Who said "Size doesn't matter?"

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Who said “Size doesn’t matter?”

Size Matters! Rug Size that is.

We see it often in client’s homes.  They bought a rug for a room, but the rug size is off making the room feel small and the furniture feel disconnected.

Its hard to visualize what a rug will look like in your home while you’re at a store.  The rug you thought was huge hanging on the rack is actually two sizes too small when you get it home.  This is why we draw every space before we purchase items for it so that we know the best rug size for the space and the furniture.  We want to know what scale is best for the room.

Here are some general pointers when shopping for the right rug for your home.

Bigger is Better

The difference between a 5’x7′ and an 8x’10’ might be the difference between a cohesive look and a chopped up room. In general, bigger is better when it comes to area rugs.  Our goal is make the room feel as large as possible, and the scale of the rug is a big influence on that. 

Be sure to take cues from your room for both the rug size and its orientation. The rug should be proportional to the space (large rooms = large rugs) and placed to echo its dimensions (long room = orient lengthwise).

Rug Sizing by Room

In each room there are some guiding principals to consider when selecting the right size area rug. 

Living Room

In the living room, your have two options in selecting a rug: all furniture legs on the rug or only the front legs on the rug.

All Legs on the Rug

This layout, which does require the largest rug, is the best choice for anchoring a living room, especially within an open-concept space or for any furniture grouping that floats (has no furniture against a wall). Placing all furniture entirely on the rug will unify the pieces and create a defined seating area.

Front Legs on the Rug

This versatile option works especially well when one edge of the furniture grouping is against a wall. (You don’t need to pay for a rug to cover a spot no one sees!) Consistency is key for a cohesive look, so the rug should be sized to allow for front-legs only across all pieces. 

Dining Room

Both the shape of your room and dining table should make the rug choice clear—whether it’s rectangular or round.

Our only advice is to put all legs on the rug for this room.  It should extend 36 inches beyond all sides of the table (no less than 24), so chairs can sit on a flat surface, even when pushed back. Don’t forget to account for extendable leaves, if your table has them.


As the focal point of the room, your bed should also be the base for rug placement. Not only will this further define space, but will also give your feet a soft spot to land each morning.

All Legs on the Rug

This all-inclusive layout extends beyond the bed to its accompanying furniture, like nightstands or a bench—but does not include bedroom pieces along other walls, like dressers.  This will require the largest size rug. 

The bedroom is one of the spaces we see the most undersized rugs.  Make sure that you aren’t hiding your whole rug under your bed without showing off any of it in the room. This will make your bed feel oversized for the room, and the whole room feel out of scale.

Need some help looking for the right size rug?  A designer drawing can help you determine the best size and shape for the room.

We'd love to help.

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Lisa and her team did an amazing job helping my parents downsize from a large home to a relatively small apartment. She quickly was able to assess my parents taste and recommended fabrics, furniture, wall coverings etc that really show an understanding of their taste and style. We all loved her aesthetic and she showed that she really understood what was important to my parents, her clients. Her entire staff was professional to the core. I can’t recommend her highly enough. You’d be lucky to have her help!

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