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Picking the Perfect Rug: How to Choose the Right Size

Hello, fellow home decor junkies! Let's shine a spotlight on an often-overlooked aspect of interior design: the humble floor rug. Selecting the right rug size isn't just about aesthetics; it significantly impacts the functionality and flow of your space. Underestimating the influence of a rug on the overall look and feel of a room is a common pitfall.

contemporary minimalist mid century modern living space with vintage sofa and colour block area rug

That's why I'm here to share some insights on choosing the perfect rug size. It goes beyond simply falling in love with a design – though that's important too! Factors like room size, furniture placement, and intended use all play crucial roles. I've witnessed many beautifully designed rooms suffer due to an ill-fitting rug, and trust me, it's a mistake worth avoiding.

urban chic transitional living room with large brown sectional and large cream area rug
My own living room and one of my area rugs

If you're eager to level up your interior design game and spruce up your space, let's dive into the world of choosing the ideal rug size together. It's a journey that's sure to add both functionality and beauty to your home.

Understanding Rug Sizes

Before we dive into the intricacies of selecting the perfect rug size, it's crucial to understand the range of options available. Rugs come in various dimensions, from small scatter rugs to expansive area rugs capable of encompassing an entire room. Among the most common sizes are 90x150 cm (3x5 feet), 120x180 cm (4x6 feet), 150x240 cm (5x8 feet), 180x270 cm (6x9 feet), 240x300 cm (8x10 feet), 270x360 cm (9x12 feet), and 300x420 cm (10x14 feet).

While these sizes may seem arbitrary, each serves a specific purpose. For instance, a compact 90x150 cm or 120x180 cm rug works wonders in an entryway or kitchen, while a larger 240x300 cm or 270x360 cm rug is better suited for a living room or dining area.

However, it's important to note that these are general guidelines, and finding the ideal rug size for your space will depend on various factors.

Finding the ideal rug size for your space will depend on various factors.

modern kitchen with runner area rug

Let's not overlook round rugs, which can introduce a soft touch to angular rooms, or runners that are perfect for hallways or narrower spaces. The key here isn't to force a particular size but to discover the size that harmonises best with your room and furniture arrangement.

scandi dining space with round table and round area rug

Importance of Picking the Right Rug Size

You might be wondering why selecting the right rug size is such a big deal. Well, the answer is pretty straightforward: a rug can either make or break your space. A properly sized rug has the power to define a room, bring everything together in harmony, infuse warmth and coziness, and even double as a stunning piece of art.

On the flip side, a rug that's too small can throw off the room's balance and make it feel disjointed, while one that's too large can dominate the entire space.

One of the most common blunders is opting for a rug that's too petite for the room.

One of the most common blunders I encounter in interior design is opting for a rug that's too petite for the room. This often happens when people underestimate their room size or try to cut corners by going for a smaller rug. Sadly, this choice can result in a room that lacks balance and just doesn't look right.

mid century modern living room with too small rug
This rug is too small for this living space.

Choosing the perfect rug size isn't just about looks; it's about functionality too.

But here's the thing: choosing the perfect rug size isn't just about looks; it's about functionality too. A rug that's too small might not offer the comfort you crave, while one that's too large could turn into a potential tripping hazard.

Common Mistakes When Choosing Rug Sizes

We've covered the most prevalent blunder in choosing a rug size: going too small. However, there are additional pitfalls to steer clear of. One such misstep is neglecting to factor in the room's shape or furniture arrangement. For instance, a round rug might be a charming fit for a square room, while a rectangular rug could complement a rectangular space more seamlessly.

Another common error is overlooking the intended purpose of the rug. Are you aiming to delineate a seating area? Or perhaps you're seeking to add warmth to a chilly hardwood floor? Your rug's purpose should inform your size selection.

Lastly, remember to consider the room's doors. You wouldn't want a rug that interferes with a door's swing or causes it to get stuck. Always measure the clearance beneath your doors before investing in a rug.

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Choose the Right Size Rug

Now that we've covered some fundamentals, let's dive into the process of selecting the perfect rug size for your room. This can be broken down into a few straightforward steps:

  1. Measure Your Room: Start by measuring your room. This step provides clarity on the available space and helps you determine which rug sizes are suitable.

  2. Determine the Rug's Purpose: Consider the intended function of the rug. Are you looking to define a specific area, enhance comfort, add visual appeal, or achieve another goal?

  3. Evaluate Your Furniture Arrangement: The size and layout of your furniture play a pivotal role in rug selection. Generally, aim for a rug that's large enough to accommodate your main furniture pieces or at least extend to touch their front legs.

  4. Choose the Rug Size: Based on your measurements and considerations, select an appropriate rug size. It's wise to opt for a slightly larger size if you're uncertain, as a rug that's too small is a common design blunder.

How to Choose the Right Size Rug for a Sectional

Selecting the perfect rug size for a sectional sofa can pose a challenge, given its larger dimensions and distinctive layout. The goal is to opt for a rug large enough to accommodate all legs of the sectional. If that's not feasible, ensuring the rug covers at least the front legs of the sectional is essential.

contemporary living room in warm neutral colours with large sectional and area rug

When measuring for a rug beneath a sectional, factor in both the length and width of the sectional. It's crucial to choose a rug that extends beyond both ends to maintain balance and ensure proportionality with the sectional's size and shape.

How to Choose the Right Size Area Rug for a Dining Room

Selecting the appropriate rug size for your dining room is crucial for crafting a welcoming and harmonious environment. The key lies in ensuring that your rug is sufficiently spacious to accommodate all chairs, even when they're pulled out from the table.

cosy cottage traditional dining space with vintage rug under the wooden dining table and chairs

A helpful guideline is to add 60 to 75 centimetres to each side of your table's dimensions; this additional room permits chairs to move freely without catching the edge of the rug. Alternatively, in the metric system, a good rule of thumb is to add 24 to 30 inches to each side of your table's dimensions.

It's also important to consider the room's overall size and shape to maintain proportion and flow. For example, a rectangular table in a large room looks best with a similarly shaped rug that echoes its dimensions, creating a harmonious look. Remember, the goal is to enhance your dining area, making it feel more inviting and cohesive, so taking the time to select the right size rug is well worth the effort.

When you're picking out a rug to go under your dining table, it's super important to think about the practical side of things, like how it's going to handle spills and crumbs. Let's face it, accidents happen, especially where food and drinks are involved. So, it's a smart move to go for rugs that are easy to clean. Materials like polypropylene or specially treated wool are great because they're less likely to stain and you can clean them up without too much hassle.

Nowadays, you can even find rugs made specifically to resist stains, which are perfect for dining areas. By choosing a low-maintenance rug from the get-go, you can not only make sure it lasts longer but also relax and enjoy your meals without worrying about every little spill turning into a big deal.

Ruggable offers a great solution with their washable rugs. They feature a unique two-piece design consisting of a detachable rug cover that can be easily thrown into the washing machine and a non-slip rug pad. This makes maintaining a clean and fresh look in your dining area much more manageable. Ruggable rugs come in a variety of styles and designs, ensuring you don't have to compromise on aesthetics for the sake of practicality.

How to Choose the Right Size Area Rug for a Bedroom

Selecting the perfect area rug size for your bedroom has the potential to completely transform the space, infusing it with warmth, comfort, and a personalised touch of style. Achieving a balanced look entails considering both the dimensions of your room and the layout of your furniture.

urban bedroom in natural colours with lots of texture and area rug

For a European queen-sized bed (160 x 200 cm), a popular choice is a rug measuring 180x270 cm (6x9 feet), providing ample space around the bed for a generous border. This setup ensures a soft landing for your feet each morning. Meanwhile, if you have a European king-sized bed (180x200cm or larger), you might opt for a larger rug measuring approximately 240x300 cm (8x10 feet) to ensure sufficient coverage and comfort.

In smaller bedrooms or when placing a rug solely at the foot of the bed, a rug measuring 150x240 cm (5x8 feet) could be an ideal fit. Regardless of your choice, the objective is to enhance your space while ensuring the rug maintains proportionality with the room, fostering a cozy and inviting ambience.

traditional bedroom with vintage area rug

Tips and Tricks for Picking the Perfect Rug Size

Choosing the perfect rug size may require some finesse and a fair amount of measuring, but there are a few handy tips and tricks to simplify the process:

  1. Use Painter's Tape: Visualising how a rug will fit into your space can be made easier by using painter's tape to outline the rug size on your floor. This method helps you assess how the rug complements your furniture layout and prevents measurement errors.

  2. Opt for Larger: It's always safer to select a rug that's slightly larger than you think you need. A larger rug can open up a room, providing a sense of spaciousness and balance, while a smaller rug might make the space feel cramped and unbalanced.

  3. Consider Custom Sizes: If you're struggling to find a rug that fits your space perfectly, explore custom sizing options offered by many rug manufacturers. This way, you can tailor the rug to suit your space and design preferences precisely.

modern bedroom in grey and pink with grey fluffy area rug
The size and placement of the rug in this bedroom is not proportional to the space

Rug Size Chart

To ensure you make the perfect choice for your space, I highly recommend using the following rug size chart as your guide. This resource will help you navigate through the various dimensions and considerations to find the ideal rug size tailored to your specific needs.

Plus, you can download it for future reference, making your rug-shopping endeavours even more convenient.

common area rugs size guide whispering bold

rug size chart - Whispering Bold
Download PDF • 395KB

Where to Find the Perfect Size Rug for Your Space

Now that you've gained the expertise to select the ideal rug size, you might be wondering where to find these treasures. Luckily, there's a plethora of fantastic options for rug shopping, catering to both online aficionados and those who prefer traditional in-store experiences.

For those who enjoy browsing online, retailers like Wayfair, Rugs USA, and even Amazon provide an extensive selection of rug sizes and styles to explore at your convenience. Additionally, European online retailers such as IKEA, La Redoute, Carpet Vista and Maisons du Monde offer a diverse range of rugs to suit various tastes and preferences.

Alternatively, if you prefer a tactile approach, consider visiting local furniture and home goods stores. There, you can examine rugs in person, allowing you to better visualise how they'll complement your space before making a decision.

Wherever your rug-hunting journey takes you, may it be filled with excitement and satisfaction in finding the perfect piece for your home!

Conclusion: Mastering the Art of Rug Size Selection

Choosing the right rug size may seem daunting at first, but with a little knowledge and preparation, you can transform your space and create a beautiful, cohesive look. Remember to consider the size and layout of your room, your furniture arrangement, and the purpose of the rug when making your selection.

With these tips in mind, you can confidently choose the right rug size for any room in your house.

I hope you've found this guide on how to choose the right size rug helpful. If you have any questions, comments, or tips of your own, don't hesitate to leave a comment on the blog. I look forward to hearing from you!


Would you like to learn more about Interior Design? Or perhaps become an interior designer yourself? Follow my footsteps and study Interior Design with The Interior Design Institute where I could be your personal tutor. Click here to read more and receive a discount.



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Hi! Thanks for stopping by.

I am Marieke, a Dutch Australian interior designer, business executive, tutor, content creator and social media influencer.


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