Before You Cut a Rug: What Size Works Best for Your Home?

Before You Cut a Rug: What Rug Size Works Best for Your Home?

Area rugs – sometimes called carpets -- have a way of making a space feel and look more like a home.  Whether it’s the texture or the unique design, rugs can really make a room seem more inviting.  However, knowing the right rug size to choose for your home can be tricky.  With lots of different options out there, and limited space to use them in your home, how do you know what size will look best in what areas?  By following these simple guidelines you can master the art of knowing what rug size work best in the three areas of a home I am most asked about.


The living room is the space where you and your guests spend a great deal of time socializing and relaxing.  That being said, you want your living room to look good.  Here are some tips when it comes to what size rug you should use in your living room:

  • Large Space: Bigger rooms are great, but they also mean you have more area to cover and need to do more to make it feel cozy instead of cold. In these instances, I recommend looking for a rug that is big enough to “float” all of your furniture on.  In other words, all your main pieces fit comfortably within the perimeter of the rug leaving equal distance all the way around. This technique makes the room look cozy and comfortable, yet still polished.
  • Midsized Space: In an average sized living room, you can go a little smaller with your area rug provided that you always make sure the front two legs of all of the pieces in the grouping (sofa, chairs, loveseat etc.) are on the rug.  This brings the furniture all goes together telling the homeowner and guests the purpose of the space.
  • Small Space: In a very small living room, such as an apartment, condominium or many of those classic bungalows of the Northwest, space is at a premium.  By placing an area rug under a coffee table between your seating area, you can actually trick the eye in to believing you have more space than you do.  This technique is also good if your budget is tight and you can only afford a smaller sized rug.


Hallways tend to be small and narrow, which doesn’t leave a lot of options when it comes to rug placement.  However, if you have furniture in your hallway that can change up your rug placement.  Here are some tips when it comes to rug placement in a hallway:

  • Homeowners with narrow hallways should look for “runners” that have 4 to 5 inches of flooring visible on all sides of the runner. For example, if you have a 3ft wide hallway (most halls are about this width), I find that a 2'3" wide runner is a comfortable width. The good news is, most standard runners come this width, or close to it. Or, and this one is a little unorthodox, but try placing furniture to one side and the long runner on the other.  This can make a small hallway look and feel bigger with the runner rug to one side.
  • For wider hallways, a long rug with furniture (such as a console) on either side can keep the space from feeling cavernous.  Just be sure to keep the rug out from under the furniture and let the rug lead you down the hallway.


Much like the living room, a dining room is another space in to which we bring guests to entertain and socialize.  Unlike all other rooms, the technique for a dining room rug is actually very simple: everything should be on the rug.  With the table in the center, the chairs should have plenty of room to be pulled back away from the table and still remain on the rug.  This is one area of your home that is better to get a bigger rug rather than a rug that is too small.

In the next blog, I will address rugs in the bedroom and entryway or foyer.




A fun example of using Flor Carpet Tiles as a custom runner. 

A fun example of using Flor Carpet Tiles as a custom runner.