How To: Pick The Right Size Rug For Your Space

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When it comes to interior design, one of the most common questions is wondering how to pick the correct sized rug to put in your space. Too small, and your room will feel cramped. Too big, and it will look like the rug is swallowing up the furniture. So how do you pick the right size rug? Read on for our expert tips!

Rug Rules

Rug Rules

When it comes to picking the right size rug, there are a few general rules that you should follow:

  1. Go big. The rug should be large enough so that all of the furniture in the room can fit on it. It’s good to fit the front legs on the rug, and better to have 6”-8” excess rug on both sides of the sofa.
  2. Rectangular rugs should go the long width of the room or parallel to the sofa.
  3. Always have a minimum walkway between furniture pieces of 18”-24” for small rooms, and 30”-36” for large rooms.

Rug Size Cheat Sheet

Rug size cheat sheet

We’ve put together this helpful cheat sheet to help you determine the perfect size and placement of an area rug in different rooms of the house.

Living Room

LR all


For a large space, match it with a large rug. This is especially important in open concept great rooms to visually define different zones. All large furniture pieces should be entirely on the rug.

Size Guide

Large room (12'x18') = 9'x12' rug

LR front


A smaller rug is ok for cozier spaces, as long as the front legs of the furniture make it on the rug.

Size Guide

Medium room (11'x13') = 8'x10' or 6'x9' rug

Small room = 5'x7' rug


K island


Kitchen layouts differ, so the key of thumb is to put rugs in the work zones where you're likely to be standing at the longest. Typically this is in front of the sink and the stove.

Size Guide

Small separated work zones = 3'x5' or 2'x3' rug

Large/island work zone = 5'x7' rug

K pen


For enclosed-style kitchens, use one rug to cover the interior work space, ensuring it's large enough to include all the work zones.

Size Guide

Large space = 9'x12', 8'x10', or 6'x9' rug

Small space = 5'x7', 3'x5', or 2'x3' rug

K galley


A narrow kitchen is the ideal place for a long runner. At minimum, make sure all the work zones are covered.

Size Guide

Large galley = 10'-14' rug length

Small galley = 6'-8' rug length

Dining Room

Dining long


Whether your table is rectangular or square, ensure that all chair legs remain on the rug when pushed back from the table.

Size Guide

Large table (8+ chairs) = 9'x12' or 10'x14' rug

Medium table (4-6 chairs) = 8'x10' rug

Small table (2-4 chairs) = 6'x9' rug

Dining round


A round table is one of the few times a circular rug is encouraged. The rug needs to be large enough that all chair legs remain on the rug when pushed back from the table. Get a rug that is 24"-30" larger than the table.

Size Guide

72" table (8-10 chairs) = 10' rug

54"-60" table (6-8 chairs) = 9' rug

48" table (4-6 chairs) = 8' rug

36"-42" table (3-5 chairs) = 7' rug

24" table (1-2 chairs) = 6' rug


bd all


In a large master suite, choose a rug that is big enough to have at least 18"-24" rug underfoot on either side of the bed, while not obstructing any walkways. The nightstands should also be fully on the rug.

Size Guide

King bed  = 9'x12' rug

Queen bed = 8'x10' or 9'x12' rug

Full bed = 6'x9' or 8'x10' rug

bd 2_3


If a room is not big enough to house the entire bed on a rug without infringing on the walkway, use a smaller rug that fits 2/3 of the bed while providing at least 18" of rug underfoot on the sides.

Size Guide

King bed  = 8'x10' rug

Queen bed = 6'x9' rug

Full bed = 5'x8' rug

1 twin


Just like with a larger bed, not smothering the walkway is key to ensuring the rug doesn't crowd the available space.

Size Guide

Bed fully on the rug = 8'x10' rug

Bed 2/3 on the rug = 5'x7' or 6'x9' rug

2 twin


If two twins are close together in a small space, using one rug between the beds is best. When the beds are pressed against opposite walls in a larger space, use one big rug between the beds.

Size Guide

Large spaced twin beds = 5'x7' or 8'x10' rug

Small spaced twin beds = 3'x5' rug

Sneaky Secrets of the Pros

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  1. Get a carpet remnant for a fraction of the price of a rug! Home furnishing stores will often have large pieces of carpet that they need to get rid of.  Check out the clearance selection or furnishing outlets and you may snatch up the perfect textile that costs pennies on the dollar compared to a rug the same size.
  2. Have you wondered how interior designers make a room look so polished and sophisticated? Pay attention to rug layers! Stacking different textures and patterns can instantly elevate any space and make it look like you hired a professional.
  3. Unless you have a circular dining table or a round couch in an open space, don’t use a round rug. Using a circular rug is an easy way to make your space look dated.
  4. Go au natural. Synthetics tend to look cheap, so go for natural fibers like wool, cotton, hemp, or jute. Remember that this is an investment that can make or break a room, so be picky!
  5. Use painter’s tape to measure how a rug will fit in the room. This will save you from purchasing a rug that doesn’t fit the size or flow of the space, and help you figure out the perfect placement without moving the furniture 20 times.

Final Thoughts

718 blog How To Pick The Right Size Rug For Your Space (1)

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Picking the right size rug is essential to tying together the perfect space. By following our tips and using our rug size cheat sheet, you can shop with confidence!


Want to freshen up your space on a budget? Painting is an inexpensive way to instantly liven up any room. Schedule a free consultation today and fall in love with your home again.