One question I get asked often by clients is “do you really put a rug over carpet?” My answer is always a resounding yes! It ties the room together so your furniture isn’t “floating” in the space. And then the next question is “what size should I do?” I have learned over the years that going bigger the majority of the time is better. A lot of times the price from a 5×8 to an 8×10 jumps up a lot and that is one of the biggest things that keeps people from getting the right size rug. I know I have been in that boat, thinking ok maybe the 5×8 will work when really it needs an 8×10. You are not alone if you have a too small of rug, even the lovely Joanna Gaines from HGTV Fixer Upper has fallen victim to “death by too small of a rug.”
Here is an example of an old picture of from Joanna Gaines home tour. The rug is too small. This is maybe a 4×6 and it should be a 6×9 or an 8x1o. You want the front legs of the sofa to be under the rug. The chairs do not need to be all the way on the rug either, just a piece of it like the front two legs. Believe me we have all made this mistake or were warned so we know not to fall victim to this. (Image Source)
This is a great example showing the front two legs of the chairs on the rug in a different room Joanna Gaines designed. Now it just needs to be slid back and have the sofa legs on it as well. This would pull it all together. (Find my favorite jute rug HERE)
Another example of a rug that is too small. In this space you could fill up the entire room with a rug, it could be an 8×10. The room would feel much cozier as well.
Now this space designed by Joanna Gaines is the right size of rug for the room. Imagine a smaller rug in here, it would make the space feel that much smaller. A larger rug expands the room and the strips in the rug help to elongate the space as well. (Image Source)
Yet again, too small of a rug. This rug has a fun pattern that you can’t even see because the cocktail table is the same size as the rug. Just one size up on this and it would be perfect. (Image Source)
To show you I am not alone in my feelings of too small of a rug… I love this graphic shared by Design By Numbers.
I see this time and again. An entry rug that is too small. A lot of times it is hard to find a door mat that is larger for outside. But this space could use a rug that reaches the entire door, so that would include the sidelights. Burlap rugs are great for outdoors. Especially since this area is a covered porch. (Image Source)
This shows perfectly a better scale rug off off an entry door and it is actually the same home from Fixer Upper as the image above with the too small of outdoor rug. Imagine a little 2×3 in this space, it would not invite you into the room. I also love how they have it turned vertical with the door, so takes up more of the entry and invites you into the rest of the home. (Image Source)
Dining areas can be tricky to get the right size. I recommend taping the area off that you are thinking of putting the rug. You want the chairs to remain on the rug when you pull them out, as long as the room allows for that size of rug. If the room is not large enough make sure the majority of the chair is still on the rug when it is pulled out. (Image Source)
Jen from City Farm House does a very good job of picking the right scale of rug in her family room. Her room looks like it has a main traffic area going around the room to get into her dining room. She left a nice walking area between the rug and the tv cabinet.
This is my front room. I had this rug before I moved into this house. I thought I would have to order it in an 8x1o for this room. I didn’t want to fall into the “death by too small of a rug” category. I had never been into the home before we bought it nor did I know the actual size of the room. So I thought I would try the one I had and then decide. If I would have went with a larger rug you would not have been able to see the sweet border on the rug. It would have went too far under the rug and the sideboard. That is something to always keep in mind when selecting a rug, how much of the pattern will be seen. You can find my exact rug HERE.
This room is a small space. I went with an 8×10 rug. You would think it might make the room feel smaller to fill it up with so much, but it actually did the opposite and made it feel larger! I shared the actual rug info on THIS blog post.
Another way to make a rug not seem too small in a space is to layer another one underneath. I had ordered the light cream rug HERE and it just felt too small. I also wanted to have more carpet covering the wood floor in our babies nursery so layering a rug that I already had was the perfect solution.
Now we all have made mistakes, I don’t even want to look at the first room I every designed or even what I did 10 years ago. You can see that Joanna Gaines quickly found the right scale of rugs to use. The picture above is the same room and the second photo is a much better size of rug for the space. Not to mention that clock is amazing!
If you are searching for rugs, I have found that Rugs USA to be one of the easiest websites to find great deals and also very searchable if you are looking for a specific type of rug. I have a giveaway on my Instagram for a $200 credit to Rugs USA going on until 6-17-16 you can enter HERE if you have an Instagram account.
Here is one last guide for rug placement from Front Door that is spot on!
Thanks so much for this post! I’ve been considering replacing 2 large area rugs (9×12′) in my master bedroom and family rooms. It’s a good reminder to keep the larger sizes. Love your example photos. How about bedrooms? A post on area rugs in master bedrooms would be helpful too ? Thanks so much for your lovely blog!
My family room is slowly being updated. Definitely needs a new rug – thanks for the tips!!
[email protected] says
Thank you! Glad they were helpful, best of luck on your updates!!
hey girl great ideas!
[email protected] says
I love Rugs USA! They definitely have the most affordable (and beautiful) area rugs I’ve seen! Great post!
[email protected] says