Selecting the Right Rug Size

Dining Room
Dining room rugs are generally the easiest to size because dining tables come in standard sizes and you really have two options for the rug: chair legs on or chair legs off.  That is, when you sit down at the table, do you want the dining chair legs to remain on the carpet or to come off the rug and onto the floor?  For a standard rectangular dining table width of 40”, if you want the chair legs to stay on the rug, you need a carpet at least 7’ wide.  Closer to 8’ is even better.  If your room is large, a rug as wide as 9’ or 10’ or so may look best.  For most dining rooms you need a 7’x10-9’12’ rug.

If your dining table differs from the standard, you can determine the minimum size you need by taking your table measurements and adding 44” (48” is even better) to the width and length.  

Now if you want the chair legs off the rug, you need to be careful that the rug is narrow enough that diners can pull their chairs out to be seated and then pull themselves up to the table without “tripping” over the edge of the rug. Typically this means a rug that is 5’ to 6’ wide for a rectangular table.

Living Room
First ask yourself if you want the rug to anchor the space or serve as an accent.  An accent rug may be a 4’x6’ or 5’x8’ placed in front of the sofa.  An anchor rug could be large enough to fill the room leaving a border of 12”-24” all around it.  In large rooms, more than one rug may be appropriate, especially if you have multiple seating areas. Here are some illustrations that show different ways to use a single area carpet.

Remember that an area rug not only serves to define spaces, but must also be in proportion to the space it is in: a rug that is too small will visually shrink a room and the exact same furniture arrangement in a larger room needs a larger rug.  This is especially noteworthy in open concept homes.  

If you plan to use more than one rug in a room, you will often want to allow one rug to be the “boss” carpet.  The boss carpet is not only the larger piece, but will also be more dominant in pattern and colours.  An example would be to use an 8’x12’ with a central medallion in the main seating area and a 4’x7’ with an all over design in front of a pair of chairs.

When mixing carpets within the same space, you want to consider the ways in which rugs can relate to one another: colour, pattern and texture.  Pieces with similar colours and patterns are more easily mixed together.  For instance, a rug with a navy field and red border easily harmonizes with a rug with inverse colours (red field and navy border).  Texture refers to the material, whether wool, silk or a combination of the two; the weave, such as flat weave or pile rug or gabbeh; and the overall finesse of the rug.  As an example, very fine silks look incongruous next to coarse gabbehs, but pair well with fine wool and silk rugs such as Isfahans. The more dissimilar the texture, the harder it is for two rugs to complement one another.  Here are some rugs that can be readily mixed together.

Given that we have thousands of rugs in stock, finding complimentary pieces can be a very fun process!

Many people choose to place very large rugs in bedrooms with the bed placed atop the carpet. Doing so means that a queen size bed requires at least an 8’x10’ rug and that a king size bed would need a 9’x12’ or 10’x13’.  However, this also means selecting a large, beautiful, hand-knotted rug and then hiding a lot of its beauty under the bed.  If a large anchoring rug is the look you prefer, go for it.  However, you also have the option of selecting 1-3 pieces to dress-up the floor around the bed.  

If choosing three pieces, it is best to select a boss rug, in this case the piece at the foot of the bed.  Make this the boldest, most dramatic selection and choose “supporting players” for either side of the bed.

Don’t forget that our rugs are beautiful and practical in foyers, halls, kitchens and bathrooms too.