CW Design 101 | Lesson 4: Rug Sizing and Placement

The perfect rug can be a big statement in any room. Whether it covers the majority of the floor or sits at the feet of a kitchen sink, knowing the correct size and where to place your rug makes all the difference. We have broken things down for you room by room to make decorating a room around and shopping for the perfect rug a little bit easier!

Rugs are a great idea for multiple reasons. Not only do they provide a artistic value to a room’s design, they are practical as well. Rugs provide a beautiful yet functional cushion of comfort and warmth over tile, wood, or concrete floor.

Basic Sizing Steps

  1. Decide on placement. Do you want it up against a wall or in the middle of the room?
  2. Measure the area that you want the rug to cover.
  3. Once you have measured it, it is simply a matter of matching your measurement with the right size of rug.

Dining Room Layout (2)

Dining Room

  • Measure the length and width of your dining table and add 2′ on each side. Most dining room tables require a rug that is at least 8 feet wide.
  • The extra  2′ or so that extends beyond each side of the table helps avoid chairs going off the rug when pushed back.


  • If the rug does not cover the bedroom floor, extend the rug from the bottom 2/3 of the bed. Alternatively you can place two runners at each side or a single runner at the foot of the bed.
  • You rug should extend 36” or so all around the bed.
  • Recommended Rug sizes: Queen- 8 x 10, King- 9 x 12

Bedroom Layout (1)

Office or Floating Layout

  • If your sofa and chair float in the middle of your space, your rug should fit under all four legs of each piece of furniture.
  • In an office, make sure the rug completely fits both the desk and chairs. This prevents tripping or chairs draping over the edges of the rug, which is the weakest part of the rug.

Office Rug Layout

Small Lounge 

  • Legs should either be ALL ON or ALL OFF, or ½ and ½
  • Your rug should be large enough to fit under the front legs of all pieces

Small Living Room Rug Layout

Small Living Room

  • A small rug can be used just under the coffee table to help define the specific seating areas. Standard sizes: 4 x 6, 5 x 7
  • Make sure that your rug has at least 6-10 inches on either side of the sofa. If it is the same size as your sofa it will create a bowling alley effect.

Small Rug Layout (1)

Classic Living Room

  • In a large room, furniture should fit completely on top of your rug without feeling cramped.
  • Your area rug should be a minimum of 6″ and no more than 2′ away from the wall.
  • Recommended sizes: 9 x 12 or 11x 14 (depending on size of room)

Floating Rug LayoutEXTRA TIPS

  • Orient the rug to the room. If you have a wider room, orient it horizontally. If you have along skinny room, orient it vertically.
  • In a hallway, stretch the length to fill the space.  Be sure you leave even space on both ends and if there is furniture in the hallway, keep it off the rug.
  • Think about your rug with regard for the color of your furniture. If your bed has a bold pattern, go with a solid color or neutral for your rug or vice versa.
  • If you use a round area rug in a large foyer, center it under the light fixture.
  • For a more interesting look, try placing the rug at an angle.

5 Responses to “CW Design 101 | Lesson 4: Rug Sizing and Placement”

  1. Amy

    I would love to know your suggestions for sizing in front of a kitchen sink. 3×5? Or does it depend on the size of the sink?

    • cwd_admin

      Hi Amy! It definitely depends on the size of the sink and the width between the sink and the island or other side of the kitchen. A 3×5 would definitely work if it fits the space right. A 2×3 would also work and fit directly beneath the sink. A 3×7 runner would also look really great if you have the length for it. Let us know if you have any other questions!

  2. Suzanne Anderson

    I’ve noticed no one really comments on blogs that much anymore, but I really have enjoyed these posts you have been doing, especially this one and just wanted to let you know! Also I just love everything you do!

    Oh and here is a rug question: I have a rug I love in my daughters nursery but it’s a little smaller than I wanted, so it sits pretty much in the center of the room ending in front of the crib, but does it look funny to put a rocking chair completely on it instead of off, half and half looks silly I think? I mean then the chair is up a lot closer to the crib, and there is still quite a bit of room before the wall. Just wondered what rug advice you have for nursery’s I guess.


  3. julie

    Hello! I have been in correspondence with you guys via email. Will you tell me which size kismet to order? We have an “L” WEST elm leather sectional that is floating in the middle of our living room. It is really just a sofa with a chaise, so whatever that is called ;). Anyway, which rule do I follow here in terms of rug sizing?

  4. kate gilbert

    I have the Ektorp Ikea 2 + 2 couch…would a 5 x 7 rug be too small? I have to have your navy kismet rug but cant decide the size…its so beautiful I don’t want to furniture to cover the rug.


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