Area rugs : How to choose the right size & shape

The main purpose of an area rug is to pull a room together and define a space. It’s important to keep this in mind when shopping for a rug. So let’s say you’re looking to buy an area rug for your living room. Here are 3 tips to help you make the right choice:

1. Choose the right size

Place all your sitting furniture–sofa, armchairs, coffee table, side tables–just where you want them to be. Now measure the width and depth of the whole sitting area, and allow 6 to 10 extra inches on all sides. The final measurement will give you the ideal dimensions of an area rug that will define your sitting area.

Don’t make the mistake of choosing a rug that’s too small. This can make your furniture look like they’re floating, and will chop up the look of your living room. If you’ve fallen in love with a rug that’s smaller than ideal, here are some tricks you can use:

  • Layer – Place the smaller rug on top of a larger sisal mat of the correct dimensions. Sisal is a more affordable material that you can use in a pinch to create the right size for your sitting area.
  • Feet on – If you can’t fit all your furniture on top of the rug, place just the front feet of the sofa and chairs on it. Make sure you do this for all the sitting furniture–if you do this with just the sofa, for example, you’re going to create a visual imbalance. Do try to have at least 6 extra inches of rug on either side of your couch.


Contemporary Area Rug
Contemporary Bedroom Rug


2. Orient the rug to the shape of room

What you’re going for is a proportionate amount of rug to exposed floor space. So as a general rule, if your room is long, orient the rug length-wise.  And if it’s wider than it’s long, orient the rug width-wise.

3. Choose a rug the same shape as your room

In this, as with many “decorating rules”, there’s a lot of leeway for experimentation and personal flair. However, in most cases you should choose a square or rectangular shaped rug for a similarly shaped room. Round rugs might work but they’re a little trickier to balance out; in general round or oval rugs are better for foyers, kids’ rooms, dining rooms with round tables or more informal settings.

Visit our website to view our huge selection of area rugs, or for more information.

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