When buying an area rug, it is important to get the right size for the room.  An area rug should define the space it is in ~ not be defined by it.  Often people choose rugs that are too small, which is unfortunate because the rug is a very important element in a room.  It provides character, color and comfort.  

The rug should have a working relationship with the furniture in the room.  The size of the rug will be determined by the room it is in, the furniture that is in the room, and the function of the room.  Is it in a high use area?  Are you looking to define traffic flow? Will it be needed for noise reduction?  There are many things to consider. 


Living Room

For the living room, the room arrangement will dictate what size is best.  It is important that the front legs of a sofa or sectional sit on the rug, as well as accent seating.  Also be sure to get a rug that is large enough to have side tables, stools or chairs that are fully on the rug so that they do not rock and are stable.  It is not necessary for rugs to go beyond the general sitting area.  The exception to that rule is if you are trying to cut down on noise or want to create a more intimate sitting area in a very large room. 


In the bedroom, no matter what size bed, look for a rug that is at least 18” larger than the bed frame.  This assures you that your feet will have a nice warm landing spot when you get up in the morning.  Typically, I recommend one large rug that goes beyond the sides and foot board (it is not necessary to go all the way to the headboard).  Runners and a rug at the foot of the bed get a little busy to my eye.  Rugs add warmth and texture to a room, so the larger the rug, the cozier it will become, which is preferable in bedrooms. 

Dining Room

Area rugs in the dining room are the easiest size to determine ~ they need to extend 18 – 20” beyond the dining table and chairs all the way around.  This makes it comfortable to move chairs in and out without hanging off the edge of a rug and possibly becoming unstable.  Remember to measure your table with the extended leaves to be sure your rug accommodates the table at its maximum size.  For round tables, square rugs work nicely.

Home Office

In the office, you may be tempted to choose a rug that fits just the chair under the desk, but here again you want to define the space, as well as be practical.  Find a rug that fits both the desk and chair comfortably.  It will go a long way to add color and style. 

Custom Area Rug Options

When looking for rug sizes, also keep in mind that there are many companies that offer custom rug sizes and custom rug patterns.  Davis & Davis Rugs offers many patterns and styles that are fully customizable.  Many rug companies also offer area rugs that can be cut to size and bound, these are perfect for rooms with high traffic, or odd sizes and shapes. 

Quick Tips when Rug Buying:

  1.   Be sure to measure the room before you go.
  2.   Take pictures of the space from several different angles. It will help show the size and scale of the room
  3.   DO NOT choose a rug with lots of color based on the colors you see on the computer screen. No matter how good your computer is, they all show color differently.  Most rugs are an investment, so it is worth taking the time to get a sample and verifying the true colors and quality of the rug.
  4.   If in doubt ~ “Bigger is Better”. Small rugs often look like an afterthought and do nothing to define a space.  They also make the furniture look awkward and ill placed.  A larger rug will always create a more welcoming environment and create more options in room arrangement. 


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