How Big is Big Enough. . . for Rugs?

House Beautiful

How do I choose the correct rug size for my room? Is there a rule to follow?

There is no need to follow strict guidelines for rug size, but there is a general rule of proportion to keep in mind. A rug should extend a room outward or define specific islands of living space. Generally, I try to have the furniture in an area rest (at least partially) on the rug. So in a living room sitting area, the rug would be large enough to underline the front edge of the sofa, the coffee table or ottoman and the accompanying chairs. Allow at least 12-18″ of exposed floor around the perimeter of the room, but otherwise a rug can almost never be too large. Usually, rugs are too small and end up being entirely covered up by the coffee table.

Larger rooms obviously call for larger area rugs or multiple rugs to define separate areas. Rugs can even be layered to create more texture in a room. In the image below, a sisal rug covers the majority of the floor and smaller woven rugs add color.

House Beautifuol

In a dining room, it’s a good idea to size a rug for 2 feet of allowance on either side of the table. This ensures that chairs can be slid back and forth without catching on the edge of the rug. For families with messy kids, it’s okay to skip a rug under the table or to use an indoor/outdoor rug for easier clean-up.

House Beautiful

Buying large rugs can be very expensive, which is maybe why people tend to favor the just-too-small rugs instead. There are a few tricks to keep the price down though. First, shop around on Craigs List, E-bay, Overstock, Ikea and at outlet stores. In Austin, I found some great deals on rugs at the Great Rug Company. This store generously allows clients to check-out rugs on approval before purchasing to make sure the choice is spot on.

Consider buying carpet but having it cut and bound to size. For a DIY fix, buy inexpensive smallish rugs or runner (in a flat weave) and sew them together to create a bigger rug. Another way to make a rug just big enough, is to custom build one using Flor tiles. I love this solution for odd shaped areas or around bed perimeters. In this view of my bedroom, you can see my cheater method of surrounding the bed in Flor tiles so it looks like a full area rug (for half the price!)

Photo by Lonnie Glasscock

Rug High

Rug High

Could there be anything more lovely than a rug inspired by the aerial view of tulip fields in holland? Yes, please, I’ll take 10 for a wall-to-wall carpet installation.  This rectangle of gorgeousness titled, Lisse,  is created by L E Design. “L E Design is a contemporary rug design studio based in Glasgow, Scotland. Formed [...]