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Simple Design Tips: 3 Ways to Place Your Rug

Adding any large accent to your furnishings can be intimidating. The selection of an area rug is no exception. As Designer David Scott says, an area rug should be the “soul of your room.” This accent piece brings cohesiveness, warmth, and softness to your living space. When you’re shopping for the perfect rug, don’t forget to consider the ways to place your rug as well. The correct arrangement complements the size and shape of the room and pulls the entire room together. 

While you may have a lot to consider when selecting your newest piece, rug placement is nothing to fret about. Consider these interior design tips for placing your new rug. 

Placing Living Room Rugs

The living room is the most common area of the home accented with a rug. Typically, you want to select a larger rug that fills the area well. This could be a 5’ x 8’, 8’ x 10’, or 10’ x 12’ size rug. Make sure you leave some space between the edge of the rug and the wall – around 18-24 inches.

One of the most common ways to place a rug in your living room is to center it within your seating arrangement. As the focal point of the seating area, this creates a nice framework for your furniture. The front two legs of the sofa and chairs should sit on the rug, or all four legs if you have an extra large rug. This placement builds a nice frame around the living area and creates unity.

Living room layout with medium rug

If your living room has a more rectangular shape, you can use two different rugs to create separate focal areas. Use the large area rug to center up your seating arrangement. Then use a smaller rug to create a separate focal area. For example, you may create a smaller seating area with two wingback chairs and a small accent table. 

Placing Dining Room Rugs

The addition of an area rug to the dining room adds a level of softness and style that can’t be achieved by the dining table alone. It also protects your floors from the damage caused by chairs sliding back and forth. 

Typically, it’s best to coordinate the shape of your rug to your dining table – a rectangular rug for a rectangular table, and a round rug for a round table. The rug should be large enough to fit under the entire dining set, even when the chairs are pulled all the way out. If your table has a leaf, make sure you accommodate for the expanded size of the table. The rug should extend about 24-30 inches past the edge of the table. This keeps you and your guests from snagging the edge of the rug each time the chair moves. 

Dining room rug layout with rectangular table

Similar to the living area (and any room, for that matter), make sure you leave about 18-24 inches around the edge of the room uncovered. 

Ways to Place a Bedroom Rug

There are many ways to place a rug in your bedroom, and there are many unique challenges in this space as well. In the bedroom, the bed, rather than the rug, is the focal point of the room. The rug’s purpose is to complement the bed and pull the room together. 

soft touch shag rug

The most common placement in the bedroom is partially under the bed. The rug is placed perpendicular to the direction of the bed and extends out into the room beyond the foot. This is typically done by starting down one-third the length of the bed. Make sure that the rug is long enough to extend 18-24 inches on either side. This creates a warm, comfortable spot for your feet when they hit the ground in the morning.

Bedroom rug partially under bed

An alternative arrangement involves placing long, runner-type rugs on each side of the bed. These runners extend from the nightstand to the foot of the bed. 

Bedroom runner rug layout

Finally, if the master bedroom is large enough, you can create a separate focal point in the room using an additional rug. This could be an independent seating area or a small office space. 

An area rug is more than an accessory. It brings a level of completeness to your room that cannot be achieved in any other way. Armed with these tips, you’ll be well on your way to getting the most out of your new rug.

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