Choosing a Rug Size: Five Approaches

Choosing a Rug Size: Five Approaches

Sarah Coffey
Sep 8, 2009

Rug sizes usually inspire passionate comments from the Apartment Therapy community. There are those who believe that a rug should surround an entire seating arrangement, those who think it's OK to use a small rug in certain contexts, and those who have their own tried-and-true formulas for calculating rug sizes to the inch. We believe it all depends on personal taste, budget, and the particulars of a room, and we've seen a variety of approaches that we think work well...

  • 1) In Emily's home, the rug comes right up to edge of the living room sofa and chair. It works because the size is large enough to provide generous space around the coffee table, the shape of the rug echoes the rectangular furniture arrangement, and the colorful pattern complements the neutral upholstery in the room.
  • 2) Vinh's home follows the classic rule that a rug should surround a furniture arrangement, creating a well-defined conversation area between the sofa, coffee table, and chairs. The small apartment feels cozy and cohesive thanks to a calm, but varied, palette of browns and creams.
  • 3) In Lori and Ken's living room, an animal skin rug has a free-flowing shape. By keeping the rug free of furnishings (with the notable exception of an orange chair and an ottoman) the rug's contour remains visible. If you want to use a smaller rug in the middle of a living room, an animal (or faux) skin is a good bet.
  • 4) Rhiannon and Victor decided to layer a rug on top of carpeting. In this situation, the rug's softness underfoot is less of an issue; it's mainly there to provide some visual kick. This small rug works because it's the same width as the bed, the black and white pattern ties into the room's artwork, and the rug helps to define the foot of the bed.
  • 5) In a dining room, your floor covering should be large enough that the chairs can be easily pulled in and out from the table without catching on the edge of the rug. Raddlesnack's apartment uses a large rug to bring color and texture to the dining room, while separating it from the rest of the space.

How Big Should a Rug Be?
Room Refresh: Going Up a Rug Size
How to Properly Place a Rug

Photos: Emily, Vinh, Lori Andrews, Susie Nadler, Raddlesnack

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