An entire living room set including a couch two seats and a dining table

Selecting the Right Size Rug for Your Space


It’s not rocket science, but there is a bit of a science to picking the right size rug for your space.

Selecting the right size area rug can be the difference between bringing the elements of a room together or making it look like it was thrown together haphazardly. (Hint: You want to be in the former category.)

Choosing the appropriate size depends on two important factors: the dimensions of the room and the furniture paired with the rug.  

The rug can be positioned either entirely or partially under the furniture. It should never float alone inside the furniture grouping. This is particularly relevant for living rooms. Do you want the rug to be under all legs of the couch and chairs, or just the front legs? 

Lia Melder, interior designer for Reid’s Fine Furnishings’ Forest location, has rug-sizing philosophies for various rooms of the house. “For a living room, you want the rug to define the space and ground all of the furniture. What you do with one furniture piece should be done with all pieces, so if only the front legs of the sofa are on the rug, then only the front legs of any other sofas or chairs should be on,” she said. “If the entire piece is on the rug, all pieces should be entirely on the rug.”

Lia has some other considerations to make in other rooms of the house, as well. 

For safety and comfort’s sake, you don’t want the dining room chairs to be on uneven surfaces. That means opt for the larger rug.

“You want the rug large enough that when chairs are pulled back to get in and out they stay fully on the rug. Generally, that means the rug needs to be at least 2 feet larger than the table all the way around,” she said. 

“For a bedroom, you want the sides of the bed where your feet are going to hit the floor when you get up in the morning to be covered, and the area at the foot of the bed should be covered as well. This can be accomplished with one large rug, or a combination of smaller rugs, depending on what works best for the layout of the room.” 

There are always exceptions to these rules, however, so if you are still unsure of what size area rug you need, that’s okay! Visit our Roanoke or Forest showrooms today so one of our designers can help you find the perfect rug for your home.