Selecting the Right Rug Size for Your Space
When it comes to buying furniture and homewares, most of us go into the process of finding something new with a well-formed idea of what we want. We’ve got the style down-pat, and perhaps a certain colour is speaking to us more than others – but what about size? Without a clear picture of what an item could look like in your space, (especially if the idea of measuring and doing maths does your head in!) configuring the size of a new purchase can be tricky.
Rugs are definitely no exception to this, as for most of us, they serve as a ‘nice to have’ and aren’t exactly a key piece that dictates the arrangement of the room. The takeaway here is, if you’re thinking about adding a gorgeous rug to your space, make it the hero – give it the time and attention it deserves, and really consider what size will suit your room best, and the placement that will not only put the rug in a place of pride, but will also complement and tie together your other furniture pieces.
There are various sizes of rug to choose from, all the way from small runners up to behemoth area rugs that span the floorspace of an entire room. Here’s our guide to selecting the right sized rug for your space, and placing it for a cohesive and chic look in whichever room you choose.
What size rug is right for my space?
Starting with the basics, let’s talk about size. As the old saying goes, size matters – although not in the way you’d think. While available floor space is definitely a consideration, furniture and decor items can be placed on top of 99% of rugs, so the more crucial thing to think about here is layout and the way each piece plays off one another for a unified look.
Use this size guide to determine the best rug dimensions for your space.
With the exception of very small, decorative area rugs and runners, there are four approximate rug sizes to keep in mind. They are:
- 230cm x 160cm. The smallest of the bunch, this size still covers ample space but won’t overwhelm a smaller room. It will span the length of an average 3-seater sofa, but no more, and likely will have some breathing room either side if placed between an entertainment unit and seating area.
- 300cm x 200cm. The next size up gives us slightly more space to play with, and you may notice it fits the width and length of a typical furniture configuration such as a standard six seater dining table.
- 350cm x 250cm. With an additional half a metre on each side, the second-largest typical size for a rug will fit comfortably in any room against a variety of furniture arrangements. There will still be some overlap with your furniture pieces, but there’s still tons of space to work with!
- 400cm x 300cm. Finally, the largest size will give you ultimate coverage on the floor with very little overlap with your furniture pieces, if any. If you like the look of your furniture sitting entirely within the rug space, then this large size might be right for your home.
Each of these sizes, as you may be able to tell, has its own pros and cons. So, what’s worth weighing up when you’re pondering size?
The size of your furniture pieces, and the overall configuration, (whether that’s in the living room, dining room, bedroom or somewhere else in your home) can make a vast difference to the size of rug you choose. Bigger pieces command a larger rug, whereas a small setting won’t feel right with something huge overwhelming the space. In the same vein, a smaller rug doesn’t suit a large, sprawling furniture setting.
The size of the room can also contribute to the process of finding the right rug size. Inherently, a larger room will have more floor space to work with, and resultingly will accommodate a bigger rug. The same thing works in reverse; if you’re styling a smaller space, a massive rug simply will not fit in a way that’s comfortable or nice to look at.
Another thing to consider is the weight of your furniture, both literally and in terms of its overall look and physicality. If you’re working with very heavy pieces of furniture, you might want to avoid placing everything on the rug to reduce wear and tear. Alternatively, though, this may also prevent against indentations in your floor if it’s made of an impressionable material such as timber. Weight also matters in a design sense – a Scandinavian-style coffee table with spindly legs likely won’t work under a heavy, plush rug that spans your entire floor.
Lastly, think about your floor type, and ask yourself – how much of this do I want to cover up? This also translates into the feel of the floor under your feet. For instance, if you have a gorgeous, intricately tiled floor, you might opt for a small, neutral rug for some warmth in a way that doesn’t detract from the room’s style. But, if you have cold, hard floors (and are averse to wearing socks or slippers) then a big, cosy rug is probably high on your list.
How should I place my rug?
By this point, you should be feeling a little more confident about the rug size that’s on your mind – but, don’t bite that bullet until you’ve considered placement. Equally as important, the way you place your rug and the furniture around it will dictate how your room looks and feels, as well as how you navigate it. Depending on which room you’re styling, here are a few tips and tricks to keep in mind throughout the process…
Need some help working out the best placement for your rug? Here's a breakdown by room and size that'll give you an idea of the perfect placement.
Most of the time, when placing a rug you’ll want to prioritise symmetry. Although it’s not a hard and fast rule, centring the rug in your space will create a harmonious and organised feel, and will likely align with the placement of your existing furniture pieces.
Imagining the traditional setting of a couch or other seating, a coffee table and an entertainment unit with a TV. It’s likely they’re all centred vertically, with the centre of each piece running down an invisible line of symmetry. You’ll want to keep your rug in line with the rest of your furniture this way, and then horizontally, size will come into play.
Start from the middle furniture piece and work outwards – usually, this will be your coffee table. With a smaller rug, you might get coverage to the edge of your couch, whereas a very large piece could extend all the way to the back of both the couch and the entertainment unit. Whichever style you prefer will also contribute to the size of rug you select.
In the dining room, the same principles apply with the dining table as your ‘anchor’ of sorts. If you have a large, rectangular table, place the rug down first and then centre the table against it.
Depending on the rug size you’re working with, there might be overlap where the furniture is half on the floor and half on the rug – there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this, as long as it’s not affecting your proper use of your furniture. Be sure to check whether it’s creating any imbalance or rendering your chairs and table wobbly before you commit and place each piece for good.
A very large rug will fit your table and chairs comfortably, whereas a small rug might just sit in the centre of your table with the chairs free on the floor. Of course, this isn’t the only place a rug could go in a dining room. If you have other furniture elements in the space, such as a bar cart, you may wish to place your rug off to one side. The same suggested rules apply, though – use your furniture piece as the hero, and centre it against the rug so there’s an equal amount of clearance on all sides.
Finally, in the bedroom, it’s likely you’ll want to place your rug in a way that means your feet are hitting its soft surface every morning when you tumble out of bed. Consequently, a larger rug will be your best bet, so that it can be centred in the room (and, if you have a partner, so that you both have equal use of its plush surface!).
Horizontally, though, you’ll want to use a different technique than in the living room or dining room. Instead of placing the rug at both centre axes of the hero furniture piece, slot your rug up against the wall so that it is contained by the bed. Alternatively, you can pull it out a few inches so that it begins where your bedside tables end. Either way, take a step back and look at the balance of the bedroom, making adjustments where necessary – after all, this is your sanctuary, so it’s important to get it right!
If you’re opting for a smaller rug, you’ve always got the option – both in the bedroom or any other space in your home – to use another furniture piece to anchor it. Whether it’s a dressing table, entertainment unit, armchair or even a potted plant, just be sure to weigh up symmetry and avoid haphazard placement for a chic and organised look.
Time to rug up? Whatever your style, and no matter the size, look and feel of your home, a rug will never go astray – in fact, you’ll come to find that these pieces are far more versatile than first meets the eye. They’re the ultimate aesthetic boost, and when paired with a gorgeous pot plant or some beautiful homeware choices, can totally elevate any room.
Explore our range of rugs, including perfect pieces for every room in the house, with these styling tips to guide you. When it’s time to pick out that new purchase, shop with Australia-wide delivery and virtual styling services to make the process simple and smooth.