Rugs have been around since 3,000 B.C.E. in ancient Egypt. Back then, they were likely used as makeshift floors more than the decorative art pieces they are today.

Picking the right rug sizes can make the difference between a well-styled put together home, and one that tried. Rugs orient spaces, create art, fill rooms and help bring the decor together. They’re a vital element to every room’s cohesiveness.

Once you learn the simple tricks to properly picking out the right sized and shaped rug, it’s easy to make any home look classy. Here’s how to pick the right sized rug for any room. 

Rug Size Should Be Dictated by the Space 

There is no universally recommended rug size. That’s part of the reason rug sizes themselves are so versatile. What works best for a given space will depend on the existing space.

Rugs are designed to pull furniture pieces together or fill negative existing space. For example, consider the gap between a coffee table and the couches that surround it, or a long empty hallway.

The best way to decide the size of a rug you’re going to need is to sketch out the area in masking tape first and grab the measurements you need. 

There are a few other tips on how to properly place your rugs, which we’ll elaborate on below. 

All Legs on Rug 

This is a popular method of placing rugs in big rooms because it brings the space together. In this method, any furniture you want to group will have all legs placed on the rug, and the rug will run a foot or so behind the furniture. 

This is best for furniture that isn’t placed against a wall, like loose groupings of living room furniture. It also works well in big bedrooms or under dining room tables. Make sure to leave between 24″ and 36″ so there’s room to push back chairs. 

Front Legs on Rug 

This works well in a space where some of the furniture is adjacent to existing walls. It’s best for medium-sized rooms that need less space definition. It’s a good way to fill negative space. 

If you use this method in a bedroom, plan to lay your rug under about two-thirds of the bed. 

Centered Items 

Sometimes it will make sense to center an item, like a coffee table, directly on top of a rug. This can make an area feel larger than it is. 

When you center an item on top of a rug, pay attention to the negative space you want to fill. Measure that space out with masking tape to find the rug dimensions you need. 

Use Runners Wisely 

Runners work best in long narrow spaces, like the area just before a broad bathroom sink, in between a counter and a kitchen island, or down a long hallway. 

But you can also use long runners on either side of the bed to mimic the feel of a full floor rug, without the extra cost. 

Keep in Mind Comfort

Some places in your home get extra foot traffic, like the area in front of sinks or kitchen counters. You can creatively use runners or smaller rugs to add padding for tired feet. 

There are also likely areas in your home that tired morning feet don’t want to stand on. This can be the bedside or bathroom tile, so consider adding rugs there to make waking up a bit cozier. Rugs can be an excellent way to add insulation to a cold house. 

Let Your Rug Be an Echo 

Whenever you consider a rug for an area, pay attention to the existing shapes around it. Is a room long and narrow? Opt for a long and narrow rug. Circular dining table? It needs a circular rug. 

No matter what, your rugs should flow with the spaces they’re in, and work well with them. 

Go Up a Size 

Most rugs come in one of these standard sizes:

  • 3 feet by 5 feet
  • 4 feet by 6 feet
  • 5 feet by 8 feet 
  • 7 feet by 10 feet
  • 8 feet by 11 feet
  • 9 feet by 12 feet

But it’s likely possible that none of these rugs sizes may feel like a perfect fit in your space or the space you measured out. 

If that happens, always opt for the bigger size. Big rugs can help a room feel bigger than they are. 

Leave Breathing Room 

Any time you place a rug, make sure there’s at least 18″ of clear floor space before another rug or wall. This should apply to all sides of the rug. If there’s not, it will make the room feel crowded or even overbearing. 

Leaving floor space around your rug is key to making rug feel perfectly spaced. 

Don’t Forget Your Rug Padding 

Anytime you get a rug, it’s a good idea to get rug padding to go with it. This will help prevent your rug from slipping, and it’s vital to properly care for your new rug

Pick out rug padding that’s one inch smaller on each side than the rug itself. That way it’s big enough to give your rug the structure and support it needs while leaving enough rug to cover the edges of the pad. 

Pick the Right Rug Sizes for Your Space

Picking the right rug sizes for your space is easy once you understand the basics. Knowing how to stylishly add rugs to your space can completely transform the room. 

Next time you’re looking to add a new rug, take advantage of these tips to make sure it’s right for your space. 

Ready to spice up your home with a new rug? Check out our online selection today.