Design Dilemma: Choosing the Right Size Area Rug
Have you ever visited a home and noticed that something looked not-quite-right? Perhaps you couldn’t put your finger on what was wrong. Well, here’s a guess:Â Â an area rug may have been either too small or too large. Rugs that are the wrong sizeÂ can look awkward and throw off the proportions of a room. So what size area rug is the “right”Â size?
1) Aim toÂ accomodate all your furniture on a rug, or none of it on a rug. In other words, opt for a size that will accomodate all feet of your couch, coffee table and side chairs. Or, opt for a rug a bit smaller andÂ arrange furniture along the periphery of an area rug. If you go for the second look, make sure the rug extends the length and width of your furniture. Generally, 8 x 5 foot rugs or 6 x 9 foot rugs work well for this effect.
2) Don’t go wall to wall. If you’re choosing an area rug, it should have some breathing space around the perimeter of the room to show off the floors. Otherwise, why not get wall-to-wall carpet? The basic rule of thumb isÂ to leaveÂ 18 inches of space around a rug. In a small foyer or entry way, 8 to 12 inches of floor space can be acceptable.
3) In a dining room, both the table and chairs should sit on the rug. If a rug is so small that only a table can sit on it, and not chairs, the room will look awkward and it will be a serious pain to move the chairs around. Note that when chairs are pulled away from the table, they should still be able to stay within the boundaries of the rug.
4) In a bedroom, area rugs that extend beyond the bed about 18 inches look the most balanced. For smaller beds — twins and doubles, the area rug should extend beyond the bed about 12 inches.
5) Cover a high-traffic area completely, or leave it bare. It’s clumsy-looking and even dangerous to put a too-small rug in a high traffic area where someone may easily trip.
6) InÂ irregularly-shaped rooms, consider a circular rug. In a room that is long and narrow or otherwise awkwardly shaped, a round rugÂ can be a graceful way of defining a conversation area while still allowing high-traffic parts of the room to remain rug-free.
7) When unsure, map it out. If you just can’t decide what size rug will look good in your room use painter’s tape to map out the approximate size you like on the floor. Measure the dimensions and shop for a rug of that size.