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The Homeowner's Guide to Area Rug Sizes and Placement

Choosing the right rug for your home can be challenging. There is a lot to consider! Luckily there are a few rules of thumb to guide you and if you are really stuck you can always ask a local interior designer. Ultimately it's about what feels right to you - embrace your personal style and find the rug that transforms your home into a warm inviting space for family and friends.

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How do you determine the size of an area rug?

A good place to start when deciding what size rug you need, is to consider the layout of your room and how you use it. Think about where your furniture is placed, where the sun comes in and where the foot traffic goes. Here are a couple of general guidelines to help you:

  1. 'Bigger is better' - a large rug will make your room feel more spacious and inviting
  2. Keep some bare floor visible - at least 18 inches or 40cm between the edge of the rug and the walls
  3. Orient your rug with the shape of the room.

Handily, there are classic or common sizes of area rugs. The table below lists the usual standard sizes:

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A quick and easy way to visualise the rug in your space is to mark out the dimensions on the floor with masking tape. Some stores will even loan you a rug to experiment with, so be sure to ask.

What's the biggest area rug size?

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If you have a large space you may want to look at an 12x15 ft, or 366cm x 457cm rug. This is the largest standard area rug size. Covering about 180 square meters, or 1938 square feet of floor space it is fairly sizeable - about a third of the size of a basketball court!

How big is an 8x10 area rug?

The 8x10 ft or 240cm x 310cm area rug is the most common standard rug size. The math tells us it covers about 80 square feet, or 7.5 square meters of floor space, which means it fits comfortably into most spaces - living rooms, bedrooms or under dining tables.

How do you place an area rug in a living room?

We like like to think of our luxury sheepskin rugs as 'platforms for living' - not just pulling your room together, but connecting friends and family, providing spaces to relax and gather. Your personal style is utmost here, but the following tips will help you place your living room rug in a way that feels balanced and curated:

  1. Ideally your living room rug will be big enough to encompass all of your seating, with about 8 inches or 20cm of rug visible around the sides and the back of the couch and chairs.
  2. If you have a large living room you can place just the front two legs of your couch and chairs on the rug. Maintain balance by keeping the seating consistent - avoid having some fully on the rug and some not.
  3. If you are placing a smaller rug, arrange the seating at an even distance from the rug, about 8 inches or 20cm.
  4. Circular rugs draw the living space together, creating intimacy and cosiness.

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How do you place a large area rug?

Large area rugs provide comfort, warmth and soften the acoustics in a room. If your rug is large enough to accommodate all your furniture, it essentially acts as a frame, focusing the eye into the centre of the room where all the action happens. By keeping the rug clear of the walls, you will maintain a sense of space and balance.

How far should a rug be from the wall?

This is one rule of thumb that is worth following. We know rugs can visually pull a room together and create cosy spaces. But a the same time we want to maintain a sense of spaciousness and ease. To do this, be sure to leave about 18 inches or 40cm of visible floor space between the edge of the rug and the wall.

Should an area rug be centered in a room?

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Some schools of thought say yes, you should centre an area rug, even measure the distances to ensure it is correctly placed. But really, there are no hard and fast rules. It depends on the size and shape of your room, your furniture, your style and how you use the space.

Sometimes you might want to use a rug to create 'zones' within a single space. You can define a conversation area at one end of a large open plan living area, for example, by placing an L shaped couch on top of a rectangular shaped rug. Its all about finding the right balance and creating spaces that work for you and your family.

Can you put two different rugs in the same room?

Placing two different rugs in a room is a brilliant way to create different 'zones' within the same space. The rugs don't need to be matching, but you will want them to be complementary. The natural warmth and beauty of a sheepskin rug looks fabulous teamed with a Turkish Kilim for example, bringing texture and colour into your room.

How do you place an area rug in a bedroom?

When placing an area rug in your bedroom, its all about feeling the softness of the rug under your feet. Comfort and warmth comes in the form of a luscious sheepskin rug that spans the width of your bed and stretches out beyond. As a general rule, aim for about 20 inches or 50-60cm on each side, so that you can sit comfortably with your feet placed on the rug.

Another option is to place two individual rugs running along each side of the bed. Either way, place your rug/s slightly in front of the bedside tables to ensure a sense of spaciousness and balance.

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Will a 5x7 rug fit under a queen bed?

A standard 8x10ft or 244cm x 305cm rug is ideal under a queen size bed as it gives you a bit of space on each side so when you climb out of bed on those chilly mornings, you feel the warmth and comfort of the rug underfoot.

If your bedroom is small, you can absolutely use a 5x7ft or 152cm x 213cm rug. It will stretch all the way under the bed, but won't be quite wide enough for you to rest your feet on when you are getting in and out of bed.

Will an 8x10 rug fit under a king size bed?

The versatile standard 8x10 ft or 244cm x 305cm rug will fit under a king size bed. So will the next size up, the 9x12ft or 274 cm x 366cm. Its best to remember the 'bigger is better' rule here. If your rug is too small in relation to your bed, the room will feel unbalanced.

Can you hang a rug on the wall?

Rugs are works of art and have been cherished as such for centuries. So go ahead, hang it on the wall!

Should a rug go under a dining table?

Dining room rugs can bring style and definition to your dining space. Not only can they frame your dining table, but they can also protect your beautiful wooden floors from being dented by dining chairs.

When choosing a rug for your dining table, a good rule of thumb is to ensure your rug stretches about 24 inches or 60cm beyond, and in proportion to your dining table. Ideally chairs will remain on the rug, even when pulled back for seating.


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