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How to Choose the Best Rug Size and Placement

Published on:

9/18/19

written by:

Carrie Barker

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Are you confused about how large of a rug you need and/or how to place your furniture on the rug?! Whether you are furnishing a new home or you want to update your current home decor, this post is your guide on how to choose the best rug size and placement!

By the end of this post, you’ll feel confident in what size of rug to purchase as well as how to lay your rug in relation to your furniture. These are simply guidelines and best practices, but you have the freedom to do whatever you want regarding size and placement. Obviously!

Affiliate links are used in this post for your shopping convenience. You can read my full disclosure policy HERE.

how to choose the best rug size and placement pin

I’ll start by answering the question, How big should my rug be? Then, we’ll cover the sizing and placement of rugs in the three most common rooms … your living room, dining room, and bedroom (both with a king- and queen-size bed). I’ll end this post with some of my FAV area rugs for you to shop!

HOW BIG SHOULD MY RUG BE?

Your rug grounds your entire space. If your rug is too big or too small, your room might feel a little bit ‘off’ … this is more evident when your rug is too small (as opposed to too big) for the room.

The best way to determine the size of rug you need is to consider your furniture size; not the size of your room.

Typical rug sizes for a living room include 6×9, 8×10, and 9×12. This is dependent on your furniture size (and your room size in the fact that a smaller room will have smaller-scale furniture). We’ll cover dining room and bedroom rug sizes below.

Design Tip: my favorite trick to get an idea of how a rug size will look in your room is to use painters tape to ‘map’ out the rug. All you need is painters tape (because it will come off the floor easily) and a measuring tape. Measure out your rug dimensions and lay the painters tape on your floor to mimic the dimensions.

HOW TO PLACE A RUG IN A LIVING ROOM?

The best way to place your rug in your living room is to keep the two front legs of any large pieces of furniture (sofa, sectional, chairs) on the rug. Your smaller furniture (e.g. end tables) can be either completely on OR completely off the rug. What about the sides?! Your rug should hang out at least 6” on each side of the furniture.

how to choose best rug size and placement living room 2

Remember how I said (above) that these are just guidelines and you are free to do what works for you? Well … I didn’t fully follow these guidelines. My two accent chairs are completely off the rug and one of my end tables is partially on/partially off the rug. Gasp! I did my own thang and guess what … it works out fine and no one cares!

Recommended Post: HOW TO FURNISH YOUR HOME WHEN BUILDING

DINING ROOM RUG SIZE AND PLACEMENT?

Dining room rugs are typically 8×10 or 9×12 depending on the size of your room and furniture. Again, I say room size because it affects the scale (size) of your furniture.

how to choose the best rug size and placement dining room

When placing a rug in your dining room, make sure all dining chairs are fully on the rug and that the rug extends at least 12″ behind the chairs (on all four sides) so you can comfortably pull out chairs.

I also recommend at least 12” of exposed wood (or whatever type of flooring is under the rug) around the perimeter of the room.

WHAT SIZE RUG UNDER QUEEN or KING BED?

The most common rug size under a king or queen bed is 8×10. However, some people choose a 9×12 to cover more hard surface flooring. We’ll get into this more below.

You have a couple of options with your bedroom rug: (1) put your entire bed and entire nightstands on the rug (9×12 recommended), or (2) place the rug under only the lower ⅔ of your bed (8×10 recommended). With the second option, your nightstands and headboard will be completely off the rug.

how to choose the best rug size and placement queen

how to choose the best rug size and placement queen bed

The choice is completely up to you … however, the second option provides more of a professional look. Either way, your rug should extend at least 18” out from the sides and bottom (foot) of your bed. If you choose option one, leave at least 8” of space between your nightstands and the beginning of your rug.

best rug size and placement for king bed

HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST RUG SIZE AND PLACEMENT

Please remember that this post on how to choose the best rug size and placement is merely a guideline; obviously, you can do whatever you want! Decorating your home is up to YOU! These are general suggestions, but not absolutes! It all boils down to your personal preference.

Now that you know what size of rug you need (and how to place it), it’s time to find the perfect rug for your living room, dining room, or bedroom. I’ve rounded up several of my favorite area rugs (both neutral and patterned) for you below!

SHOP AREA RUGS

  1. Maria @housefivedecor says:

    Great tips Carrie!

  2. Smart Home says:

    Great tips. Keep it Up

  3. Mark Smith says:

    These tips are great! I like how you tell why you do something instead of just saying do this or that. Do not all use double sided tape to anchor the corners.

  4. Thanks for explaining that there should be 8 inches or more between our nightstands and where the rug begins. My husband and I think getting a large area rug for our master bedroom would help create a more cozy atmosphere in the room. I’m glad I read your article and learned how to choose an area rug that’ll fit perfectly with our furniture!

  5. Jesse Ford says:

    I like how you mentioned that the furniture size should determine what size of rug you should get and not the actual size of the room. My wife and I are thinking of looking at cowhide rugs for sale because we’re considering putting one in our living room to accentuate the leather upholstery we have. It seems like a good idea for us to consider getting a rug from a reputable supplier so that it can help make our living room look as nice as possible.

  6. janine hundley says:

    Carrie
    Enjoyed your article! I have a question? I have a king bed and am ordering a 9 x 12 rug …… the 12 foot section has to go lengthwise under my bed because of the room size? will that look okay?

    • I would need to see it to really know if it looks ok. My recommendation is that you draw it out on a piece of paper (as much to scale as possible with your room dimensions) so you can see how you like the ‘look’ of it :).

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