Tips For Placing The Right Rug, In The Right Space, At The Right Price

An uncovered floor in your home is like a blank canvas and a beautiful rug can be the perfect choice to fill it. Whether it covers wood, stained concrete, tile, or carpet, rugs can jazz up just about any space. They can make a larger room feel warm and unified and a smaller room feel open and inviting.

Unfortunately, there are many beautiful rug choices that can cut deep into your design budget. But there is hope! Below are some useful and budget-friendly tips for selecting the perfect rug for the rooms in your home.

Size Matters in a Large Space

Before selecting a new rug, you’re going to have to do some math … I know, ouch!  First, get your tape measure and determine the dimensions of each room in which you’ll be adding a rug. According to the experts at, bigger rugs (8×10, 9×12 and 12×15) work really well in unifying big spaces, making a room appear larger. Here are some additional tips on placing rugs in larger spaces:

  • The Layered Look: Nothing spruces up a large room like an expansive rug; however, larger rugs can be pricey. A budget-friendly solution is rug layering. Good Housekeeping suggests placing a smaller, perhaps decorative, rug on top of a larger and more economical, natural-fiber rug, like a jute fabric. That way, you get the pop and the coverage that you need at a more affordable price. Additionally, layering a rug on top of carpet is a creative way to enliven floor space and add texture to a room.
  • Twice As Nice: Is a massive rug not in your budget? Can’t find a large-enough rug in the pattern that you want? Create the appearance of a massive rug by placing two identical, smaller rugs side-by-side, and binding them together with professional carpet tape.
  • Anchor Down: Larger rooms (living room, media, game rooms, etc.) tend to have movable décor and furniture, like couches, coffee tables, media centers, lounging chairs and lamps. A large rug can help anchor and unify all of your individual pieces. West Elm recommends selecting a rug big enough to fit under all legs of furniture within the room, or at the very least, under the front legs.
  • Get In the Zone: Some rooms serve multiple functions for a household. Smaller rugs in these large, multi-use spaces can help define individual “zones”. A decorative 2×3, 3×5 or 4×6 rug, placed strategically within a large room, can also make a piece of unique furniture or art stand out.
  • Proper Postage: As Good Housekeeping warns, if you “skimp on size … your room will look smaller.” So a 4×6 rug in a vast 14×14 space can end up looking like a “postage stamp” rug.

Small Spaces Need Design and Shape

Smaller rooms can benefit from a uniquely shaped rug , a bold pattern or a bit of design that creates interest. Here are some tips for sprucing up your more compact areas:

  • Don’t Be Square: Modern rugs come in many shapes and designs. Don’t limit yourself to a boring square or rectangle! In those small entryways and foyers, think outside of the box and use a circular rug, which pairs particularly well with a round table.
  • Dare To Be Odd: Asymmetrically-shaped floor coverings, such as faux-animal hides, can rejuvenate a small space and make it appear larger. Additionally, heart and flower shape rugs can be fun for sweetening nurseries and children’s rooms and bathrooms.
  • Color You Happy: Bold prints and geometric-patterned rugs can help make a room of any size sizzle. If a room has been “beige-ed” with monochromatic walls, couches and curtains, liven up the space by throwing down a vibrant rug showcasing emerald green octagons.
  • Do-It-Yourself: In love with a rug that tragically just doesn’t fit? When all else fails, customize your prized find by cutting it down to size. Or create your own with leftover fabric, paint, old t-shirts and more. For inspiration, check out these six DIY rug projects.

Different Rooms, Different Rules

Once you’ve chosen the right rug, your next challenge is placement. The most important rule is to remember that this is your home … what looks right to you matters the most. But if you’re looking for a little guidance, below are some general rules of thumb for rug placement:

  • Living Room: Place the rug in the center, leaving 12-14 inches of room from the wall. If the covering is not large enough to encompass each piece of furniture, make sure that at least the front legs can rest on the rug.
  • Kitchen and Bath: A smaller, less expensive carpet runner or area rug can go a long way toward brightening up a kitchen or bath, as well as help tie together design elements. These rugs are also often used for more practical and functional purposes, as they can provide warmth from cold floors in the bathroom and offer padded comfort in the kitchen.
  • Bedroom: A “standing” rule for the bedroom is that if you are standing, you want to feel the rug beneath your feet. If the rug cannot lay under the bed with generous room on each side, try orienting it under the bottom two-thirds of the bed. Another alternative popular with designers is to place runners along the sides of the bed, as well as at the foot of the bed, to help cozy up the space.
  • Dining Room: According to One Kings Lane, your dining room table dictates the size of your rug. They suggest finding a rug large enough to fit the table – and all of the chairs, with 24” of carpet extending beyond each side of the table, to keep chairs remaining on the rug when pulled out for use. com recommends either an 8×10 or 9×12 rug for a table that seats six to eight chairs.

Whatever floor bling you choose for you home, remember that no one knows your home better than you! So fill your floor canvas with creative flourishes that best reflect your style. Have any useful rug tips to share? Let us know in the comments section below.

If you’ve found the perfect rug, but need a perfect new home to place it in, remember to contact a PrimeLending loan expert to learn what mortgage plan is best for you.


from the PrimeLending blog, by Mandy Jordan