Rug Placement Guide – Tips for Placing a Rug

You may not know this, but there are rules for placing rugs in your rooms. If you break the rules, your room may look choppy, out of place, and unfinished. Use the right size and rug placement, and you will be thrilled with your finished look.

The two main rooms for rug placement are the living room and bedroom. Some people also place rugs in the dining room. Follow the rules listed here and choose the right size and shape of rug for your room.

Rug Placement in the Bedroom

Some people opt to forgo carpet and use wood or tile throughout their home. To add a feeling of warmth, they select area rugs. Rug placement on hardwood floors and tile serves a dual purpose – functionality, and appearance. Stepping out of bed onto a cold floor in the middle of the night is not pleasant. Feeling the warmth of a nice rug under your feet keeps you in a state of tranquility. However, you have to know how to place the rug for both design and function.

Using a larger rug helps frame the bed and nightstands and make the room seem bigger. The next best option if you cannot find or afford a large enough rug is to go with two runners – one on either side of the bed.

Rug placement in a bedroom provides a few options:


  • Get a rug that is larger than your bed and nightstands and position it completely under the furniture.
  • Position a large rug two-thirds under the bed from the bottom of the pillow to beyond all three sides of the bed. The headboard and nightstands will not be on the rug.
  • Use two area rugs of rectangular shape (runners) on either side of the bed. Again, the nightstands will not be on the rugs. The runners should be wider than the nightstands, but not longer than the bed.
  • Only use one area rug to the side of the bed if one side of the bed is up against a wall.

Do not’s:

  • Use a circular rug in a bedroom – unless you have a circular bed and the rug is larger than the bed.
  • Place a rug at the foot of the bed. It does not matter if the rug is under the bed – it does not belong there.

You want to have at least 18 to 24 inches of room on each side of the rug. Ideal rug sizes for the bedroom depend on bed size, as follows:

  • King Bed – 9’ x 12’ rug
  • Queen Bed – 8’ x 10’ rug
  • Single or Twin Bed – 5’ x 8’ rug

Rug Placement in the Living Room

When it comes to rug placement, living room strategy is where many people go wrong. First, let us look at furniture placement. If you have an open room, with your furniture “floating” in the middle (not against a wall), then a large rug which sits under all the furniture is the best option. When using this style of area rug placement, living rooms come together with a well-defined seating area.

The next option works well if you have a sofa up against a wall. Here, you still use a square or rectangular rug, just not as large as the one mentioned before. You will place the front legs of all the furniture on the rug for a unified look. You can see two examples of this effect in our blog about living room makeovers.

To use only a small rug under a coffee table, base its size not on the table itself, but on the interior dimensions of the entire seating area. When it comes to how to place a rug in a living room, this is the least popular option. Of course, never use a round rug for a rectangular furniture set-up.

Standard living room rug sizes include:

  • 5’ x 8’
  • 8’ x 10’
  • 9’ x 12’
  • 11’ x 14’

Rug Placement in the Dining Room

If you are looking to place a rug in your dining room, remember this primary fact – the rug should be the same shape as your table. For a circular dining table, get a round rug. If your dining table is rectangular, then your rug should be, as well.

Your entire table and all the chairs should fit comfortably on the rug. Under no circumstances should any of the chair legs hang off the sides of the rug. The rule here is that the rug should extend between 24 and 36 inches beyond the table sides. If you have an extendable table, you need to take into account the size with all the leaves added.

Standard rug sizes for dining rooms are:

  • 8’ x 10’
  • 9’ x 12’
  • 7’ diameter
  • 9’ diameter

For more information about rug placement in your home, contact HK Interiors. Our interior design services can help you transform your home or office into the vision you desire. Call 954-401-8542 today for all your interior design needs.


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