Sizing Rugs by Room
Sizing rugs for a particular room can be tricky. If you have no idea where to start, the following ground rules can help you lay a good foundation.
(A helpful hint: use painter’s tape to outline the area that you’re considering for your rug, so you can see how the sizing will work with your furniture.)
In the living room, the front legs of sofas and chairs should sit on the rug; also make sure that end tables or floor lamps are completely on or off the rug. Allow at least a foot of bare floor around the perimeter of the room.
Of course, if you have the space, all of the furniture legs can sit on the rug. If you do have a large room, you might want to consider a less-expensive “base” rug in a fiber like jute, layered on top with a smaller statement rug.
A dining room rug should extend 24 to 30 inches beyond the edge of the table, so that the chairs fit on it, even when they’re pulled out. For a look that complements your dining room, choose a rug shape that matches the shape of your table.
A soft, thick rug makes a bedroom more comfortable. Here, the rug should extend out at least 12 inches on every side of the bed frame, except the headboard.
In the kitchen, a durable runner (or two) is the ticket. A good rule of thumb is to leave about 6 inches of space between the edge of your rug and the edge of your wall or cabinets.
Don’t Forget a Rug Pad
While some area rugs come with a rubberized backing, many don’t. That’s where a rug pad comes in. A rug pad prevents the rug from slipping across the floor or rippling when someone steps on it. A pad also adds cushioning and protects the fibers on the underside of the rug, reducing wear and tear.
Look for a rug pad that’s about ¼ inch thick and 2 inches smaller than your rug on each side.