The rug in a room is the foundation of the design. Many designers choose a rug first and then design around the rug. And, while the design of the rug is important, I would argue purchasing the right size is even more critical. Here are a few tips to help you in selecting the right sized rug for your space:
1) Measure the room the rug is going in and deduct 12 inches from each wall
Many designers like a rug to come within 12 inches of all four walls, so if your room is 10 feet wide by 12 feet long, you would select a rug that is 8 feet wide by 10 feet long.
If you’ve invested a significant amount in nice flooring you may not want to cover that up with a large area rug. In that case, consider going in 18 inches on all sides. This will be your ‘ideal’ rug size.
We all know we can’t always get our ‘ideal’ so your next step is to get as close as you can to the ideal. Whatever you do, don’t buy a rug that is too small. To prevent that from happening, your next step is to:
2) Research your rug options for ‘standard’ sizes and options for custom sizing
Many rugs come in basic sizes such as 5’x8’, 6’x9’, 8’x10’, 10’x14’. Many rug companies stock a plethora of the smaller sizes but your choices get more limited, and more expensive, as you get into the 8’x10’ size and up.
If the style you are looking for doesn’t come in a ‘standard’ size, consider having a carpet (broadloom or natural fiber) custom cut and bound to your specifications.
In a recent project, we had a large family room measuring 21 feet long by approx. 14 feet wide. There are two distinctive sitting areas but I did not think it would look appropriate to have 2 separate rugs. Instead, we had a carpet custom cut to 19 feet long by 12 feet wide.
This custom rug is by one of our favorite companies, Merida Meridian. The rug is a sisal product in this color/pattern and an edge detail in a smoke color.
Believe it or not, the turnaround time can be very quick on this (sometimes as little as 2 weeks) and the cost is less than many large area rugs. The rugs can usually be made up to 12ft wide and any length you want them to be.
This is a great option for an open plan room which has two separate areas that you need rugs for but can’t decide if the rugs should be the same or different.
Custom carpets also give you the option to address issues such as fireplace hearths or corners, such as in this photo.
3) Measure the floor area covered by your existing furnishings to determine the minimum size of your rug if the front legs of all your furnishings are on the rug.
This photo is by a rug company, who are selling a rug, so I am not criticizing them, but you don’t want your furnishings to be off of the rug on the floor as shown here.
In another recent project, the furnishings of the sitting area measured (from the media piece to the console behind the sofa and the space between the 2 chairs) measured 10’x11’.
The front door is in this room so we didn’t want a rug that filled the whole space and would get too dirty quickly. Additionally, budget was an issue, so we wanted a rug that was a smaller scale. We decided a 9’x12’ would work just fine because the front legs of all the upholstered furniture could easily rest on the rug.
We used this rug from Dash & Albert which came in a 9’x12’ (largest size) and was only $414.
Here you can see it fills the space nicely and all the furniture fits on it well.
Now you are ready to determine what size rug you need to go buy.
One last ‘frequently asked question’ is what size you need for your dining room. Follow the same process to determine the size, but keep in mind you will want at least 2’ of the rug extending on all 4 sides of the table. It is recommended that you buy the rug to fit the size of the table in its ‘everyday’ state, not with any leaves added, unless you normally leave them in.
We have plenty of great rugs to select from so feel free to contact the store if you are having trouble finding the right rug for your space.
Happy rug shopping!
Great information Heather!!
Precisely!!Great info!!!!Thanx a billion….where i live ppl are just crazy about interiors…btw,i live in Pakistan=)
I am so pleased to find this article! I always struggle when I’m buying rugs….they always end up being too big or too small. These tips are very helpful for choosing right area rugs. Thanks.
Hi Diana, we are so glad you found it useful! Feel free to reach out if you are ever on the hunt for a rug and have questions!