One of the benefits of a rug is that it defines an area, but it also has a super power: it can make a room feel more intimate or create the illusion of more space.
“The same room with different sized rugs will look completely different,” says Cyrus Loloi, principal for Loloi Rugs, a rug manufacturer located in Dallas. “Choose the size of your rug according to the atmosphere you want to create.”
When in doubt, Cyrus suggests that you go for the bigger size; it will unify the furniture and make the room appear bigger. He also recommends choosing a rug that leaves at least 18 inches of bare floor showing around its edges to help maintain the room’s proportions.
In the Living Room
Selecting a rug size for your living room will depend on the size of your room as well as your furniture arrangement. The rug should be able to at least accommodate a coffee table, although in most cases, 8’ x 10’ is the best choice.
“An undersized rug can make the room appear smaller and disconnected,” Cyrus says.
If you’ve got a smaller living room or prefer to keep all of our furniture off the rug except for a coffee table, go with a 5’ x 8’ rug. It creates the feel of a cozy, intimate setting.
With an 8’ x 10’ rug, you’ll most likely have all or some of the front legs of the furniture on the rug with the back legs off. This size connects the various pieces and creates a good sense of proportion.
A 9’ x 12’ rug allows you to pull all of the furniture together in a cohesive look. It defines an area and gives the room a more spacious feel.
In the Dining Room
In a dining area, the most common mistake people make is selecting a rug that’s too small, says Cyrus. The legs of the chair should sit comfortably on the rug – even when they’re pulled out for sitting. A rule of thumb is to look for a rug that extends at least 24 inches around the table.
For smaller-sized dining tables 5’ x 8’ rugs can be a great choice. A rectangular rug will work under round tables, but a round rug is often a better match. And for traditional dining tables with six to eight chairs, 8’ x 10’ or 9’ x 12’ rugs are the best choice.
If you’ve got an unusual room layout or furniture arrangement, you’ll have to be a little more flexible. And while rules provide helpful guidelines, it’s OK if they’re broken. “Ultimately if you think it looks great, go for it,” says Cyrus.