How to Place an Area Rug

Whether it’s the focal point of the room or a neutral base to highlight your decor, choosing the right area rug will bring harmony to your interior design. A properly sized area rug can breathe life into a room and unify your furniture and decor. Before you start shopping for rugs, take a moment to assess the size of your room. This will help ensure that the rug is neither too big nor too small for your intended space. Plan ahead and take measurements to help you narrow down your choices before you start sifting through styles and colors.

4 Things to Consider Before You Buy a Rug

1. Style Goals

The first step in determining your style goals is to decide what the focal point of the room will be. For example, you may be styling a sitting area, or maybe you’re looking for the right rug to fit a small kitchen. Once you choose the focal point, consider the colors, patterns, and style of furniture you have in the designated space to help you coordinate your rug selection. If the room is large, you may want to layer rugs with different patterns and sizes to help create contrast. Ultimately, a rug is there to unify your furniture.

2. The “Bare Floor” Rule

An important rule when using a large rug is to maintain a border space of bare floor all the way around it. Take your room borders into consideration when measuring a large rug for a room. Traditionally, it’s recommended that you leave at least an 18-inch border of space from rug to wall on each side of the rug to keep the look symmetrical, or 8 inches of space if the room is smaller.

3. Shape & Material

Consider foot traffic and location when choosing a rug material. For high-traffic areas, look for materials that are easy to clean and will stand up to stains and general wear, like bamboo or wool. Next, think about your furniture to determine the right rug shape and style. The shape of the room and style of your furniture will help you narrow down your rug choices.

4. Placement

To help visualize how a rug will look in your space, use masking tape to create a border on the floor where the rug will lie. When measuring your room, give yourself a 2-inch margin of error to avoid picking a rug that is too big or too small for the intended space. Once you have the tape placed exactly where you want the rug to go, you can then measure the length and width of the area. Use those dimensions to help you choose a rug size that is closest to your desired measurements.