There are a few design pitfalls that we often see clients making, and choosing an appropriate rug size seems to be one of them! And honestly, fair enough - especially if you live in New York where spaces are small, often asymmetrical remnants of split up apartments that used to be larger, grand spaces.
If choosing a rug size is something you've struggled with before, this blog post is for you! Today I'm sharing some bedroom, living room, and dining room layouts that include area rugs and their most common sizes for each. Granted, this is not a comprehensive list, and there's not really a hard and fast rule here, but if you use this guide as a starting point, you'll be on the right track!
If you read this and remember nothing else, just think "GO BIG OR GO HOME". The biggest mistake you can make when purchasing an area rug is to get it too small. As a general rule, try to leave about 18" of space between the outside edge of the rug and the walls of the room!
01. LAYERED LOOK
The magic of interior design is layering so this is what I'd call the optimal rug configuration for a bedroom. Here's why it's so great:
Every piece of furniture is fully on the rug
There's enough area rug on either side to provide a soft landing point for your feet on all sides when you step off of the bed
The base rug is large enough to accommodate a second accent rug which adds visual interest to the room
What's the kicker? You need to have a large enough bedroom space for the base rug.
**Designer Tip**: When determining the size of the rug that can fit in the room, don't forget to account for any closet or entry doors that swing INTO the room. If they do - make sure that the thickness of the rug isn't higher than the gap between the bottom of the door and your floor. If it is, your doors will get caught on the rug when you try to to open them!
Common Base Rug Sizes: 8'x10' , 9'x12', 11'x14', 12'x15'
Common Accent Rug Sizes: 5'x8', 6'x9'
02. BIGGER IS BEST
This layout has all the same advantages as the one above, except that it's missing the benefit of a layered accent rug. And that's ok too - it's not in everyone's budget!!
Common Sizes: 8'x10' , 9'x12', 11'x14', 12'x15'
03. THE BIGGEST YOU CAN DO WILL DO
Often times it's not possible to get an area rug that covers all the furniture in the bedroom. Be it budget constraints, door swings, or awkward room shapes - whatever the reason, don't sweat it. My advice here is to get the largest size you can that covers the bottom 2/3rd of the bed. Ideally the rug can reach high enough up the bed that it allows your feet to touch the soft surface when you get out in the morning and wide enough that it lines up with the outer edges of the nightstands.
Common Sizes: 5'x8', 6'x9', 8'x10'
04. DOUBLE TROUBLE
This is a great solution for narrow bedrooms where there's minimal clearance between the end of the bed and the wall in front of it. Using two smaller area rugs allows you to achieve a nicely symmetrical look and still cover lots of floor space.
**Designer Tip**: Of course it would be nice to have rugs on either side of the bed, as pictured below, however if it's only possible to do one, go for it! But the point here is, choose to place that one rug on either side of the bed. DON'T try and place it at the foot of the bed where it will just end up looking too small and awkwardly scaled.
Common Sizes: 3'x5', 4'x6', 2'6"x8'
01. LAY IT ALL ON ME
Remember, go big or go home was our motto for today's post, so this is the ideal layout we'd all love to have in our living room: one where there's between 12-18" of floor space surrounding the area rug, but where all the pieces of furniture sit fully on the rug.
Want to make this layout even better? Add a smaller accent rug underneath the coffee table. Or even better, one that's large enough to fit under both the sofa and the coffee table!
Where you might run into trouble: $$$! Rugs can be expensive and this isn't always possible. If you find yourself in that position, read on for some other living room options.
Common Sizes: 11'x14', 12'x15'
02. HALF ON/HALF OFF
This is a great work around for those who have to be more budget conscious or where space doesn't allow for a large area rug. In these configurations, you're placing either the sofa or the chairs fully on the area rug, and allowing the other to only have its front feet on top of it. There are many variations of this layout, endless possibilities really, but the takeaway here is that you're attempting to have all of the furniture at least touch the edges of the rug in some way.
Common Sizes: 6'x9', 8'x10', 9'x12'
03. RUGS ON RUGS
As we've established, layering is king. I wanted to show you a configuration where it's still possible to achieve that layered look even though the base rug doesn't accommodate every single piece of furniture.
Why this works:
The sofa is and coffee tables are fully on the larger area rug
The front legs of the chairs both sit on top of the larger area rug
The smaller accent rug can accommodate the whole coffee table, but doesn't touch any of the other furniture pieces
Common Base Rug Sizes: 9'x12', 11'x14', 12'x15'
Common Accent Rug Sizes: 5'x8', 6'x9'
01. THE ONLY WAY TO GO
Dining room rugs can be tricky in the sense that they have moving parts. What do I mean by that? Well, the dining room chairs are going to get moved backwards to accommodate people actually sitting in them to eat.
What you want to avoid here is a situation where the chairs all fit nicely on the area rug when they're tucked under the table, but when you go to actually use the chairs, they suddenly find themselves half on and half off the rug. As a general rule, it's good to have a rug that's at least 3' larger than your table on all sides, so that when the chairs are pulled out they still sit comfortably on top of it.
Common Sizes: 8'x10' , 9'x12', 11'x14'
Hopefully this was helpful! And remember that this isn't meant to be a comprehensive list of possible layouts, but more a guide to point out what works and doesn't work. As always, if you have questions, I'm an email and a consult away!