Buying a rug is like buying a piece of artwork – it requires careful consideration of the space's needs and is based on personal taste, rather than the latest trends. Figuring out where to place your rug is an especially difficult part of the process, with even interior designers admitting that it involves a fair bit of trial and error. But the right sized rug, positioned in the right way, can transform the look of a room entirely. We show you how to master the art of rug placement with these useful tips and tricks.
Where to place your rug in the living room?
When finding a floor covering for your living room, always opt for a rug that complements the rest of your furnishings. If you’re not a big fan of your flooring, a large, area rug that outlines the perimeter of your space is perfect for cleverly concealing what lies beneath.
Furniture legs on or off? The general rule of thumb with a living area rug is to make sure that your key furniture pieces sit partially on the rug in some way or another. The ideal situation of course is to sit your main furniture entirely on the rug, as this will create a unified look. However, if your rug doesn't stretch far enough, then make sure you deal with the legs consistently, otherwise the furniture will look like it's falling off the rug, making the conversation area feel disconnected. By this we mean, if one of your sofa's front legs are on the rug, make sure the other sofa's front legs are on too.
If you're faced with a large open space, adding multiple rugs is an effective way of making it feel fuller - especially if it features more than one seating arrangement. As well as filling obvious gaps, an assortment of rugs can break the room into smaller, more intimate sections.
If your space is on the smaller side, position the rug in front of the sofa leaving a small gap in front to reveal some of the flooring underneath. Another great trick for smaller spaces is to use a round shaped rug. The great thing about round rugs is that they draw the eye outwards, opening up the space and making it feel larger.
If you have two sofas, position the rug evenly between each for a symmetrical finish. If you’ve got a tricky, modular sofa, be particularly careful when deciding on the rug size, as a small floor covering could end up feeling lost, falling short at either side. Connect all of the different sections together with a large rug instead.
Where to place your rug in the dining room?
A good way to decorate with a rug in the dining room is to place it centrally underneath the dining table. Be sure to choose a heavy weight rug that’s slip proof, this way the rug won’t budge when guests move their chairs back. A plush, statement rug can also give your dining table extra focus, turning it an eye-catching focal point.
How do you size up the rug you want? As a rough guide, measure the width and length of your table and add 18-24” to each of the four sides to allow enough room for the chairs. If you have a table leaf, include this in your calculation too. Be careful not to buy a rug that’s so big it ends up invading other furniture’s territory. Leave plenty of visible floor space around the border too.
Where to place your rug in the bedroom?
You might choose to use a rug in the bedroom to warm up hard flooring, cover dated carpet or jazz up a space with colour or pattern. The bedroom is also your main sanctuary to unwind, so comfort is key. Go for a rug with a super-soft underfoot to keep your toes toasty during cold mornings. If you’re looking for a large rug to sit under your bed, extend the rug 12-18 inches around it – at least 18 inches for a king and 12 inches for a double or twin. Run it between the bottom two thirds of the bed, making sure it lines up vertically for a neat finish.
If you’re just after a small runner style rug, this will work best placed at the end of the footboard. For an even balance, make sure you choose a rug that extends further than the width of the bed.
Key rug-arranging pointers
- An undersized rug will make a small room seem smaller and a large room feel disjointed
- Orient the rug to the room. If you have a long room, orient it lengthwise, if your room is chubby and wide, orient it horizontally.
- Avoid placing in an area where the rug's corners obstruct major walkways.
If we've got you feeling inspired, check out our wide selection of rugs.