Proper Placement of Area Rugs

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House decor can be a long and painstaking task. One of the most difficult tasks is finding the perfect area rug to accompany your furniture and room decor. With various shapes, sizes and colors to choose from, it can take months of searching before finding the perfect rug to fit under your bed or to place in your living room. What makes area rug placement even more daunting is that each room has its own rules that need to be followed in order to keep the room looking unified and proportional.

Proper Placement of Area Rugs
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Rug Size

The first difficult choice is determining what size of area rug best works for your space. One of the most popular rooms for area rugs is the living room. For rug placement in the living room, such as a rug under the couch, there are two options: Full coverage or semi-coverage. Full coverage is a good choice if you don't want to commit to wall-to-wall carpeting and wish to pull up the area rug during the warmer months. To get the best result, find an area rug that will only leave 2 inches of floor space around the perimeter of the rug.

If full coverage doesn't sound like the best option, then semi-coverage is the way to go. Measure the seating area you wish to cover and choose the next rug size up. The key is to make sure that the area rug is large enough to tuck under each piece of furniture and that their front legs are resting fully on the area rug.

The same can be said for area rug placement in the bedroom or the dining area. It is popular to see semi-coverage in these rooms. If you are placing a rug under the bed, it is important to make sure the rug sticks out roughly 2 feet on each side of the bed, excluding the sides of the bed that rest against a wall. The rule does not change when placing a rug beneath a dining room table. The rug must be at least 2 feet longer on each side of your table so that all the chair legs are resting on the rug. These guidelines will help keep the rooms looking proportional and well put together.

Area Rug Placement

While the size of the area rug is important, the area rug placement is equally paramount. Area rugs can be placed in any room you desire and can even be layered over one another to draw attention to a certain part of the room. Other popular places to place area rugs are in entryways or in front of kitchen or bathroom sinks. This will add texture and color to the room without adding any bulky furniture or knick-knacks.

If adding an area rug to the entryway, make sure the rug does not touch the walls but that it is larger the doorway itself. This will add definition and depth to the entryway while also adding a pop of color. Placing an area rug is also popular in front of sinks to make it easier on your feet, but don't forget to add a non-slip backing to avoid any potential injuries from the rug slipping.

Rug Shape and Color

When picking an area rug for any room, remember that it is acceptable to deviate from the tradition rectangular shape. For rugs under furniture, such as beds or tables, a round or oval rug can have an appealing effect. The round shape can soften the room, but the rule must still apply to have 2 extra feet on each side of the furniture piece if you want to avoid having the room look awkward. Runners are also an alternative to the traditional large, rectangular area rugs. They may still have the rectangle shape, but they are meant to give the effect of a rug without covering extra unseen space. A good example of this would be to use a runner on each side of your bed to give the illusion of a rug without fully covering the underside of your bed.

If finding the right color is posing a problem when selecting your area rug, keeping it a neutral color is always a great choice. Usually, the area rug represents the secondary color you wish to have in the room, with your dominant color being your furniture or your walls. It is ok to go with a patterned rug that will help tie in the accent colors you wish to bring into the room to complete the full look you want. However, make sure to continue with the same color temperature in your palette choices. If your room has a cooler, crisp look, avoid rugs with a warm color palette and vice versa.


Taking on the role of the household's 'handyman' was a natural path for me. Watching my dad as a child be able to fix anything made me want to be just like him. Now with a toolbox of my own I tackle any task that my home throws my way. If the task can be accomplished with my own two hands, I have never been the type to hire someone else to do it. There is nothing more satisfying than staring at your completed project while you brush some dirt from your hands.

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