How to Place a Rug in a Living Room

How to Place a Rug in a Living Room
How to Place a Rug in a Living Room

When you’re setting up a new place or remodeling, deciding where your furniture will go is crucial—and that includes figuring out how to position any area rugs you want to use. Let’s face it: finding the ideal rug for your room can be tough.

You want it to match your style and fit just right, but it’s not always easy, even after measuring it multiple times. And knowing exactly where to place a rug in a living room isn’t always clear, even if the room itself seems simple.

The great news? Figuring out where to put a rug in your space and how to arrange your furniture on top of it will ensure you choose the right size every time.

To help you out, we’ve gathered tips from experts like Sally Pottharst and Jodie Fried from Armadillo, Robert Wright and Tiberio Lobo Navia from Beni Rugs, Cyrus Loloi from Loloi Rugs, and Malin Glemme and Lisa Nyman from Layered. Keep reading for their advice on placing rugs in any room.

How to Choose the Right Size Rug for Your Space

Pick the biggest rug that fits nicely—it’ll make the room feel more welcoming. A handy guideline is to keep the rug within about a foot from the walls.

For oddly shaped rooms, Fried suggests picking a round rug to place in the center. Think about whether you want to highlight the unique shape or go for a more traditional layout. If your room is wedge-shaped or has lots of angles, a round rug like our Braid or a rectangular one with curved edges like our Étoile would work well. Our Nook Collection of small rugs fits nicely into those in-between spaces too.

If something in a room feels disconnected from the rest, a rug can often bring everything together. Pottharst says, “Don’t be afraid of using color, a textured weave, or a rug with lots of variation.

They can help blend the floor with the furniture seamlessly. And if you’re having trouble finding the right rug, talk to a design expert for advice.”

How to Place a Rug in a Living Room

Placing a rug in the living room can be tricky, but it mainly depends on how big your space is and how you want to arrange your furniture.

“Overlap is key!” Navia advises. “When a rug is too small for a sofa or gets hidden under a coffee table, it throws off the balance and makes the room feel incomplete.” He adds, “A rug sets boundaries for a space and grounds the furniture arrangement.

A large enough rug to fit all the furniture is super luxurious. At least a third of the sofa should sit on the rug, and you can decide if you want accompanying chairs fully or partially on the rug. Both options can work well!”

For small and mid-sized rooms, Opt for a bigger rug, like an 8′ by 10′, and position your main furniture piece, such as the sofa, so only its front legs rest on it. Loloi suggests making sure the rug extends beyond the sides of the sofa as well.

For larger rooms, Pick a larger rug, such as a 9′ by 13′, to define your living space. Lyman advises that when choosing a rug for your living room, practicality should be your main consideration.

For instance, if you’re placing a rug under a sofa, make sure it extends at least 15 inches beyond each side of the sofa. This ensures a unified appearance and prevents the rug from dominating the room.

Alternatively, if you want to separate the room into distinct areas, such as different seating arrangements or combining dining and seating areas in an open-concept layout, use separate rugs to define each space.

Even if the recommended rug sizes mentioned earlier don’t match your home’s dimensions perfectly, you can still apply the same placement principles. Just choose a rug based on the size of your living room and furniture.

How to Place a Rug in a Bedroom

When choosing a rug for the bedroom, consider the size of your bed. Wright suggests aiming for a rug that accommodates 50 to 75 percent of the bed’s length, with at least 18 inches of rug extending beyond the sides and foot of the bed.

For a queen bed, an 8′ by 10′ rug is ideal, while a king bed looks best with a 9′ by 12′ rug (the same size works for two twin beds in a kids’ room). A 5′ x 8′ rug should be sufficient for a full-sized bed.

On the other hand, using two small rugs (measuring 2.5′ by 4′ or 3′ by 5′) on each side of the bed is a great option. “Stepping onto soft wool in the morning feels luxurious,” he says.

The preferred way to position a rug in a bedroom is to place it partially under the bed. In this case, lay the rug perpendicular to the bed and pull it underneath, stopping a few inches before reaching your nightstands. This way, it’s positioned about halfway under the bed, with the bed centered on top.

“This way, you get more rug space to use and a soft landing when you step out of bed,” says Loloi. In a smaller room, you could also experiment with placing a rug in the center or at the foot of the bed to add flair and tie the decor together,” Loloi suggests.

How to Place a Rug in a Dining Room

When it comes to the dining room, placing a rug is all about enhancing the dining experience. Center the rug under your dining table and ensure it’s large enough to fit all the chairs, even when they’re pulled back.

“For dining tables, it looks best when the entire chair can sit comfortably on the rug,” says Glemme. “Pick a rug that’s at least a foot or two bigger than your dining table. This way, the rug won’t feel too small for the dining space.

If you’re unsure about the size, pull out the chairs around your table and measure the space to ensure your rug fits perfectly underneath. For a round dining table, using a round rug creates a unified appearance.

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How to Place a Rug in a Dining Room

Placing a rug in a dining room is straightforward compared to other spaces in your home. This is because dining room layouts are almost identical everywhere. The key focal point in every dining room is the dining table!

There’s just one spot for a dining room rug, and that’s with the long side of the rug centered under the dining table. While you should keep the 3 basic rug placement rules in mind when choosing a rug, placing a rug in the dining room might mean bending those rules a bit. That’s because the rug must complement both your dining table and chairs, just as much as it fits the overall room vibe.

The most vital thing to remember when placing a rug in a dining room is to ensure that all the chair legs stay on the rug, even when people are seated at the table. So, pick a rug wide enough for your dining area!

The only times this might not apply are the chairs at the ends of your dining table, usually where the host and hostess sit. If your table has a leaf to accommodate extra guests, these end chairs might extend partially off the rug when it’s extended. Not every dining room can fit a rug long enough to avoid this, so don’t worry about it too much!

How to Place Rugs in Bathrooms, Foyers & Hallways

Here are some extra quick tips for placing rugs in other areas of your home!

At Woodstock Furniture & Mattress Outlet, we’re big fans of runners and offer plenty of options in different shapes and sizes. But we often notice a common decorating mistake: using long runners in entryways or foyers. Remember, long runners are best suited for hallways, not entry areas!

If your foyer is small, consider using a basic 2’ x 3’ or 2’ x 4’ rug just inside the door instead of a typical doormat. But if your foyer is larger and has a chandelier, take advantage of the chance to make a great first impression when guests arrive! If you have a chandelier, try putting a round rug right underneath it.

For bathrooms, adding a small 2’ x 3’ or 2’ x 4’ rug in front of the sink is a nice touch if you have the space. In master bathrooms or those with double vanities, you might opt for a longer runner that spans in front of both sinks.

Inside the master bathroom, just stick to the 3 basic rug placement rules, and you’ll be all set!



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