larger option will keep your room from feeling disjointed. Designers tip: place at least the front two legs of your sofa and main furniture on the rug. Although bigger rugs cost more, the extra money is worth having a cohesive, pretty room to dwell in.
RUG SIZING BY ROOM: LIVING ROOM
No living room is complete without some lovely art for your toes. Furniture is a big aspect of determining your rug size, but it’s not everything. Your rug size and orientation should be influenced by the shape of your living room as well. Here are some tried and true layout options I stick to when working with my clients.
SHOP THE LAUREN RUG
LIVING ROOM RUG LAYOUT OPTIONS
- All furniture legs on the rug
- Front furniture legs only on rug
- No furniture (except the coffee table) on the rug
Pro tip: If you go with #1, be sure that the rug is extending past the furniture at least 6 inches on each side for a connected look.
ALL LEGS OF FURNITURE ON RUG
This layout definitely requires the largest size rug out of all the layout options. It’s ideal for an open-concept room with floating furniture, aka furniture that doesn’t back up to any walls. With an undersized rug, your space can look cold, empty, and undefined. But with an overflow of the rug, it will look defined, warm and unified. Bingo!
FRONT LEGS OF FURNITURE ON RUG
Working with a wall in your space? Here’s your most helpful option. If you have one wall that backs up against any of your furniture, choose a rug that is fitted to allow each leg of your furniture. If possible, leave 12 to 18 inches of exposed flooring around the rug.
ONLY COFFEE TABLE ON RUG
Make your small space look bigger by choosing a rug based on the interior dimensions of the room to play off the room’s scale. This way, your rug is not based on just the coffee table, and it is free to cover the negative space left over by your furniture grouping.
LIVING ROOM RUG IDEAS
Here are some helpful ideas for styling and choosing a rug for our favorite rooms in the house.
RUG SIZING BY ROOM: DINING ROOM
The talk of your next dinner party will be how fabulous you put the room together, and not to mention that gorgeous rug! But the question comes down to: Rectangular or round? The answer depends not only on the shape of your room but also on your dining table shape and size. Rectangular rugs go best with rectangular tables, and round rugs go best with round tables.
ALL LEGS OF FURNITURE ON RUG
For the best safety measures, I recommend keeping all legs on the rug in dining rooms. We wouldn’t want a dinner guest tipping over due to uneven surfaces. To prevent this kind of awkward moment, make sure the rug extends past the table at least 24" and no more than 36" on all sides of the table. This will leave plenty of room, even when chairs are pushed out and in for when supper is served. Be sure to take any extended leaves into account!
RUG SIZING BY ROOM: BEDROOM
In bedrooms, rug sizing definitely revolves around the size of your bed. It’s there to fill up your focal point even more. Not only will this better define your space, but it will provide a warm “Good morning!” to your feet as you make your way to your Keurig.
ALL LEGS OF FURNITURE ON RUG
This layout covers all your surrounding furniture like your bed, nightstands, and bench but will stop before it reaches your dressers and other pieces. The rug should flow out at least 18" to 24" past your bedframe. Be sure not to let it extend into your walkways to prevent trips and falls.
2/3 BED ON THE RUG
The most popular option out there, this rug layout extends past your bed but not quite enough to reach your nightstands. You can expect 18" – 24" of rug on your bedframe sides and past the foot of the bed. Put simply, a 9x12 for is ideal for a king-sized bed, and an 8x10 rug is for a queen bed.
RUNNERS ON EACH SIDE OF BED
Like to be untraditional? A runner might be perfect for you if two sides of your bed bump up against a wall. If not, no problem - it works for all spaces and all bed sizes. Scale is crucial here, so be sure to remember that the runner should not be longer than your bed, but it should be wider than your nightstand.
RUG SIZING BY ROOM: HALLWAY
SHOP THE CLEMENTINE RUNNER
Say sayonara to dark and cold hallways! With a beautiful, colorful runner, any narrow walkway can shine bright. If your hallway is big enough for furniture, leave all furniture legs off the rug in this space.
RUG SIZING BY ROOM: ENTRYWAY
Using the width of your front door as a guide, entryway rugs are based on the shape of the entryway. So if your space is rectangular, narrow, or round, grab a rug the same shape and make sure it is no wider than your front door. You’ll want to greet your guests with ease, so double-check the rug’s pile height will allow the door to swing without catching.
RUG SIZING BY ROOM: KITCHEN
A runner sure can liven up a kitchen, so much so that you’ll find yourself smiling while doing the dishes! When well-placed, your kitchen will appear bigger no matter if it’s a galley kitchen or island-centered. Putting a small rug in front of the sink centers the space beautifully.
RUG PAD SIZING
Do your peace of mind a big favor and get a rug pad. Rug pads will keep you, your family, and guests safe from slips and falls. I highly recommend these guys, they haven’t failed me yet!
We don’t want that not-so-cute rug pad to peep out, so be sure that the rug pad is slightly smaller than the rug. A rug pad that is 2 inches smaller on all sides than your rug should do the trick. For example, if you have an 8' x 10' rug opt for a 7'10" x 9'10" rug pad. Can’t find the right rug pad size? No problem. Just order a size up and cut and trim to its proper dimensions. Remember: you can cut, but you can add!
CUSTOM OUSHAK RUGS DALLAS
For those unique spaces and picky tastes, sometimes you just have to go tailor-made. I’d be honored to create you the perfect custom Oushak rug that will add beauty and personality to your beloved dwelling place. Just click here to set up a consultation with me. I can’t wait to hear from you!
I hope this rug sizing guide helps you create your beautiful getaway space. There’s nothing like home, and there’s nothing like helping people make their home. I’m the luckiest gal in the world to get to do what I do! Have any other questions on home design or abstract art? We’d love to hear from you! Be sure to email my team here, and we might answer your question in a blog post!
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With Love & Beauty,