What Size Rug?

Figuring out what size your area rug should be is a question we get quite often.  Clients have an old rug that was passed on from their mother, or grandmother, and they really want to use it, but does it fit?  And now that you have all of this lovely hardwood flooring, do you really have to cover it up?

The honest answer is no.  If you want your hardwood to shine, then just leave the rug out.  But if the comfort and ‘look’ of a rug is something that you are after, go big or go home.

Rule #1: The living room rug

There are three approaches to the living room rug:

All legs on: The standard rule is that, in a living room, your furniture should be completely sitting on the rug.  This creates a “dedicated space” for your living room furniture, and a cozier atmosphere.  Leave about 8” or so as a border around the rug, so your lovely hardwood can show through, and it doesn’t feel like broadloom. Photo/Design: Monaco Interiors


Front legs on: Sometimes you find the perfect rug, in an imperfect size.  It is important, then, that all your legs fit onto the rug.  Leaving one side chair alone, floating on the wood floor, feels awkward, unless it’s in its own seating arrangement. Photo/Design: Monaco Interiors



No legs on:  As a designer for the last 17 years, I can tell you that this is the least desirable, and often makes a room look mismatched or not well organized.  But occasionally, that rug is needed for an extra pop of colour, or even as the focal point in the room.  So, once in a while, I’ll give in.  But not often. Photo: Crate & Barrel



Rule #2: The dining room rug

In the case of a dining room, no one wants to get up and push their chair back as its back legs fall off the rug, then have an embarrassing time trying to get back into their lovely chair while pulling the rug along with them.  The rug should always have at least 12”-18” of space BEHIND a chair while someone is seated in it.  Many designers will go by the 2 foot rule.  2 feet around the dining table should suffice.  I personally like a bit more, we aren’t all a size zero after all! Photo/Design: Monaco Interiors


Rule #3: The bedroom rug

If it’s one large rug your are after, do your best to find one that extends beyond the bed by approximately 18”.  If your night table is wider than that, then go wider, past your night table.  OR, consider using long narrow rugs along the sides of your bed, or one great one at the foot of your bed. Photo: Crate & Barrel


Another approach is to keep your bedroom rug confined to your “dressing” spot.  So in front of your closet, dressing table or dresser. Or even at the foot of your bed.


Rule #4: Layering rugs

In the case of Granny’s rug, if it’s too small, consider layering it over a larger rug, or using it elsewhere in a smaller seating area, or by the foot of your bed.  But, as designers like to remind us, layer carefully!  Make sure your Granny’s rug gets center stage, while the one below is a simple compliment. This can also be done over broadloom (wall to wall carpeting), to add some colour and delineate spaces, or even with a fun small rug that just brings your space to life! Photo: Crate & Barrel (this lambskin makes me want to sit on the floor!)


Rule #5: Round rugs

Round rugs, always famous for foyers, are becoming more popular in dining areas with round tables, or in living rooms with more rounded furniture styles.  Remember to always try to center your rug under any ceiling fixtures, or off-set your rug so it adds value to the style, and doesn’t just divide your space. Photo: West Elm


Rule #6: Twin rugs

In larger living rooms, where two seating areas can be created, the symmetry of twin rugs is very appealing to the eye.

When living/dining combinations come into play, twin rugs can make a sometimes difficult matching game much simpler.

And down long hallways, why not use twin rugs to draw the eye along, and give us the effect on a longer space?  Just make sure the rug is wide enough (use the 8” rule, or less.  Just make sure both your feet fit on it!) Photo: Amanda Nisbet, Style At Home Magazine


Some extra advice:

Always use an underpad; it keeps the rug in place and extends its life

Use a professional cleaner; free tip: 416-SO-CLEAN (www.416soclean.com) is our go to company.  They can get almost any stain out, and their staff is professional and courteous.

Purchase wisely:  Get to know how and where rugs are made, and what to expect once it’s down.  Many natural rugs shed a lot, so you’ll have to live with that until you’ve vacuumed a million times.  Many will survive children, while others are too ‘special’ to risk.

Choose a design that works in your space, but doesn’t overpower it.  That leopard print rug may have been a good idea when you saw it, but are you going to love it in five years?  Next season?

Make a smart investment:  more expensive rugs, like stunning Tibetan hand-knotted ones can be upwards of ten thousand dollars.  Make sure that when spending the big bucks, your rug is in a room that maybe isn’t the playground in your home, or isn’t at risk of food spillage on a daily basis.

Here’s a link to my Pinterest board about rug sizes for more information: www.pinterest.com/DesignMonaco/rug-size/

Have a terrific day…and just so you know….I’ve been looking for the perfect rug for my living room for 3 years! Take your time…the search goes on….

Have a terrific day!