- Choosing the right rug for a space can be tricky if you don’t know the rules that interior designers live by.
- In general, it’s best to size up if you’re between two different rug sizes.
- It’s important to consider the size of your room and furniture when choosing a rug for a space.
Whether you’ve moved into a new house or have decided it’s time to spruce up your existing space, you may wonder what size rugs you should buy for a bedroom, dining room or living space. After all, the right rug can help define a space and give it the decorative boost it needs, but a too-small rug can actually make a room look smaller or more cluttered.
So, how do you find the right size rug for a room? To answer this, we interviewed Robin Strangis, American Society of Interior Designers member and interior designer at Loring Interiors in International Market Square. Let’s dive in!
Choosing the right size rug for a bedroom
When it comes to choosing a bedroom rug, you’ll need to consider the size of the room, bed and nightstands, says Strangis. “I always like it when the edges of the rug line up with the edges of the nightstand. It creates an enclosed area around where you sleep. And when you include the nightstands under your rug, it means that you’ll be stepping out of bed onto the rug. That’s ideal — you don’t want to step out of bed onto hardwood.”
When it comes to smaller bedrooms or kids’ bedrooms, the same rules apply. Strangis says that you can get away with a 5x7’ rug under a twin bed; it will enclose the bed and still (likely) leave some space for other bedroom furniture on adjacent walls.
Should the living room furniture all fit on the rug?
If the space is large enough, it’s best to have all the furniture on the living room rug. But that’s not a hard-and-fast rule, says Strangis.
“We used to have a rule, years ago, that a piece of furniture shouldn’t be half on and half off the rug in the living room. That’s no longer true. These days, if you have to move the rug so it’s halfway under the sofa, but it extends past the chairs in the same arrangement, that’s okay. That would be better than having the rug under the whole sofa, but the chairs not on it at all.”
What’s the right size rug for a dining room?
When selecting a dining room rug, consider pile height in addition to size, says Strangis.
“Ideally it’s nice to have a rug that’s 30 inches all around the table. That way, when you pull out your chair, it won’t catch on the end of the rug. But if you don’t have enough space for the chairs to stay on the rug as you pull back, then be sure to choose a low-pile height rather than a thicker, plush rug.”
Choosing rugs for an open floor plan
With the rise of open floor plans, rugs have become an important design element. They help to distinguish different spaces within the same larger room. But are there any faux-pas you should avoid when selecting rugs for an open floor plan?
“Remember that color is the unifying element,” says Strangis. “So if you have a living room open to a dining area, and you need rugs in both areas, you want to stay in the same general design character and to choose rugs with similar coloring. In other words, don’t select an ornate Oriental rug in the living room and then a tribal Tibetan rug in the adjacent dining room.”
It’s not impossible to play with different colors, textures or design styles in an open floor plan, though. If you do want two very different rugs incorporated into your house, consider putting one of them in a bedroom or study. Make sure each distinct style is separated by a wall or door.
Help! All my rugs are too small!
It’s common for people to move into larger homes and find that their previous rugs are too small for their new space. In that case, should they scrap the rugs altogether in the short-term, rather than putting a too-small rug in a larger room?
“It might be possible to change the placement of a too-small rug to make it work for a new, larger room,” says Strangis. “You could try putting the rug under and in front of a credenza or chest, instead of under the main seating area. But if you find that doesn’t work, it probably is better to exclude the rug until you can buy one that properly fits the space.”
Still not sure? Tape it out
If you’re still struggling with rug size selection, Strangis recommends this low-budget experiment:
“Get a roll of masking tape or painter’s tape and tape off the different sizes of rug you’re considering. This works best if you have the furniture in the room, so you can get a better sense of how it will all fit. But it can work in an empty room, too — a too-small rug will be pretty obvious.”
The last word of advice from Strangis is that if you’re in doubt, size up. A too-small rug will likely always look wrong, but a rug that’s just slightly bigger than needed will blend into the space over time.
Need to stage your home?
The right size rugs can help your home shine for buyers! Reach out to Edina Realty or your agent today to learn more about the benefits of staging and styling before a home goes on the market.
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