July 5, 2016

Rug Sizing & Layering 101

One of the things that drives me the most insane as a designer are ill sized rugs.  And it’s a mistake seen SO often- even on favorite HGTV shows (not naming names- but there have been  large spaces “designed” with what looks like bathmats!)  So I wanted to do a thorough post about how to properly size a rug to your space by room.

Living Room

Wrong (even in AD!): This rug is way too small for this seating area.  None of the furniture touches it except for the coffee table. We in the “biz” call this The Dreaded Rug Island.  Everything looks like it’s alienating each other. Does the rug have cooties? Come on furniture, can’t we all be friends?


Right:  Emily Henderson, of course, knows how to size a rug in the room below.  This one runs under all the furniture but you can also scale it down a little bit and have just the front two legs of each major piece of furniture on it too.  This anchors the room and makes everything look cohesive instead of floating in space.


Here’s a little graphic I created showing both options.

living room

Dining Room

Wrong: This to me looks like someone wanted to spend the bare minimum on a rug so they got the smallest size possible.  This table looks stressed out to me. Like, don’t move and inch or you’ll fall into the lava pit!  When pulling any chair out to sit down you would be half on and half off the rug, which creates a wobbly chair- no fun.


Right: All four legs of each chair remain on the rug even when pulled out. This makes the room look larger too!


Another little graphic to illustrate:



Wrong: Well, there is a lot wrong with this space but focusing only on the rug- again, a Rug Island.  The rug needs to run at least halfway under the bed (ideally right to before the nightstands) and extend several feet past the end of the bed.  This can be tricky in some shaped rooms (long and narrow for example, but you can make it work).


Right: perfect bedroom rug size and placement.



Rug Layering

So what do you do if you have a beloved rug that is just too small. LAYER IT!  Use a nice, neutral base such as a jute or sisal that is the proper size and then layer the smaller rug on top like in the below photos.




Hides work great this way as alone they look and feel a bit bare.


But don’t try to get too creative with your layering- this looks like a living room ripe for tripping.


No. Just no. Too much. The pic on the left makes me insane. WHY?


Rugs Over Wall to Wall Carpet

Layering an area rug in a room with wall to wall carpet can really cozy things up and make a space feel more interesting.  Make sure the rug on top is a flatweave style (or natural fiber rug) on the thinner side- layering a cut pile rug over a cut pile rug does not look right- you need to mix up the textures.



I hope this helped!

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