What size area rug do I need?
An appropriately sized area rug can give your room that added pizazz
What size area rug you need is largely determined by what room you are using it in and how big that space is.
If you want an area rug for your dining room, ideally it will be large enough that your dining room table and chairs will sit on the rug. Measure your dining room table and determine how much space the chairs take up when pushed into the table as well as pushed back slightly. This will help you determine the length and width of the area rug.
The most accurate system to determine what size area rug needed for the dining room is to add 48 inches (four feet) to the length of your dining room table. Your area rug should be four feet wider and longer than the length and width of your table.
If you think your living room would be cozier with the addition of an area rug, keep in mind that there should be at least 12 inches between the wall and the area rug on all sides. Position the area rug so that it is not off center, if at all possible.
The amount of exposed floor that can be seen after you place the area rug depends in great part upon the size of the room. You should be able to eyeball it and see if the end result looks balanced. Some decorators suggest that you leave 18 inches of exposed floor while others think 12 inches is sufficient. If it is a small room you may only see eight inches of exposed floor.
When the sofa or chairs are backed up against the wall it is okay if they are not completely sitting on the area rug. However, if the rug is thick this can make your furniture sit in a lop-sided fashion. There are small blocks that you can put under the sofa or chair legs to make them sit level. One good rule to remember is that the legs of the furniture in the room should either be on the area rug completely or off of the rug.
An area rug is a great way to define an area. If you want to specify a portion of your living as a reading corner use an 8x10 area rug. You can use a smaller area rug if your room is on the small side.
A 6x9 area rug or even a 4x6 rug is a suitable size for putting under a coffee table but make sure that all four legs of the table are situated on the rug. Rectangular area rugs are generally the best shape for use under a coffee table.
Of course not all designers and decorators agree on the best way to use an area rug or what size area rug you may need. There does not seem to be a general rule of thumb. Ultimately, it is your house. You can decorate it the way that appeals to you. Your decisions do not have to pass a design review board!
If your room is small, say 5x7, your area rug should be no larger than 3x5. If your room is larger than that but no bigger than 7x10 consider using a 5x8 area rug. A 10x12 room would accommodate an 8x10 area rug whereas a room that is 14 feet can accommodate a 9x12 rug. If you follow this plan, you will see 18 inches or more of exposed floor after the area rug is put in place.
It is wise to arrange your furniture before deciding what size area rug you need. If you place an area rug under your bed, it should extend at least 18 inches beyond the bed if the bed is a Queen or a King-size and at least 12 inches if the bed in a twin or double. Lay a tape measure on the floor to help you visualize an area rug in the room. It also helps to use blue painters' tape and mark off the actual dimensions of various rug sizes.
Remember, almost all rugs come in standardized sizes, but your rooms do not.