Rug Rules 101

Ok, after many (many many) requests for a primer in rugs, here it is! Rugs can cozy up a space or ground a seating area while drowning out sound and adding pattern and texture. They’re must-haves when it comes to design, and the right rug in the right room can really finish the space and add style to spare. So without further ado, a room by room breakdown with size specifications and general rug rules to live by when picking out the perfect floor covering:

In your dining room, the rug under your table should be big enough for all of the chairs to be pulled out with all chair legs remaining on the rug (this usually calls for an 8×10). Something with a border or a pattern is a great way to add interest and texture to a space that usually has a whole lot of wood (it’s always nice to break that up with a stylish area rug, especially if your floors are also wood).

In your bedroom if you’d like a rug to cozy up your bed (and save your feet from a cold hardwood or tile floor) you should grab something at least 5×8 (maybe 8×10 if you have a queen or a king sized bed) and lay it horizontally under your bed. By laying it sideways you’ll have about two feet of overhang on each side of the bed and you’ll want to pull the rug down to match the overhang on the bottom (so there’s also 2 feet of overhang at the bottom of the bed as well). Picking a material that’s cushy will add to the soothing, restful feeling, and selecting a smaller scale or more subtle pattern (even a solid colored rug) might make the most sense when setting a serene scene.

In the kitchen you’ll want a durable rug. Natural fibers like jute and sisal work well because they can be shaken out and easily vacuumed cleaned while an indoor/outdoor rug is also a fabulous and hardworking idea. You can opt for a small doormat sized rug in front of the sink or a larger rug to cozy up the entire cooking area. We like cheerful stripes or colors in a kitchen, so feel free to have a little fun in this space (especially since 3x5s and 4x6s are super affordable and easy to switch out- you can even do this seasonally if you’d like).

When it comes to your bathroom you can have a little fun. Since rugs are smaller you can splurge on something a little more special, and while there are many lush and plush bathmats out there, we’ve heard time and time again that regular rugs (like a gorgeous oriental carpet) can really stand up to wet feet just as well as a rug intended for the bathroom. Try hitting up a place like Marshalls or TJ Maxx for something ornate that’s not an actual antique. You can also bring in a bold colored rug to spice up a bland white or neutral room to inject a bit of sizzle for next to nothing (it’s a whole lot cheaper than replacing the tile floor!).

In the living room you’ll want your rug to cozy up and ground the seating area so it should be at least as long as your sofa (many of which are around 80 inches, so you’ll want a 5×8 or even an 8×10 if you have a larger seating area). Even if your living room has wall to wall carpet, a nice area rug can add pattern, interest, color, style, and of course define the seating area like nothing else. So we highly recommend bringing in a gorgeous rug no matter the current flooring in your living room to add comfort and maybe even define your color palette for you (find a gorgeous multi-colored rug and pull pillow and curtain colors straight from your new area rug to make the whole space cohesive and inviting). Then remember to keep at least the front legs of your sofa, your loveseat and all the accent chairs on the rug (while the back legs can remain on or off depending on the size of your rug).

Your sunroom or screened-in porch is where you can really bring the outside in. We love a nice jute or seagrass rug to add some texture and a dash of that island vacay feel. And you can either go wall to wall with a natural fiber rug or just settle on another area rug to define the seating area (in our case we have a nice 5×8 from Pier 1 which is wider than the daybed to ground the area and add cozy-factor to our hard cement floors).

And on a personal note, we just scored a cheerful new rug for the living room (at a major discount thanks to the DIY shoot) so here’s a little teaser shot:

Stay tuned for a pic of the whole rug (and the rest of the room). Until then, happy rug hunting!

 

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