Rugs are an amazing way to add pattern and warmth to any space. You can tie an entire room together or make a statement with a rug that really stands out. In my house of cold tiled floors rugs are essential to keeping the tootsies warm! Of course finding the perfect pattern is EXTREMELY important but once you decide on what rug would be ideal for your space you have one more task.
That’s right… picking the perfect SIZE rug!
Now in my mind bigger is always better ( 😉 ) but there are so many different factors to consider when selecting the perfect sized rug for your space. Luckily I’m here to help! (aren’t y’all lucky?)
I currently have FOUR amazing rugs… and I love every single one of them! I love the way a rug feels under foot and after finding my first rug it became abundantly clear (to me) that rugs would be one of my weaknesses. I fell in love with 3 of my 4 rugs… it wasn’t an option to keep searching when I knew EXACTLY what I wanted. Since my pattern was already chosen I simply had to decide what SIZE rug to purchase.
Here are the fundamental questions to ask when picking the perfect sized rug:
1) Do you want to anchor the space or cover the floor?
2) Will you have several rugs in the same room? Rugs help to define a space so if you have one large space that serves purposes (living room, dining room, conversation area) having a rug for each space will help separate the room… without walls.
3) Do you want furniture to be completely on the rug, completely off the rug or somewhere in the middle? Maybe just the front feet are placed on top of the carpet!
4) What price point are you comfortable with? Is this an investment piece or will you be replacing it somewhere down the line?
I personally like to size my rug slightly smaller than the actual room. This means leaving a slight border of floor around the outside edge of the rug. This does 2 things: it adds a layer of contrast between the floor and the rug. It also makes buying a standard size rug easier… most rooms aren’t the same size so in order to have a rug cover the floor from wall to wall may be more expensive. This look still anchors the space… but doesn’t completely cover the floor.
With this scenario only the front feet of the furniture are placed on the rug. I prefer this look because it makes the space feel inclusive yet spacey. Unless your rug is GIGANTIC (like my mom who has a rug of enormous proportions… I think it’s 16 x 20 or something absolutely ridiculous. It covers her entire floor!) placing all of your furniture directly on the rug makes the space feel crowded. On the other side of the spectrum placing your furniture completely off the rug makes it feel disconnected. By placing only the front feet (or half the furniture piece) on the rug you are creating a conversation area… yet leaving enough room for people to breathe!
While there are many do’s and don’ts when it comes to picking the perfect size it’s important to remember that these rules aren’t one-room fits all. Place your rug in a way that makes sense to YOUR room. Every rug may not sit perfectly centered in the room… maybe you have a funky cut-out or your door won’t swing over your super cushy rug. Make sure to plan out placement before choosing the perfect size. A great example of this is our office… with the placement of furniture it doesn’t make sense to place the rug directly in the middle of the room. By placing the rug under the furniture we anchor the space… and keep our tootsies warm during all night blogging sessions.
If you aren’t sure what size rug to start with I recommend breaking out the masking tape. That’s right… mark out several different sized rugs and see which one makes the most sense. If an 8×10 is too pricey see if a 5×7 would work. Marking off a “fake rug” on the floor lets you see exactly how the rug would look in your space.
One last tip: When I was placing the rug in our living room my Mama advised me to pay attention to walking patterns. That means to observe where the heaviest amount of foot traffic is in the room… will it be directly over your new rug? The last thing you want is a rut worn through your beautiful new floor covering! Is there something you can do to detract people from taking that path?
For example the path from my front door to my kitchen leads directly through my living room… and therefore over my living room rug. It’s a path we would normally take at least twice a day. By moving a couple items (our car keys, a basket of blankets) that path is less convenient! Even after taking note of the current walking patterns… there may be nothing you can do to position the rug differently or to detract from the current path. Is that something you’re OK with? Make sure before that new rug comes home!
Is there a tip that you’d like to share? What’s your number one concern when purchasing a new rug?