Choosing and Area Rug That Fits Your Lifestyle

Decorator’s Tip

Choosing an Area Rug that fits your lifestyle

It’s easier than you think to choose the right fit, most designers recommend choosing the rug first.  You can choose a paint colors, throw pillows, art work and accessories later that complement the rug.   Here are some simple rules to help you find the right rug for your room.

The two most important things to consider first when choosing a rug is your lifestyle and your own personal style.  Also,  take into consideration the use of the room, is it a high traffic area, do you have children and/or pets, if so you may want to choose a rug that’s durable and easy to clean, like wool, a synthetic blend or sea grass.

First, measuring for the rug.   Accurately measure the total width and length of your room.  In addition, measuring the space for functional pieces in the room, such as living room furniture, dining tables, coffee tables, sofas, chairs and bed.  Sketch a floor plan to show placement of furniture and traffic flow. 

A rule of thumb:  The area rug should be a minimum of 6 inches and no more than 2 feet away from the wall.  Other factors can weigh in when you take into consideration different uses and design preferences.

Dining Room, a rug for the dining room should be large enough to allow space for all chairs, even when pulled out with guest.  Measure your table and add approximately two feet, or sit in one and measure the distance.  Adding a rug to the dining will give the room balance and will prevent your floors from scratches.  An average sized dining room table with 6 chairs works well on an 8x10 area rug.  A three-foot diameter round table with 4 chairs works well on top an 8’ round rug.

Living Room/Family Room, adding rugs to these rooms are a great way to define a larger room, making it feel cozy.  We recommend choosing a rug that covers at least the length and width of the furniture, allowing the first set of feet of your furniture and the whole coffee table to rest on the rug.  An 8x10 area rug can normally comfortably fit a sofa, 2 arm chairs and a coffee table.  

If your living room/family room has a dominant feature such as a fire place, choosing a rug with an all-over pattern helps  not distract or compete with the focal point.

Bedroom area rug size depends on whether you would like your bed to sit on top of it or not.  Rugs can make the room feel comfy and cozy, either under the entire bed or adding them alongside bedroom furniture.  A 12x15 or 12X18 rug is appropriate for a queen or king-sized bed.  Typically an 8x10 is an ideal size for a bedroom.

In children s rooms use smaller rugs in fun shapes and patterns to help create and encourage imagination.  Place a colorful rug in corner with a chair near a book shelve to create a comfy little reading nook for your child.

Kitchen typically only need mats or scatter rugs since these are small areas in front of the sink or door.  Another option could be using a runner if you have a long narrow kitchen, or would like create a walk-through area.  Most runners are two  to three feet wide, exposing 6 inches to a foot on either side works well.

Hallways typically range in size from three to six feet wide.  Most runners are two and half feet to three feet wide, you could choose to expose an even amount of wood on either side, or you could purchase a rug as wide as the hallway.  We recommend if placing furniture in a hallway it be either all on or all off the rug.

When installing runners on the stairs, you should always hire a professional to do the job, safety on stairs is extremely important.  Either carpeting the full stair, or just the treads, or leaving an even amount of wood exposed on either side.  A professional can guide in you this area.

Before heading out to the store to pick your area rug take a look around your room, visualize your space and what it will be used for.  If your primary furniture will be solid colors, consider choosing a rug with a design or pattern.  If your furniture has a print a solid rug may work well.  A rug serves as an anchor to your room; dark, rich colors define a more intimate space while lighter colors make a small space feel larger.  Spicy colors such as yellow, reds and oranges add warmth while cool colors create calm.

 And remember there are billion's of paint colors out there, but you will only fall in love with a very few area rugs.  So choose the rug first and then pick the paint color after.

 Mat- A mat measures 2x3 and is often used in entryways, in front of kitchen sinks and small spaces.

Scatter Rug- A scatter rug ranges from 2x4 to 4x6.  These rugs work well in an entryway as well, but can be used under a grouping of one or more chairs.

Area Rug- An area rug measures 5x7-8x10 these are the perfect size rugs to define a seating area in a living room or family room.

Runner- A runner measures two to three feet wide by seven to twenty feet long, runners are typically used in hallways and stairways, but can be used in a narrow kitchen.

Carpet- Once a rug reaches 8x10 feet in size; it is then consider a carpet.  9x11 is another popular carpet size.  After a carpet exceeds 14x24, it is then called a “palace carpet”.  If you are purchasing a carpet-size rug that covers almost the entire surface area of you room, measure carefully to ensure that the rug doesn’t touch the baseboards.