Size Matters: Choosing the Right Size Area Rug

size-mattersArea rugs are excellent additions to your home décor, providing comfort, connectivity and protection to an otherwise hard floor and bare room. They also give a creative outlet for those who want to give the room its own style.

But does size really matter? In a word – absolutely.

Area rugs help to distinguish the environment of a room and can easily alter its overall effect. Many people become intimidated by the price of 8×10 or 9×12 rugs and instead opt for the cheaper 5x7s or 6x9s. However, if it is too small, the room will appear choppy and convey an uninviting feeling.

Ultimately, the right-sized rug will make your room feel warm and balanced, and following these tips will help in your decision-making.

  • Before you start making your way through the market, be sure to know the measurements of your seating area and choose the size closest to that, rounding up rather than down.
  • For tighter spaces, you can decide on a small rug to float in front of your furniture, especially if your couch is backed against the wall. Larger rooms or rooms with floating furniture, however, require bigger area rugs to act as an anchor and pull the room together.
  • Putting the legs of your furniture on or off your rug is a personal choice. The key is to be consistent. If the front couch legs are on, the front legs of your chairs should be on. Having some furniture on and others not can create a divided space that feels chaotic.
  • Make sure your rug sits 6 to 10 inches wider than the sides of your sofa. Anything smaller will cause the room to look disproportionate.
  • Unless your room is completely square, do not buy a square rug.
  • Round rugs work great in kids’ rooms, play rooms, entry ways and even large bathrooms.
  • Arrange your rug to your room. If your room is longer, turn the rug to run lengthwise. If your room is wider, adjust the rug to run horizontally. It may seem like common sense, but if you’re dealing with a large area, it can become confusing. For example, if your floor plan leaves you with a long skinny room, you may have two sitting areas distinguished by two rugs. To optimize your space, keep the rugs oriented to the room, not to the furniture it is grouped with.
  • Pay more attention to your walls than your furniture when choosing your rug. Treat them as the boundaries. Choose a rug that will sit 6” to 24” from at least two of the main walls.

Still need help deciding what size to choose? Lay down newspaper on the floor to help visualize the space your rug will take up. Because it will cover the floor completely, it will give you a better picture of what size you’ll need.