May 22, 2013

How To Series: Area Rug Placement

I'm back with another addition to my "How-To" series! Today we're talking about area rug placement.

More than likely, you have an area rug in your home. And more than likely, you've thought about the perfect place to put that area rug. I've created some diagrams that will help you decide not only the placement of your area rug, but also the size that will work better in your space. I'll spare you the obligatory "That's what she said" joke and just leave you with this:

(I miss this show so much already it hurts)

For example, I've found that most people that use an area rug in their bedroom are either using the wrong size, or are placing in incorrectly under the bed. Here's a diagram that I drew to scale using a queen sized bed and an 8x10 rug:

If you use something smaller, say a 5x7, the bed does not fit well on the rug. Furthermore, the bed looks SO much smaller when you use a smaller rug. In this diagram, the beds at the bottom are the same size as the ones at the top. Doesn't look it, does it?! I also like pushing the rug all the way up to the wall behind the bed. If the rug doesn't reach the foot of the bed, it looks like highwater pants. Ain't nobody got time for that. So remember the size of the rug when you're planning your bedroom. If you have a king sized bed, I would recommend moving up to a 9x12, if you have the space (and the budget) for it. The only instance that a 5x7 rug would really work is in the case of a single twin bed. Using the right size is much more aesthetically pleasing in the room. If your room is smaller, there are other options (such as using a runner on either side of the bed to save space).

Let's take a look at the diagram for dining room rugs. 

One of my biggest pet peeves is a too-small dining room rug. If I can't push my chair out without getting the legs caught on the edge of the rug, your rug is too small. Now this is more of a common sense kind of thing, and it absolutely depends on both the size of your dining room and the size of your table. Just remember: push those chairs out like you were going to sit down, and buy a rug larger than that space. This is definitely my wire hanger equivalent. Trust me, you and your guests will be much happier! :)

As far as living rooms go, I created a diagram that shows a pretty common type of layout, furniture-wise:


When it comes to your living room, you have to play it by "eye" (yep, said it) when placing your rug. I personally like option number two, because it's rare that you have a space large enough to place all of your living room furniture on one large rug (like a 9x12). My rule of thumb is to put the front legs of the couch and/or chairs on the rug, and it still creates a separate and more intimate space that way. The  only no-no in this scenario is having a rug (say, a 5x7) that is too small and centered in the room. If your coffee table is the only thing that can fit on the rug, it's too small. This all comes down to choosing the correct size when purchasing a rug. Now obviously, this list is for those that are trying to decide between rug sizes when purchasing. I know that there are other factors (like budget) that might prevent you from getting the right size. I would recommend searching Rugs USA (where I've bought most of my area rugs!), where they seem to constantly have a sale. I purchased two 8x10 100% wool rugs for less than $150 each!

I hope that you found these tips helpful! Remember to hover over the image for the "Pin It" button in the corner so you can save it for future reference. Next in the series: pattern mixing! Happy rug placing!


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29 comments :

  1. Shannon, 1st let me say how I love your blog--sorry I am not a big commentor- : /
    --But you got me here! This subject Drives.Me.Crazy.
    I see these mistakes all the time~and it's worse when you see it perpetuated by the so-called-experts on HGTV! Aghhhhhh!

    But the secondary mistake so many make is PUSHING ALL THE FURNITURE UP AGAINST THE OUTER WALLS---IS IT UNDER ARREST?? (It's like, "hands against the wall.")

    Great visual post--I have a few people I will be forwarding this to! Maybe they'll listen to another's correction!
    Catherine

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    1. Haha, Catherine! Thanks so much, that's too funny. I agree- especially about the furniture pushed against the walls! Drives me crazy.

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  2. Great post!! So useful! Thanks for the tips girl :)

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  3. Ooh so good to know! You are totally right--the larger rug looks tons better in all of your examples. Pinning! I popped over from Inspire Me Please--thanks for sharing!

    ~Abby =)

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  4. So I failed on 2 of the 3, and that's only because I don't have a rug in the bedroom haha! Good to know!

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    1. Haha! It's totally a preference thing, so do whatcha gotta do! :)

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  5. This is crazy helpful! We have all hardwood floors in our house so we have been planning some rugs! You saved us from making some bad size choices!

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    1. It's so hard to decide placement and size when you have all hardwood floors! Glad it helped, Kaci! :)

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  6. Hi Shannon,

    THANK YOU for this post!! I have been saving up to buy a new rug for our master bedroom. It just so happened that this blog post and 65% off rugsusa came at the same time! I was always going to order a 5x7 rug until I read your post so thank you!! It looks awesome in our room and I have you to thank :)
    - Katy

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    1. Hi Katy! I'm SO glad to hear that this helped you! And I'm so glad that it looks awesome! Don't you love RugsUSA's sales?!

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  7. Thanks for the post! I have a 5 x 7 under a double bed, but I have a queen bed coming soon. After reading your post, I realize that this rug just won't work in my bedroom anymore. Do you think a 5 x 7 works under a love seat and coffee table? (I'm still hunting for a good apartment sized couch)
    Thanks!!!

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    1. Hi! I'm so sorry this is late- I just saw this comment. I think that a 5x7 would be fine in the living room, especially if it's an apartment! The size of the rug should work with the size of the room. If your room is smaller with smaller furniture, I think it would work! Good luck! :)

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  8. my room family room is 24x26. we have a large sectional that runs against the wall. that is all i have so far. i don't know what to do! if i get a rug and place it under the sectional it will look like the room is cut in half. on the wall across from the sectional is a large TV. if i move the sectional out into the room then won't the room still look like its cut in half?? thank you.

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    1. I'm a huuuuge fan of pulling furniture off of the walls and into the room. Your first inclination might be to think that it will "cut off" the room, but this is usually not the case. In fact, it often makes the room look bigger! I would try pulling the sectional towards the TV and then place the rug underneath. This creates two different spaces in the living room, and should make the room look bigger! Good luck!

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    2. thank you for taking the time to answer my question! what do you think about using a bench for a coffee table? my sectional is long and i saw a bench that is long and not that wide. my sectional is large because it is a recliner sectional. all 5 pieces recline and it has a curve in the corner.(my husband picked it out) Thank you for your help!

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    3. I think an upholstered bench would look great! That way, everyone can reach the "coffee table". :)

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  9. We are moving in two days and the floors are wood in the new house. Thank you so much for this! It has saved me from some major headaches!

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  10. Wow! Those are fantastic ideas! Thank you so much for sharing this. I believe that the bigger the rug the better so that it will look nice and would look good on your space. I will take note of those tips and will mark on this page for future reference. -www.ocflooring.net

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  11. Hi, I enjoyed your blog on area rug placement, however, I think I still have a problem. My bedroom is small 14 x 10'8" and I have a queen bed and am using only one end table. If I push the rug all the way up under the bed then the end table will probably be only partially on top of the rug and possible only the front legs of a chest of drawers that will be placed facing the bed. The bed is on the 10'8" wall because there is a large windon on the bigger wall. Sorry to go on and on but thought that maybe you would have some suggestions for me. Thanks for any help you may provide.

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  12. Shannon I just bought an Echo Grammercy Paisley bedding set . Its pretty busy , you can look at it if you just google it. I'm sure you know that! But I am having a terrible time picking an area rug. I just put hard wood floors down and definitley need an area rug. Also I'm having trouble with window treatments. If you have any suggestions for either please let me know. Thanks so much , jhaile63@yahoo.com

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    1. Hi! Because that bedding (pretty!) is very busy, I would stick with a classic rug with a nice texture. West Elm has a beautiful jute and chenille herringbone rug that is textured and natural, but is very soft (unlike most jute rugs). As for window treatments, I would go for something light and bright, like white with a simple ribbon trim in a complimenting color. Good luck!

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  13. Hi Shannon, thank you so much for your post! So helpful! This lead me to a few questions; I am moving and my new bedroom is pretty small and is carpeted. 1)What are the rules on rugs over carpet?, 2)How far from the edges of the room does the rug need to be to not have the opposite effect and make the room feel smaller?

    I agree that a bigger 8x10 rug looks much better the way you have it laid out, but I was thinking in this space because that size rug would take up so much floor space, a 5x7 or maybe smaller to one side of the bed (one side of the room has more space because of closet/walkway to br) might make the room seem bigger. I hope that makes sense...any feedback is greatly appreciated!

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    1. Hi! Thanks so much! As far as rugs over carpet go, I don't really have any specific rules. I have rugs over carpet in my house because (although they look better over hard wood) I'd rather have a rug than nothing at all! I would stick with more neutral rugs over carpet, though, so as not to draw attention to the difference. A bright, bold rug might really stick out in a sea of beige carpet!

      In a small room, you can really go as big as you want with a carpet as long as it's a lighter color. I would leave an even amount of space between the rug and the wall, just so you know that there's carpet under there. You can definitely put a smaller rug on one side of the bed- especially if it's the side you use/ see! I like to use a larger, neutral rug (like jute or sisal), and then layer a Persian or sheepskin of a smaller size where I would get out of bed (i.e., the side). That way you can add texture/ pattern/ color and still cover up the carpet! I hope this helps! :)

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  14. Nothing makes me happier than to find out that this is your tip. I've literally had that image in my mind for months now, reminding myself that my tiny rug just WON'T do. If you could just teach me all your interior designer knowledge, that would be perfect. K? Thanks. Also, thanks for alerting me so that I can direct my peeps over here! :) xo

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  15. I agree with most of your suggestions but there is one that is quite popular that you did not address. I love the look of the rug in the bedroom being two thirds of way under bed with excess at end of bed. Why would you buy a bigger rug and pay more just to pull the rug all the way up to the headboard wall? Love the two third look and obviously so do a lot of designers. :)

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I love your comments like I love a glass of red wine, a slow Van Morrison song, and freshly swiffered floors...which is, like, a lot.

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